Union native wins U.S. Amateur Golf championship


A Union, Mississippi native took down the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship on Sunday. Andy Ogletree of Union rallied to beat John Augenstein 2 and 1.

Ogletree graduated from Union High School and currently is in college at Georgia Tech.

Ogletree’s win means he has qualified for the Masters, U.S. Open, and the Open Championship. Traditionally, the winner of the Amateur Championship is paired with the previous winner of the Masters. That would mean Ogletree could play with Tiger Woods in August in 2020.

Ogletree was 4 down early in the morning round of the 36-hole final at Pinehurst’s renovated No. 4, but won four of the final seven holes on the No. 2 course to claim the championship matchup of 21-year-old college seniors.

The Mississippian became the third Georgia Tech player to win the U.S. Amateur, joining Matt Kuchar and Bobby Jones.

He ended it on the 17th, sticking his tee shot on the par-3 hole on the green and two-putting for par. Augenstein placed his tee shot on the left fringe and four-putted for a double bogey.

Augenstein, from Kentucky, was the first Vanderbilt player to reach the final since Luke List in 2004. At No. 38 in the world amateur ranking, he was the highest-ranked player to reach the semifinals and the only one in the top 100.

Ogletree kept himself within striking distance and was never worse than 2 down during the afternoon round. He squared the match on the 13th hole after landing his second shot within 5 feet of the flagstick and tapping in for a birdie, then took the lead on the 14th after Augenstein pushed a short par putt wide left.

This was the first time the U.S. Amateur’s final was split over two courses, finishing at No. 2, which has become a regular USGA championship host. Overlooking the 18th green is a statue of the late Payne Stewart marking his victory in the 1999 U.S. Open with a fist-pump.

During match play, neither of these players saw it very often.

Only one of Ogletree’s matches reached the 18th while three ended on the 15th hole or earlier. For Augenstein, four of his first five matches were wrapped up by the 16th, and — until the final four holes of the final — the only time he trailed came on the third hole of his semifinal match with William Holcomb V. Holcomb’s 1-up lead was gone a hole later.

Early on, it looked as though this was Augenstein’s match to lose. He went ahead 4 up during his hot start that included winning four straight holes and three birdies in a row on Nos. 3-5. Ogletree clawed back, finished the morning round at 2 down to begin his comeback.