John Augenstein (Players Am photo)
BLUFFTON, S.C. (July 14, 2018) – One of the biggest elements of drama at the Players Amateur is that there’s an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage – the only PGA Tour event in South Carolina -- on the line. It’s a coveted thing for an amateur golfer, and for John Augenstein
, that’s particularly true.
Augenstein isn’t a South Carolina native (he’s from Kentucky), but he has memories of his family vacationing on Hilton Head Island, the site of the event. The rising junior at Vanderbilt has a two-shot cushion after three rounds at Berkeley Hall Club. A third-round 3-under 68 dropped him to 12-under for the event.
A year ago, Augenstein authored a similar story here. He posted three sub-70 rounds only to fall two shots short of a playoff for the first place. He’s not getting ahead of himself yet, though.
“Honestly, there is a lot of golf left to be played,” Augenstein said. “I know I am in a good position but I still have to go out there and play well tomorrow. There is going to be a lot of guys out there gunning for me.”
Augenstein had already had two top-10 finishes in major amateur events this summer: a T-6 at the Northeast Amateur and a T-4 at the Sunnehanna Amateur.
So far this week, Augenstein has made 16 birdies at Berkeley Hall, a course that seems to set up well for his game.
“I love this golf course,” he said. “The greens are perfect. I feel like I have putted well this week. I haven’t necessarily played great yet, but I have always kept the ball in front of me and have been able to score when I needed to.”
Andy Zhang is close on Augenstein’s heels with a round to go. The Florida standout fired a second-round 63 to climb into a share of the lead entering the weekend. He’ll enter the final round two shots back.
Ohio State’s Will Grimmer, who was T-13 here last year, and New Zealand native Philip Knowles remains within striking distance, too. Rounds of 69-68-69 left him at 7 under for the week and five shots behind Augenstein. Keep in mind that Knowles fired a final-round 64 a year ago to enter a playoff against Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer that he ultimately won.
ABOUT THE Players Amateur
While competing in the 1999 US Amateur
Championship at Pebble Beach, former US
Team members, Duke Delcher and Tom
discussed the formation of a premier 72-hole
play amateur golf tournament. The inaugural
Amateur was held the next summer. Former
Open Champion, Ben Curtis, was the winner of
2000 event. In 2004, the Heritage Classic
began running the event. The Heritage Classic
Foundation was formed in 1987 as a 501 (c) (3),
for-profit organization, it serves as the
and financial oversight group for the PGA Tour
Heritage Classic. The Foundation distributes all
charitable funds generated from the tournaments
charity. The winner of The Players Amateur gets
exemption into the PGA Tour RBC Heritage
well as the Master of the Amateurs tournament
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