PINEHURST, N.C. – Andy Ogletree was so anxious about his semifinal match at the U.S. Amateur that he awoke at 3:15 a.m. Saturday and started wandering around his hotel room.
Can you blame him? He was playing for a spot in the Masters.
The U.S. Amateur offers arguably the greatest consolation prize in sports, with both finalists likely receiving a spot in the 2020 Masters, in addition to the U.S. Open.
“It’s hard not to think about it,” said Ogletree, who fell back asleep and then later beat Cohen Trolio, 3 and 1, to secure his spot in the championship match. “I thought about it probably more than I should have, but once I got over the shot, I just really tried to commit to what I was doing.”
Augenstein, meanwhile, said he slept better Friday night than he had all week, even with so much on the line. He looked plenty fresh in beating William Holcomb V, 3 and 2.
No player wants to get this far in the tournament and then lose, of course, but there’s even more at stake in this year’s 36-hole final.
Traditionally, the U.S. Amateur champion plays the first two rounds at Augusta National with the defending Masters champion.
That means the winner Sunday will be teeing it up alongside Tiger Woods next April.
“I hope more than anything I have that opportunity,” Augenstein said. “I would probably be pretty intimidated on the first tee shots of the Masters playing with the guy I’ve idolized my whole life. That would be fun. Hopefully I’d be able to settle down by the eighth or ninth hole.”