Andy Ogletree defeated John Augenstein on the 35th hole at Pinehurst this past Sunday giving the Tech senior the biggest title of his life. The day started with Ogletree trailing throughout the first course. Olgetree caught up finally on the 31st hole, taking a stroke lead on the following hole that he would not yield for the remainder of the tournament.
The win opens many doors for Olgetree moving forward. Ogletree now has an invitation to next year’s U.S. Open, the Masters and next year’s Open Championship, giving the Tech golfer an opportunity to prove himself on the world’s biggest stages. Not only that, but also with the way the pairings are set up in Augusta, the young star will be able to play alongside Tiger Woods in the Masters.
Being just the third Tech player to ever win the event and the first in over 20 years, the importance of the win cannot be overstated. Some other notable champions of the tournament include Arnold Palmer, Woods, Tech alumni Bobby Jones — who won 5 times between 1924 and 1930 — and Matt Kuchar, who took home the crown in 1997. Ogletree will head to England to play in the Walker Cup, where the amateur American team and the amateur British and Irish team will face off.
The path of Ogletree’s success can be traced all the way back to Little Rock, Mississippi. Growing up with a driving range and putting green in his yard, golf was always a part of Ogletree’s life. Olgetree trained in the game from a young age and was a standout in high school, lettering six times in varsity golf and earning Mississippi High School Golfer of the Year accolades.
The senior phenom has recently attempted to better manage his time in training, with more focus being given to his short game. Ogletree has never been one to be too distraught.The calm demeanor of the champion helped secure him a very big victory after an unacceptable performance, instead choosing to focus on the next hole. In fact, Ogletree and his caddy, Tech’s new golf assistant coach Devin Stanton, were seen cracking jokes as they walked through the course. The calm demeanor of the champion helped secure him a big victory coming off of a somewhat mild year for Tech. Last fall, having played in three events, the senior finished in the top-20 in just two of them. Ogletree was ranked just no. 120 in the World Amateur rankings entering the tournament, a distant cry from Augustine at no. 38.
How did Ogletree shock the golfing world, then? Short game. Ogletree was unsatisfied with his performance on chips and putts entering last year, so with the help of Tech golf coach Bruce Heppler, the senior went to work on drilling and practicing his short game to make it the best it could be. Ogletree’s improvement continued quietly and steadily throughout the year, but it bubbled up to the surface at the Amateur, where it proved to be the difference maker on the last holes of the course, helping Ogletree put away Augustine for good.
What’s next for the reigning champ? Class. Tech’s school year started the day after the tournament finished, and like any student-athlete, Ogletree still had to show up for classes.
Ogletree will hit the links soon enough, however. While the senior will likely miss Tech’s first big tournament of the year, the Carpet Capital Collegiate, he’ll have good reason for it. Ogletree will represent the US in the Walker Cup as the team plays against the Irish/Great Britain team in England at the same time of the CCC, in addition to his further responsibilities as Amateur champion. All in a days work for a rising Tech star.