Andy Ogletree reacts after a putt on the second hole during the 119th USGA U.S. Amateur Championship 36 hole final at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club on August 18, 2019 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Georgia Tech’s Andy Ogletree wins U.S. Amateur

The Georgia Tech senior won the U.S. Amateur on Sunday with a 2 and 1 victory over Vanderbilt’s John Augenstein at Pinehurst. Jones won the U.S. Amateur five times in 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928 and 1930 and Kuchar won in 1997 as other Georgia Tech alums to win the golf tournament.

Ogletree, the No. 20 seed from Little Rock, Miss., won four of the final seven holes to earn a come-from-behind victory in the 36-hole final. He took his first lead of the match on the 32nd hole after falling behind by four holes.

“To be honest, I didn’t play that bad,” Ogletree said in a television interview following the victory. “John just got off to a great start. He is a great player. I knew it was going to be a tough match. It’s a long day. Thirty-six holes in a lot of golf. You can’t really beat yourself up over the first six. I really did a good job of staying in it. I just knew if I kept hitting fairways and greens, keep putting myself in position, it would work out.”

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

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.

Ogletree, a senior, is the first U.S. Amateur champion since Matt Kuchar won in 1997. He automatically qualifies for the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

-The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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