Schniederjans among big names in trouble at Am

Ollie Schniederjans shot a 2-over 73 in the first round at the 2014 U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club's Highlands course.

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Ollie Schniederjans, the world’s top-ranked amateur, could be in a world of trouble after opening with a 2-over 73 in the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the 114th U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Schniederjans, a senior at nearby Georgia Tech, is playing in his first amateur event since vaulting to No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in June. He hasn’t competed since the European Tour’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

“I was a little bit rusty,” Schniederjans said. “I didn’t play like myself. I didn’t put my best game out there.”

Part of the problem for Schniederjans was the pace of play, which took 4 hours and 49 minutes on the Highlands Course.

“It was horrible,” he said. “It was really tough to get in a rhythm.”

Both of his playing competitors were penalized one stroke for slow play.

“One had 10 slow times; the other had six. I had zero,” he said. “I was walking ahead of them all day.”

Schniederjans isn’t the only big name in danger of missing the field of 64 for match play. Walker Cupper Jordan Niebrugge and U.S. Amateur Public Links finalist Doug Ghim also posted 2-over 73s and are among a large group tied for 105th among the field of 312.

“I had two three-putts, and you can’t make those types of mistakes,” Ghim said. “But if I play well tomorrow, all is forgiven.”

That was a sentiment shared by Schniederjans, who said he would do some swing drills at his room and regroup for his morning round at the Riverside Course.

“I made a lot of uncharacteristic errors,” he said, “but if I play well tomorrow, the tournament starts over on Wednesday.”

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