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Headline: From the MGA Four-Ball to the PGA Tour... South Hadley's Richy Werenski Is Enjoying His Journey on the Web.com Tour and Now Beyond
For Immediate Release: August 22, 2016
|In 2013, Richy Werenski won the MGA Four-Ball title (below)... in 2016 he scored his first-ever Web.com Tour victory|
Norton, MA — Two weeks ago, Richy Werenski was heading home to Jupiter, Florida. It is a ride that the 24-year-old has made many times, but this one was different.
One day earlier, Werenski finished in solo second place at the Web.com Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship held in Springfield, Missouri. The solid finish vaulted him past Ollie Schniederjans into second place on the Tour’s money list with $336,370 in earnings.
With two events to play in the Regular Season, and all four Web.com Tour Finals events to be contested which count toward the year-long money list standings, Werenski has all but assured himself a spot on the PGA Tour for the 2016-17 season.
The top 25 players on the Web.com Tour’s money list earn a PGA Tour card. The 25th player on last year’s Web.com money list earned $161,102.
“It is pretty awesome obviously,” said Werenski. “If you had asked me last year I would have said that my game wasn’t good enough. Now this year after the work that I have put in during the off season with the statistics-based training and Every Ball Counts has transformed my game and I feel totally ready.”
At the age of 24, Werenski is just two years removed from Georgia Institute of Technology where he was a member of three ACC championship teams. However, his experience rivals some of the most seasoned veterans.
A native of South Hadley, Werenski grew up next door to The Orchards Golf Club. He left home to attend Heritage Academy in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina at a time when most of his boyhood friends were looking forward to attending the local high school.
But Werenski was different.
Born into a family of avid golfers (his father Michael is a former PGA club professional, his brother Mickey plays on the Texas A&M golf team and his mother Sue was a former scholarship golfer at Rollins College), Werenski knew from an early age that golf was more than just a passion… it was hopefully going to be part of his life and livelihood.
The sacrifices made at an early age paid off.
Werenski went on to earn a spot on the golf team at Georgia Tech where he played for four seasons under Bruce Heppler. He was twice on the five-man team that reached the NCAA Championships. He also won the 2012 Porter Cup, one of the most prestigious titles in amateur golf.
“It is pretty awesome,” said Werenski. “I have worked my whole life to get here and now it is a reality. It is making me want to work that much harder.”
Hard work has been a hallmark of Werenski’s style.
Upon his graduation from Georgia Tech, Werenski was selected and participated in the Golf Channel's Big Break The Palm Beaches. He not only competed, but he finished first to earn an exemption into the PGA TOUR's Barbasol Championship.
During his rookie season on the Web.com Tour - in 2015 - Werenski posted four top-25 finishes on his way to a 79th-place finish on the money list.
Fast forward to 2016 and Werenski’s outlook has changed. It is now not about if he will earn a card, but where he will finish on the money list and how he can prepare his game for the big show next season.
“My game feels really solid right now,” said Werenski. “I started off the year with a strong game and felt good, but the last couple of months has been iffy. It hasn’t been far off but not where it was. I worked with my coach down in Jupiter a couple of weeks during off the weeks. We worked on the same stuff as last off season and went back to basics and that helped out.”
The recent second-place finish was no doubt a confidence booster for Werenski as it ended a streak of five consecutive missed cuts. In 19 starts this year, Werenski has posted four top-10 finishes, with all four coming in the form of a win and three runners-ups.
His biggest break this year came in May when he won the BMW Charity Pro-Am held in Greenville, South Carolina. Werenski closed with birdies on Nos. 12, 15 and 16 to post 21-under 265 with a final-round 65, good for his first Web.com Tour title and the event’s $121,500 first-place prize.
“Last year was my first year and I learned a lot,” said Werenski. “I learned how to deal with the travel and schedule and that is the toughest part. When you have four or five weeks in a row you are playing a lot of golf and your body is tired. You have to learn how to deal with that. I am practicing better and managing my time better now. I am more productive now and don’t spend as many hours on the putting green and driving range.”
Werenski is quick to credit his instructor Darren May and the entire team at Every Ball Counts, which based out of Jupiter, Florida.
“We have a system and we do a full assessment to see what areas we need to work on,” said Werenski. “I will work out in the morning [during the off weeks and off season] and then work with my coach and then go into full process training on the range.”
One month ago, Werenski made the decision to relocate from Hilton Head, South Carolina to Jupiter to be closer to his team.
“You have to hit in the fairways because the rough is nasty and it is hard to control distance out of the rough,” said Werenski. “But in the end it comes down to the putter. On courses where you have to shoot 24 under, you have to make putts.”
While Werenski eyes even more travel next year on the PGA Tour, his roots will always be grounded back in the Bay State. His parents continue to reside in South Hadley, although Werenski admits that his father is able to sneak out to watch “about 40 percent” of his events.
He will also forever be a part of MGA Championship history.
In addition to playing in numerous MGA events over the years beginning when he was a junior, Werenski won the MGA Four-Ball Championship with his brother Mickey in 2013.
Just last year, Werenski was scheduled to compete in the MGA Open Championship but was forced to withdraw after he learned that he would be competing at the Web.com's Rust-Oleum Championship in Lakewood Country Club in West Lake, Ohio.
Along the way, he has enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other Massachusetts natives who are currently competing on the Web.com Tour with him. Included in that impressive list are two-time MGA Amateur Champion James Driscoll, 2008 MGA Open Champion Jim Renner and the 1998 MGA Player of the Year, Justin Peters.
“Jim and James have really taken me under their wings,” said Werenski. “The whole experience has been fun and I have made a lot of friends. I have my group of six or seven guys who we call on for practice round matches.”
With just a few more Web.com events left, Werenski is already preparing for his first PGA Tour event – the Frys.com Open - which will be held in Napa Valley, California in October.
“I am starting to pick guys brains about it,” said Werenski. “For the most part it’s not much different competition wise. Everyone tells me that if you can win on the Web.com Tour, you can win on the PGA Tour. It happens a good bit now.”
And for the kid from South Hadley, winning on the PGA Tour would be yet another dream come true.