ATLANTA - University of Houston men's golfers past, present and future are converging at Atlanta Athletic Club this weekend to compete at the U.S. Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Four-year letterman Wesley McClain (Diboll, Texas), current All-American Roman Robledo (Harlingen, Texas) and 2014-15 freshman-to-be Michael Perras tee off Monday morning at the nation's most prestigious amateur event. Split between the Highland and Riverside courses at Atlanta Athletic Club, the field of 312 players will play 18 holes each day Monday and Tuesday.
The low 64 players after 36 holes of stroke play advance to Wednesday's match play. From there, players must win six matches over five days to claim the title.
This marks the second straight season that Houston Men's Golf has been represented at the U.S. Amateur Championship. A year ago, junior Blair Hamilton competed in the Round of 32 in match play at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., becoming the first Cougar to advance that far since 2000.
Earlier this month, Houston Women's Golf junior Raegan Bremer qualified for match play at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y.
Perras will start the day for the Cougars at 7:55 a.m. (CDT) Monday off No. 1 and will be followed by Robledo at 8:15 a.m., on the Highlands Course. McClain begins his round at 8:20 a.m., off No. 10 on the Riverside Course.
On Tuesday, the Houston trio will switch courses and starting times, going off in the afternoon. Perras begins at 1 p.m., off No. 10 on the Riverside Course with Robledo following shortly after at 1:20 p.m. McClain starts the Second Round at 1:15 p.m., off No. 1 on the Highlands Course.
All three players will have a family connection with their caddies next week at the U.S. Amateur Championship. McClain's father, Jim, and Perras' father, Rick, will tote the bags for their sons, while Robledo's uncle, Rene Rangel, will serve as caddy for his nephew.
Rangel competed for the Cougars for head coach Keith Fergus from 1990 to 1993 and tied as the Cougars' leading performer at the 1991 Southwest Conference Championships at Mira Vista Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, posting a score of 225 to tie for 13th.
ABOUT Wesley McClain
McClain was a four-year letterman for the Cougars from 2010 to 2014 and recently received his bachelor's degree in economics from the University. Competing in 37 career collegiate events, he ranks among the Cougars' top-20 career leaders with 8,230 strokes and 111 rounds.
As a senior in 2013-14, he helped lead the Cougars to the team championship at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Houston and tied for second overall at 7-under-par 209, a career low score and best finish.
ABOUT Roman Robledo
Robledo, who will be a senior with the Cougars in 2014-15, recently finished one of the finest seasons in school history. The Harlingen, Texas, native won four tournaments in 2013-14, including three straight to open the spring campaign.
His 71.24 scoring average ranks sixth in Houston single-season history, and he moved into a tie for fourth in school history with five individual titles during his career.
For his impressive achievements, Robledo was named to the PING All-America Second Team, the first Cougar to be honored so highly since Andy Sanders in 2000. He also earned places on the PING All-Central Region and All-American Athletic Conference teams.
ABOUT Michael Perras
Perras will be a freshman for the Cougars when the team opens the fall season in 2014-15. He was an All-State First Team selection as a junior at Deer Park High and won the TLJT Flodder Financial Shootout at Meadowbrook Farms.
Although this will be his first season at Houston, he has family ties with the Cougars. His grandfather, Fred Marti, competed for Houston Men's Golf from 1961 to 1963 and was a member of the Cougars' 1962 NCAA national championship team under legendary Head Coach Dave Williams.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The U.S. Amateur Championship winner receives a gold medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year, an exemption from qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open, an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Amateur Championships, an exemption from qualifying for the 2015 British Open Championship and a likely invitation to the 2015 Masters Tournament.
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