This summer, Tech standout Ollie Schniederjans began his career on the PGA Tour. He is entering the pros with an impressive record behind him: a phenomenal college career, professional-level play in a huge tournament and the title of best amateur golfer in the world.
At Tech, Schniederjans was one of the most talked-about players in the ACC, being named conference Player of the Year twice and finishing runner-up in the 2014 NCAA Division I Championship as a junior. He was also named a first-team All-American in both his junior and senior seasons.
On June 18th, 2014, Schniederjans advanced to the number one spot on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, maintaining the top position for 41 weeks and winning the Mark H. McCormack Medal in the process.
After his college career, Schniederjans competed in his first PGA Tour event at the 2015 Valspar Championship, where he missed the cut. Later, he was exempted into the 2015 U.S. Open and the 2015 Open Championship due to his status as a McCormack recipient.
In an interview with Golfweek before his U.S. Open appearance, Schneiderjans spoke of his excitement to play in his first major.
“It’s surreal, really,” he said. “You’ve wanted to do this for so long, and now you’re right there in the middle of the scene. I’m here. It’s really special. I have family here, and it’s really cool. I feel very comfortable, like I belong here.”
He had a pedestrian performance in the tournament, finishing 42nd in a pool of 287 players with a score of 7 over par.
The Open Championship, his final tournament as an amateur, proved to be one of his best. In his final round, he managed seven birdies in the first ten holes to put him ten under par. He ultimately finished in a tie for 12th.
“I’ll remember all of [the Open experience]. I’ll definitely remember Monday because I kind of pushed myself to another level, finally, that day,” Schniederjans said in an interview with the PGA Tour. “I was playing well earlier in the week, but I’d get to 2 or 3 under and I’d fall back. It was frustrating. But that last day I pushed it past that, found my name up on the board and felt completely calm and confident on the back nine. That was probably the biggest nine holes I’ve ever played, and I felt like I was totally OK with whatever happened.”
Although his amateur status prevented him to keeping his $160,000 winnings, he can look forward to making much more than that in his professional career. With sponsorships from Callaway and Oddyssey, Schniederjans is exempted into numerous tournaments in the coming months.
His future beyond that depends what he does with these opportunities, but for now the Yellow Jacket has left the entire golf world with few doubts of his ability.