Pinehurst, N.C. – Georgia Tech senior Andy Ogletree cruised past Spencer Ralston of Gainesville, Ga., 6 and 5, Friday afternoon and advanced to the semifinals of the 119th U.S. Amateur at the Pinehurst Resort. He becomes the first Yellow Jacket to reach the semifinals of the national championship since Matt Kuchar won the title in 1997.
Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) moves on to face a fellow Mississippian, 17-year-old Cohen Trolio of West Point, Miss., in one of the semifinals matches at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. Ogletree, the No. 20 seed, and Trolio, the No. 57 seed, were the first players from the Magnolia State ever to reach the quarterfinals. Trolio, a rising high school junior, advanced Friday with a 3 and 1 victory over Austin Squires of Union, Ky.
“It’s awesome. Just speaks for Mississippi and junior golf in Mississippi,” said Ogletree. “I mean, you’ve had me, Davis Riley, Wilson Furr, Braden Thornberry, now you’ve got Cohen Trolio, Cecil Wegener, the list goes on. There’s a lot of guys from Mississippi right now, and it’s really cool.”
John Augenstein, a Vanderbilt senior from Owensboro, Ky., who is the No. 18 seed, and No. 46 William Holcomb V of Crockett, Texas, will face off in the other semifinal.
Andy Ogletree and his caddie Devin Stanton share a laugh on the third hole on the third hole during the quarterfinals at the 2019 U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2) in Village of Pinehurst, N.C. on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (Copyright USGA/Chris Keane)
Ogletree lost the opening hole Thursday with a bogey bit quickly erased the deficit with a par at the second. After a halved third hole, the Tech senior won the next four holes with a birdie and three pars. Ralston, the No. 12 seed, got one back when Ogletree bogeyed the ninth to lead 3-up. The 10th was halved, then Ogletree went birdie-par-birdie to win 11, 12 and 13 to close out the match.
“It means a lot,” said Ogletree. “I mean, this is the biggest amateur tournament in the world. It started with 7,000 [players], and now there are four. So it’s pretty cool, and I’m definitely not going to take it for granted.”
Winner of the Monroe Invitational back in June and ranked No. 120 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Ogletree is bidding to become the third Georgia Tech player to win the U.S. Amateur, joining Kuchar and Bobby Jones, who won it five times (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930). The two finalists earn invitations to the next year’s Masters Tournament, and the champion is exempt into next year’s U.S. Open.
Ogletree advanced to match play by tying for 18th place in the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the championship, then beat No. 45 Chandler Phillips, a senior at Texas A&M, 4 and 3 in the opening round Wednesday. Thursday, he defeated No. 52 Maxwell Moldovan of Unionville, Ohio, in 19 holes, in the round of 32 and No. 29 Blake Hathcoat of Fresno, Calif., 5 and 4, in the round of 16.
Tech’s top-ranked player at the end of the spring college season (No. 19), Ogletree qualified for the championship for the fourth time in five years, and last advanced to match play in 2017. The Little Rock, Miss., senior was a second-team All-American and an All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice this spring after posting four top-10 finishes, including a runner-up showing at the ACC Championship. Ranked No. 120 in the World amateur rankings, Ogletree won the Monroe Invitational and advanced to the round of 16 at the North & South Amateur.
Semifinal matches begin at 2:15 p.m. Saturday with the 36-hole championship match set Sunday. All matches through the semifinals will take place at the No. 2 course. Sunday’s 36-hole final will be played on both the No. 4 (morning round) and No. 2 (afternoon round) courses.
Ogletree’s Road to the Semifinals
- Shot 70-72—142 in stroke play to earn the No. 20 seed
- R64: def. No. 45 Chandler Phillips, 4 and 3
- R32: def. No. 52 Maxwell Moldovan, 19 holes
- R16: def. No. 28 Blake Hathcoat, 5 and 4
- QF: def. No. 12 Spencer Ralston, 6 and 5
U.S. Amateur Schedule of Competition
- Saturday, Aug. 17: Semifinal matches, match play
- Sunday, Aug. 18: Championship match (36 holes)
Andy Ogletree offers a lesson in how to win a match. He defeats Spencer Ralston 6 and 5.
— FOX Sports: Golf (@GolfonFOX) August 16, 2019
ACC NETWORK – COMING AUG. 22
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ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 25th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 59 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 29 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.