The rather impressive action of Andy Ogletree – courtesy of USGA Chris Keane
Amateur golf’s most significant event, the US Amateur Championship, has reached the Finals in Pinehurst in North Carolina with Mississippi’s Andy Ogletree and Kentucky’s John Augustein to face off in tomorrow’s 36 hole final.
The championship match will be played over Pinehurst Resort’s No 2 and No 4 courses, both used in the stroke-play qualifying earlier in the week before the knockout matches leading into today’s semi-finals focused on Pinehurst No 2.
Ogletree defeated 17-year old Cohen Trilio 3&1 in today’s semi while Augustein accounted for William Holcomb 3&2.
Both finalists are 21 years of age and are in their final years at their respective colleges, Ogletree at Georgia State and Augustein at Vanderbilt. It is not since Matt Kuchar in 1997 that Georgia State has had a finalist in the US Amateur Championship and since Luke List in 2004 for Vanderbilt.
Augustein is ranked more than 80 places higher than Ogletree in the World Amateur rankings but match-play works in strange ways as was evident on Wednesday when the Medallist, Brandon Wu, was eliminated by the 64th ranked qualifier Austin Squires in the opening round of match-play.
Augustein was buoyed today by a text from the leader of the BMW Championship, Justin Thomas, amongst others, prior to the semi final.
“Last night I slept awesome and felt great. I got lots of encouragement, and talked to Theo [Humphrey, a 2017 U.S. Amateur semifinalist from Vanderbilt], who was in my position a couple years back about what he kind of felt going into that round, and then also was fortunate enough to get a text from Justin Thomas about what he was feeling when he was going through it. Talking to both of those guys really helped me.”
Ogletree might be ranked lower than his opponent but is motivated by some comments about the credentials held by both finalists.
“I’ve actually never played with John, which is crazy, because we’ve grown up playing the same tournaments forever, and we play Vanderbilt in a lot of tournaments.
“I know he’s a competitor. A lot of people say he’s a bulldog. But I actually just saw a Tweet that said John is the only one with credentials here. That’s kind of got me motivated and ready to go tomorrow.”
Both players have earned berths in the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot G.C., as well as likely invitations to the 2020 Masters Tournament. The winner will also earn a spot on the 2019 USA Walker Cup Team and in the 2020 Open Championship, conducted by The R&A.
Augustein in action today – photo USGA / Chris Keane