Schniederjans blisters Berkeley Hall for early Players lead
Luke Schniederjans (Georgia Tech photo)
Luke Schniederjans (Georgia Tech photo)

This could be the week for Luke Schniederjans. After one round at the Players Amateur, the rising Georgia Tech junior is already deep in the red. Schniederjans blitzed Berkeley Hall Club on Thursday to open this long-running event and finished the day at 8-under 63.

Schniederjans, the younger brother of PGA Tour player Ollie Schniederjans, had four birdies in his opening seven holes. His lone bogey of the day came at No. 9.

The back nine was flawless, however. Five birdies dropped Schniederjans to a score of 30 on the par-35 layout.

Already this summer, Schniederjans has finished T-6 at the Dogwood Invitational, T-48 at the Sunnehanna Amateur and T-11 at the Northeast Amateur. There are three more rounds at Berkeley Hall yet to play, but should Schniederjans hang on to his lead, it would result in a sponsor’s exemption into the RBC Heritage.

Bryson Nimmer of Okatie, S.C., and Daniel Hillier of New Zealand are close on Schniederjans’ heels at 6-under 65. Nimmer, the Clemson player who chased an NCAA individual title before falling short in the final round, lit up the course in a similar way. He had three consecutive birdies at Nos. 3-5. The back nine included two birdies plus an eagle at the par-5 15th.

Nimmer has done well here. A year ago, he had the chance to win the tournament outright but he bogeyed the closing hole to finish regulation in 13 under and ultimately lost in a playoff against Philip Knowles.

Hillier, meanwhile, had a similar card Thursday that included seven birdies – two of which came on the opening two holes – and only one bogey. Hillier plays out of Royal Wellington Golf Club, host of the 2017 Asia Pacific Amateur. He finished T-6 at that event.

Thomas Walsh, the Virginia player who won the ACC individual title this spring, and John Augenstein, an All-American at Vanderbilt, are tied for fourth at 5 under.

Knowles, last year’s champion, is 14th after a 2-under 69 in the first round.

Results: Players Amateur
1KYJohn AugensteinOwensboro, KY120066-67-68-67=268
2ChinaAndy ZhangChina90069-63-71-69=272
3OHWill GrimmerCincinnati, OH70069-67-68-69=273
T4FLBrandon ManchenoJacksonville, FL70069-66-70-69=274
T4GASpencer RalstonGainesville, GA70068-68-73-65=274

View full results for Players Amateur

ABOUT THE Players Amateur

While competing in the 1999 US Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach, former US Walker Cup Team members, Duke Delcher and Tom McKnight discussed the formation of a premier 72-hole stroke play amateur golf tournament. The inaugural Players Amateur was held the next summer. Former British Open Champion, Ben Curtis, was the winner of the 2000 event.  In 2004, the Heritage Classic Foundation began running the event. The Heritage Classic Foundation was formed in 1987 as a 501 (c) (3), not- for-profit organization, it serves as the operational and financial oversight group for the PGA Tour RBC Heritage Classic. The Foundation distributes all charitable funds generated from the tournaments to charity. The winner of The Players Amateur gets an exemption into the PGA Tour RBC Heritage Classic, as well as the Master of the Amateurs tournament in Melbourne, Australia.

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