Alumni Report: Werenski charting steady climb on Tour
Ever wonder what happens to top amateurs after they pass through the web pages of AmateurGolf.com? Welcome to our new series, the Alumni Report. Each week, we’ll profile a former AmateurGolf.com member now navigating the pro waters, providing a progress report and a snapshot of his or her amateur career.
Richy Wereksnki after Web.com (left) and Porter Cup wins (Web.com/Porter Cup photos)
The PGA Tour season runs year-round, but the late fall still has a decidedly different feel than at the height of the spring and summer championship season. The up-and-comers get the spotlight, and it’s a good time for a breakout.
You might say that Richy Werenski has already had
that breakout. Golf fans will remember the 26-year-old as the winner of Golf Channel’s “Big Break The Palm Beaches.” That was early in 2015, the same year Werenski joined the Web.com Tour.
Still, Werenski’s play at the weekend’s Mayakoba Golf Classic was impressive to say the least. With rounds of 65-66-67-67, Werenski finished tied for third and just three shots off the pace set by winner Matt Kuchar. Both are Georgia Tech alumni. It was the third time Werenski has finished in the top 3 in the past two years on tour.
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In terms of breakouts, Werenski’s amateur career had one of those, too. The South Hadley, Mass., native held off Denny McCarthy and Patrick Rodgers to win the 2012 Porter Cup title. He outpaced Tour favorite Justin Thomas in the final round at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y., too.
“After I won the Porter Cup I thought, ‘Man. I am beating really good players who are definitely going to go to the PGA Tour one day and I am in that same category,’"
Werenski said in a 2016 interview with AmateurGolf.com.
A third-place finish at the Dixie Amateur followed that winter, but for Werenski, the Porter Cup was truly the big win of a long amateur career dotted with both national tournaments and events in the Northeast. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 2014 and went straight to the mini tours.
Since then, Werenski has effectively climbed the rungs of professional golf, and in relatively short time. In his debut season on the Web.com Tour in 2015, he played 20 events, made 14 cuts but finished 79th on the money list. It was a middling finish that left Werenski on that tour for another year. His play in 2016 produced much different results.
In his second go-round on the developmental tour, a more seasoned Werenski won once, finished runner-up three times and climbed his way to second on the money list. That set up a PGA Tour card for the following season.
Werenski’s third-place finish at this weekend’s Mayakoba Classic represents a third top-3 finish in the past three seasons on Tour. Werenski made noticeable gains in 2018, cracking the million-dollar mark for the first season of his young career. Still, he’s without a victory.
Werenski has made four starts in the past seven weeks and is four-for-four in made cuts. He’s already halfway to last year’s earnings, and the calendar hasn’t even flipped to 2019.