Ogletree alongside the famous statue of Payne Stewart – click to expand – USGA Chris Keane
21 year old Mississippi golfer, Andy Ogletree, has won the US Amateur Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, overcoming an early deficit before finally hitting the front at the 32nd hole and going on to win the 36 hole encounter 2&1 over Kentucky’s John Augenstein.
Played over both the Pinehurst No 4 and No 2 layouts, the first time two different venues have been used for the final of this time honoured and prestigious event, Augenstein began as the favourite and higher world ranked golfer but Ogletree wore him down with relentless play over the more demanding Pinehurst No 2.
3 down at lunch and after completing the Pinehurst No 4 contest of the morning, Ogletree won the opening two holes of the afternoon round and when he finally squared the match at the 31st hole the momentum had definitely swung in his favour.
He took the lead for the first time in the final with a solid par to Augenstein’s bogey at the 33th hole and then, when Augenstein made a mess of the 35th hole, it was all over.
“I showed a lot of resilience out there and never gave up,” said Ogletree, who was playing in his fifth USGA championship. “I kept telling myself I’m going to win this championship, and just always believed that.”
When asked about what this week had taught him about himself Ogletree would say; “That I can play at the highest level and perform. Basically just that.
“I felt like the more nervous I got, the better I hit it. For some people that takes a lot to learn, and it just kind of came with it today. I don’t really know. I didn’t go through training for that. I mean, no one can‑‑ you can’t be put in that situation unless you’ve been there before.
“You just kind of have to learn on the fly, and it just went my way today, and I learned that I can handle the pressure, I can handle the heat, and I can still perform.”
For winning the U.S. Amateur, Ogletree receives a gold medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for one year. His name will be on a plaque in the Hall of Champions at the USGA Golf Museum in Liberty Corner, N.J. He receives an exemption into the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
He also earns a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Amateur, a likely invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament and an exemption into the 149th Open Championship conducted by The R&A, provided he remains an amateur.
Ogletree was asked the value of the support and upbringing his parents had provided to him on his journey into and through golf to this point.
“Just being humble and being thankful for everything you’re given definitely helps me on and off the course. Yeah, I can’t say enough to my parents and friends back home, just the way they raised me and the way they made me to be, and just, yeah, I’ll never be able to thank them enough.
“But I think it definitely helps to have a good upbringing and be, I guess, held in line by your parents. I mean, I can remember breaking a golf club when I was younger, and my dad was‑‑ that’s the maddest I’ve ever seen him, I think, and he made me work to buy a new shaft and I had to play a tournament without a 56‑degree and all that kind of stuff.
“But yeah, I think all of those things definitely help, and it kind of puts into perspective that golf is sometimes not that big a deal. I mean, you could be doing a lot worse stuff than playing Pinehurst No.2 and hitting a bad shot, so it’s pretty cool.”
— USGA (@USGA) August 18, 2019