WEB.COM TOUR INSIDER
Georgia Tech grads abound on Web.com Tour
Albertson, Werenski, and Schniederjans have all seen success during the 2016 season
July 13, 2016
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Richy Werenski (center), 2014 Georgia Tech grad, won the BMW Charity Pro-Am in May. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
There is no shortage of longstanding collegiate powerhouses that have produced tremendous golfers on the Web.com Tour and beyond to the PGA TOUR in the game’s history.
But in 2016, the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech have become the go-to school in terms of Web Tour success, as Richy Werenski and Ollie Schniederjans have both won – and are in line for TOUR cards – while Anders Albertson sits 44th on the money list, and with a good week like one his GT graduates had, he’ll join them on TOUR as well.
It wasn’t all fun and games for the triumvirate to get to where they are at today (Kyle Scott is another Web Tour member who is just a little older than Werenski, Schniederjans and Albertson), but then again, sometimes it was.
During a recruitment visit by a potential teammate, Albertson, Werenski and others had some fairly harmless collegiate fun when they launched water balloons, using a slingshot fastened by Werenski, off the side of Georgia Tech’s football stadium.
“We could shoot it about 150 yards, and it took three people to operate it,” recalls Albertson with a hearty laugh. “We were a bunch of nerds who didn’t know what to do to have fun, so we brought the slingshot out (for the visit).”
The recruit who joined them eventually decided to sign with the Yellow Jackets (“He must have thought we were cool,” says Albertson) but that was a rare instance where they weren’t competing either in the classroom or on the golf course.
“We did a lot of qualifying for tournaments. Our coach never just picked,” explains Werenski. “We always had to do that, which was awesome because we had a great team. That definitely helped, playing against that competition every day, picking up on some of the things those guys do well.”Ollie Schniederjans hits a tee shot at the LECOM Health Challenge at Peek'n Peak Resort. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
Schniederjans, who wasn’t with the guys during The Great Water Balloon Incident (He says, laughing, that he was at a movie that night: “I came back to my room and the cops have Anders and Bo (Andrews), like the most innocent people of life, pulled over and they’re freaking out. If I was part of that, we couldn’t have got in trouble”) recalls his time at Georgia Tech being an exceptional learning experience about life – on and off the course.
“It’s your four years of college, and you grow up so much in those four years,” he says. “At Georgia Tech you face so much adversity and challenges, it’s not like a normal college kid life. It’s such a grind, there’s no way around it.”
“School is difficult, you feel like you’re competing with kids who don’t have anything else going on but school. You basically have two full-time jobs (school and golf) and you’re living in the middle of the busiest city in the state. But I felt like I grew a lot every year,” continues Schniederjans.
The three aforementioned golfers all graduated with degrees in business, and left college with a laundry list of accomplishments.
Schniederjans (whose younger brother Luke has committed to playing golf at Georgia Tech this fall) ascended to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Amateur Rankings, and was ACC Player of the Year as both a junior and senior. Werenski was twice named to the ACC Academic Honour Roll and ACC All-Academic Team, while winning the prestigious Porter Cup in 2012. Albertson earned All-ACC honours four times (just the 16th player to do so in the conference’s history) and won the 2015 Byron Nelson Award as the nations’ top graduating senior golfer.
Their collegiate success has, so far, translated well on the Web.com Tour, but all three have bigger goals in mind.
Both Werenski and Schniederjans admit they are steadfast in their pursuit for a second victory this season as they climb up the money list (Werenski is second and Schienderjans is third), while Albertson is hoping to play a little more steady golf as the season comes through its home stretch (he had a streak of five-straight missed cuts earlier this year).
“When I play great, my thoughts have been more clear, and I’m trying to get back to that,” he explains.
He also tips his cap to what he learned at Georgia Tech to help him get through some tougher times on the course.
“I did a lot of growing up there,” Albertson says. “Every week we showed up, we were expected to win. Being able to manage my time and deal with expectations, figuring out how to compete at the highest level with maybe not your best stuff was key.”
“There may not have been just one thing I learned (at Georgia Tech) but I showed up there at 17 and didn’t really know how to do much, and I walked out very confident in myself in academics and managing my golf game. I think that was huge,” he continues.
And although Albertson hasn’t played in a tournament grouped with Werenski yet this year – Albertson and Schniederjans have, though – he has a fan in his older teammate.
“Anders, he’s got a great action. I love watching his swing,” says Werenski, who had this to add about Schienderjans’ game: “He always has hit the ball really good, and hit it super far. A lot further than I do. Whenever I play with him, it’s always like, ‘Man, I wish I could it that far.’”
Although they came from different places to Georgia Tech, Albertson, Werenski, and Schniederjans went through the same things for four-plus years. They face a common goal together as Web Tour members for now, but teammates always.
“You felt like you had so much going on at school, but maybe that’s why when you get out here, golf seems easy. All we have to do now is play practice rounds and compete Thursday to Sunday,” explains Albertson. “But I wouldn’t change anything. I’m so fortunate to have gone there.”
Richy Werenski fires second straight 65 to win the BMW Charity Pro-Am