Ollie Schniederjans stormed up the leaderboard Saturday at the 2019 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. The 25-year old recorded a 7-under par 65 to seize third place, just 2 strokes behind clubhouse leaders Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood (12-under).
He passed veterans such as American Jim Furyk, 48, and England’s Ian Poulter, 43, as well as Brian Harman and Abraham Ancer. Schniederjans’ first full PGA Tour season was 2017, and he has already racked up 4 top-5 tournament finishes.
That was preceded by the 2016 Air Capital Classic title on the Web.com Tour. The Dallas native has only been on the face of the earth for a quarter century, and he’s already gaining momentum for a long and prosperous professional career.
Let’s look at how he got to this point through his amateur days.
Ollie Schniederjans’s College & Amateur Career
The 6-foot-1 Schniederjans was born in Dallas, lived briefly in North Andover (Mass.) and grew up in Powder Springs (Ga.).
After graduating from Harrison High School (Keenesaw, Ga.) in 2010, he earned a scholarship to play at Georgia Tech. He was honored with first-team All-American honors for his junior (2013) and senior (2014) seasons as a Yellow Jacket, as voted by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Ken Suguira of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that these accomplishments mirrored those of several highly-successful pros on the PGA Tour.
Schniederjans is the fifth Tech player to earn first-team All-America from the GCAA, following David Duval, Matt Kuchar, Bryce Molder and Troy Matteson. All four have gone on to play on the PGA Tour, win at least once and earn at least $9 million.
Suguira noted that Schniederjans left Georgia Tech with the second-lowest scoring average in school history at 70.96. His efforts led to a fifth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, as well as a runner-up placement in 2013.
Ollie Schniederjans sat atop the World Amateur Golf Rankings for 41 consecutive weeks, which earned him the Mark H. McCormack Medal.
The honor qualified him for the 2014 U.S. Open, which preceded an appearance in The Open Championship the following July. He turned professional after the events.
During his late high school and collegiate days, he claimed 7 amateur championships, including the:
- 2009: Polo Golf Junior Classic, Jones Cup Junior Invitational
- 2013: Carpet Capital Collegiate (tie), U.S. Collegiate Championship
- 2014:Valspar Collegiate, Robert Kepler Invitational (tie), ACC Championship, Carpet Capital Collegiate
He credits his time in junior golf for the preparation to thrive on the amateur circuit. He talked about his experience with the Marietta Daily Journal last April.
The 24-year-old Schniederjans said it was junior golf, and largely the AJGA, that helped him get ready to play collegiately at Georgia Tech, and laid the foundation to make the transition first to college and then the professional ranks.
Schniederjans said the AJGA is making the transition even easier for players today.
“To me, this was the best preparation for college golf,” Schniederjans said. “It’s the only organization to play on this high of a level. We get to play some really good golf courses out here. The course where I won (the Polo Golf Junior Classic at PGA National in Florida) is where they play the Honda Classic on Tour. It definitely prepares your game.”
He has a chance Sunday to take another step further in his burgeoning career.