Augenstein Hopes to Repeat History


John Augenstein, who reached the semifinals in the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur as the No. 33 seed, is looking to take at least one extra step this year. (USGA/Jonathan Ernst)
By Stuart Hall
July 23, 2014

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – John Augenstein likes his position at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship.

 

That might be hard to comprehend considering the 16-year-old from Owensboro, Ky., tied for 31st in the stroke-play portion and then survived a shaky 1-up win over Keenan Huskey, 17, of Greenville, S.C., in Wednesday’s opening round of match play at The Club at Carlton Woods’ Nicklaus Course.

But he is this week’s No. 33 seed and Augenstein has mojo working in his favor.

Last year, as a 15-year-old making his debut at the U.S. Junior, Augenstein was the 33rd seed when he made a spirited run through the match-play bracket. Along the way, Augenstein knocked off top-seeded Jim Liu, 5 and 4, in the round of 32, and Sam Horsfield, this week’s co-medalist, 1 up, in the quarterfinals. Augenstein’s run ended with a 20-hole loss to eventual runner-up Davis Riley in the semifinals.

“This tournament is all about runs,” he said. “I know I’m a better player this year, but this is the sort of tournament where you could be a much better player than the other guy and still lose.

“I would definitely like to get back in that position and hopefully move forward,” he added.

Augenstein is well aware that moving forward will require him to play much better than he did in his win over Huskey, who managed to hold 1-up leads after the first and third holes. Augenstein squared the match with a birdie on the par-4 fourth hole and then won the fifth, ninth and 11th to build a 3-up lead.

“I didn’t play as well as I would have liked, but I was able to win some holes and build a lead,” Augenstein said. “Then on the back, it was back and forth, I hit some bad tee shots and didn’t hit the ball as well as I know I can.”

Over the final seven holes, Huskey won four, but only one was won with a birdie.

Augenstein admits he must tighten up his game when he faces top-seeded and co-medalist Sean Crocker, 17, of Zimbabwe, in Thursday morning’s second round.

“He’s not going to make too many bogeys, that’s for sure,” Augenstein said. “I’ve played with him before and he’s a really good player. I am going to have to bring my best to stay with him.”

With a 4-1 overall record in this championship, Augenstein acknowledges a growing penchant for the match-play format.

“I’m still learning how to play match play, how to deal with the emotional ups and downs that happen throughout the round,” said Augenstein, who is quite expressive of his emotions on the course. “You have to try and find that groove and control your emotions.”

On Wednesday, Augenstein admitted he was getting a little irritated with his erratic play and was “very disappointed how I handled some shots. But you learn from these things. Hopefully I will come out and play better. I’m going to have to.”

It will not hurt to have history in his corner.

Stuart Hall is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work has previously appeared on USGA websites. 

 

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
 
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image