U.S. Amateur finalists ready to do battle … for a Masters tee time with Tiger Woods

August 17, 2019

PINEHURST, N.C. — By the time U.S. Amateur competitors reach the weekend, they’ve thought about it. A spot in the championship match means two things: an invite to the Masters and an exemption to the U.S. Open.

It’s a brilliant piece of added motivation, and along with it comes plenty of pressure. Semifinalist William Holcomb V very matter-of-factly said Friday if he thought about it, he would not win. And he felt the same for his competitor. On Saturday, Holcomb failed to advance to the final match. Perhaps he thought about it.

Either way, those exemptions are settled now. Andy Ogletree and John Augenstein advanced to Sunday’s 36-hole gauntlet. Now all that we wait for is to see who will be crowned champion, and who will earn a tee time at Augusta National with … Tiger Woods.

The Masters Tournament customarily groups all players at random, except for the reigning champion and the U.S. Amateur champion. So Ogletree and Augenstein get to sleep on a U.S. Amateur final tee time, as well as a potential tee time with Woods, who claimed his fifth green jacket in April.

Augenstein was just moments removed from his 3&2 semifinal victory when the idea was brought to his attention for the first time.

“I hope more than anything I have that opportunity,” Augenstein pondered. “I would probably be pretty intimidated on the first tee shot of the Masters playing with the guy that I’ve idolized my whole life. And so yeah, that would be pretty — that would be fun. Hopefully I’d be able to settle down by the eighth or ninth hole. But it would be pretty cool.”

A certain level of nerves are to be expected. Woods’ recent return to the top of the golf world has prompted many players an opportunity to play with their longtime idol. It happened for Sam Burns back in February of 2018 and continues to this day, just this weekend with C.T. Pan. It often makes for a memorable round, regardless of how many strokes it takes.

Sunday’s final match will be played on Pinehurst’s No. 4 and No. 2 courses — the first final to be played on two courses — beginning at 9 a.m. ET.