Schniederjans wins Air Capital Classic in three-man playoff
June 26, 2016
By Royce Thompson, PGATOUR.COM
- Ollie Schniederjans moves to No. 3 on the Regular Season money list with his victory at Crestview CC. (Kelly Glasscock/Contributed Photo)
WICHITA, Kan. – Ollie Schniederjans rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to defeat former Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Order of Merit winner J.J. Spaun and PAC-12 Freshman of the Year Collin Morikawa in a playoff at the Air Capital Classic presented by AETNA. The 23-year-old Schniederjans’ first Web.com Tour win moves him up to No. 3 on the money list.
“I felt like it was probably a 20 percent chance of making it,” said Schniederjans, about the 18-foot left-to-right putt. “I just wanted to pure the heck out of it and see what happens. It went in beautifully; it was incredible.”
Earlier this season Schniederjans lost in overtime to Brad Fritsch at the Servientrega Championship presented by Efecty in Cartagena, Colombia. After coming up short, the Tour rookie notched two more top-10s before hitting a roadblock. The last few weeks, Schniederjans has struggled but was able to find his form in Wichita and lock up one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded at the conclusion of the Regular Season.
“It’s just a lifetime dream come true,” said the three-time All-American at Georgia Tech, who earned a first-place prize of $112,500. “To be able to go out there and be a member of the PGA TOUR, it’s an unbelievable feeling. I put so much work in to get there. I’m thrilled to join a bunch of my friends out there.”
Some of those comrades Schniederjans was referring to include 2016 CIMB Classic champion Justin Thomas, 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic winner Daniel Berger, and 2014-15 FedExCup Champion Jordan Spieth. Watching these three and others have success on TOUR has fueled Schniederjans. Instead of getting impatient and being in a rush to join his friends, the Alpharetta, Georgia resident has embraced the Web.com Tour and how it prepares you for the next step.
“I can’t believe how much I’ve learned this year,” said Schniederjans, about life on Tour. “I never would’ve thought I had this much to get better at and this much to learn. I needed this year on the Web.com Tour, honestly. I don’t think I was ready for the PGA TOUR. Maybe I could’ve been ready, but I wasn’t at my best. This year I’ve gotten so many things in order.”
“I feel like I’m going out there the best version of myself,” Schniederjans continued. “Rather than if I was out there this year, I would’ve had to do all this learning out there. Doing it out here, putting things in perspective, it’s been an amazing experience on the Web.com Tour for me so far.”
And Schniederjans is not done yet. He set out to accomplish a few things this season and his victory at Crestview Country Club is just the beginning.
“My goal this year was to win twice,” Schniederjans said. “I thought that was a realistic goal, to try and win and then back it up with another one.”
Ollie Schniederjans wins in three-man playoff at the Air Capital Classic
* Sunday weather: Mostly sunny. High: 94, Low: 77, Winds: ESE 8-14 mph.
* Ollie Schniederjans played the last 46 holes of the Air Capital Classic without making a bogey to earn his first victory on Tour.
* Schniederjans’ win comes in his 11th start this season. He is the ninth first-time winner this season.
* Schniederjans moves from No. 14 to No. 3 on the money list.
* Schniederjans wins at age 23 years, 11 days, making him the youngest winner on Tour this season.
* Schniederjans becomes the third Tour rookie to win this season (Sebastian Munoz, Wesley Bryan, Ollie Schniederjans).
* Eight players in their 20s have accounted for nine wins on Tour this season (Sebastian Munoz, Wesley Bryan (2), Seamus Power, Trey Mullinax, Richy Werenski, Dominic Bozzelli, Max Homa, Ollie Schniederjans).
* Schniederjans’ win at the Air Capital Classic is the 22nd victory on Tour by a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket.
* Schniederjans tied the course record at with a bogey-free 61 on Saturday (Gavin Coles – 2006). The 9-under score is his lowest round on Tour.
* Schniederjans’ first Tour start came back at the 2014 Air Capital Classic, where he carded 64-71-65-67—267 (13-under) for a T5 as an amateur.
* J.J. Spaun made $67,500 in a tie for second and moves to No. 15 on the money list.
* In 11 starts on Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in 2015, Spaun recorded seven top-10s including a victory (Staal Foundation Open) and a runner-up (SIGA Dakota Dunes Open). Spaun took over the top spot on the Order of Merit after his maiden win in Ontario and held the top spot the final six weeks of the season. He set a Mackenzie Tour record for top 10s and top 3s in a season.
“Honestly I was trying to go into this four-week stretch and secure a spot in the Finals and basically make enough money to keep my card out here and have an opportunity in the Finals. But I had one good event in Chicago (Rust-Oleum Championship) and a couple of missed cuts, but the game is there. It’s just a matter of putting it together and I think I’m going to have more confidence in my game going forward.”
* Amateur Collin Morikawa fired back-to-back 63s on the weekend to get into a playoff with Spaun and Schniederjans. The 19-year-old earned a spot in the field because of his victory at the 2015 Trans-Miss Championship. He just finished his freshman campaign at the University of California – Berkeley, where he was PAC-12 Freshman of the Year and PAC-12 First Team. His T2 performance is the highest finish by an amateur in tournament history (2014 – Ollie Schniederjans – T5)
“It was crazy. I didn’t start feeling the nerves until I got to 17; that crowd there really gets you going. But that last putt on 18 for birdie to get into a playoff, that was very nerve-wracking. If I missed, I missed. I’m not losing anything out here this week; I can only gain positives. It’s unbelievable. The putt I had for par on the first playoff (hole) was probably the most nerve-wracking putt I’ve had. Shaking, definitely shaking. Didn’t even think I got the ball to the hole but got it there. Thankfully got to the next playoff hole. Ollie played great and J.J. played great. It’s amazing to put myself up here and compete with these guys.”
Bogey Free Rounds:
R1 – Curtis Thompson (63), Kent Bulle (63), Josh Teater (64), Jonathan Byrd (64), Michael Gellerman (64), Austin Cook (65), Alexandre Rocha (66), Jim Renner (66), Brad Elder (67), Steven Fox (68), Tag Ridings (69).
R2 – Ryan Brehm (64), Scott Gutschewski (64), Jim Renner (65), Brice Garnett (65), Miguel Angel Carballo (65), Chas Narramore (65), Seamus Power (65), Erik Barnes (66), Timothy Madigan (67).
R3 – Ollie Schniederjans (61), Brian Campbell (62), Kyle Thompson (65), Tom Gillis (65), Steven Fox (66), Ted Potter Jr. (68), Julian Suri (68).
R4 – Kurt Kitayama (63), Peter Lonard (63), Denny McCarthy (65), Casey Wittenberg (65), Nate Lashley (65), Josh Teater (65), Martin Flores (66), Jonathan Byrd (66), Ollie Schniederjans (67), Steve LeBrun (67), J.T. Poston (68), Miguel Angel Carballo (69).
Front (35) Back (35) Total (70) R1 34.846 33.545 68.391 R2 35.032 34.353 69.385 R3 34.915 34.634 69.549 R4 34.768 33.439 68.207 Total 34.905 33.979 68.884
Ollie Schniederjans interview after winning Air Capital Classic