- Vanderbilt photo
, like many others at Augusta National on Friday morning, was in for a potentially long day. The Vanderbilt senior was out early to finish the remnants of his opening round, which was already off to a pleasant start at 1-under par through 12.
He would kick-start the 24 holes he had in front of him with a chip-in eagle at the par-5 13th, then cruise through the rest of the back nine with all pars to fire 69 in his first competitive round at The Masters.
Then after heading straight to the 10th tee to begin round two, Augenstein would continue his back nine dominance and push himself to within two shots of the lead with a bogey-free 33. He kept that going until a bogey at five and a devastating triple-bogey at seven, but remained composed and closed with birdie at eight and par at nine. The fifth-year senior can rest assured knowing he’ll get to play the weekend at Augusta, safely within the cut line at 3-under following a second-round 72.
Sitting comfortably down the left side of the fairway on 11 is the man who defeated Augenstein at the 2019 U.S. Amateur, Andy Ogletree
. A disappointing bogey at the par-5 second quickly put the former Georgia Tech golfer in a bind, but Ogletree failed to make another bogey before the horn sounded. He may have just wished he could have continued the momentum he built after back-to-back birdies at nine and 10.
He sits delicately inside the cut line at even par so Ogletree will likely need to get into red figures to join Augenstein for the final two rounds.
Unfortunately, making the cut is out of the question for the other four amateurs in this year’s field. Irishman James Sugrue
is currently the best of the group, sitting at 4-over after posting a respectable 1-under 71 in his second round.
Representing Australia and the mid-amateur contingent was Lukas Michel
, who rebounded quite nicely from a double-bogey at the 10th to open his second round. He birdied 11, 13, and 16, but would drop three straight as he made the turn and fell out of contention.
, two-time winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur, has three holes left to play in his second go-around at The Masters. The 20-year old from Beijing needed a miraculous Friday showing to make it to the weekend following his 79 a day earlier. He’ll begin the morning with a five-footer for par at the 16th while sitting at 1-over par for the round.
And for Abel Gallegos
, the day ended on a bit of a sour note. The Latin America Amateur champion had to take an unplayable lie on the second hole and closed out a bogey at the gettable par-5 before play was halted. He’ll have seven holes left when the sun comes up.
DAY ONE RECAP
Morning showers delayed play for nearly three and a half hours Thursday morning at Augusta National. And with darkness falling earlier than usual in fall compared to the usual middle-of-spring tournament, the afternoon groups were destined to lay over their opening rounds into Friday.
That will be the case for two of the six amateurs in 2020’s field, but one in particular is almost through Amen Corner at 1-under par. Vanderbilt senior John Augenstein
, in the field as the 2019 U.S. Amateur runner-up just up the road at Pinehurst, made birdies at four, eight, and nine, as well as bogeys at five and 11. He’s tied for 34th place six back of leader Paul Casey.
Defeating Augenstein at Pinehurst was Andy Ogletree
, who was paired with defending champion Tiger Woods, as tradition has it. An understandably nervy start for the former Georgia Tech player gave way to a front nine filled with more birdies than pars. Ogletree debuted at the Masters on the back side and found himself 4-over through as many holes, mostly in part to some bunker trouble at the par-3 12th. But a birdie at 15 seemed to help calm things down as he would go 2-under from then on to post 73, beating playing partner and 2019 British Open champion Shane Lowry by one.
Tied at 4-over par are 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Lukas Michel
and 2019 British Amateur winner James Sugrue
, though one is in the clubhouse and the other will be out early Friday morning to play the front nine. The Aussie Michel would have appreciated a crowd that would have surely erupted in cheers when he chipped in for birdie at the 12th. He birdied 13, as well, in what was his best stretch of the day en route to a 76.
The Irishman Sugrue will join Andrew Putnam and Green Jacket owner Jose Maria Olazabal as they try to squeeze in the remaining nine holes of their opening rounds before 18 more later in the day. Although Sugrue bogeyed more than half the holes he’s played thus far, he had a bright spot at the par-5 15th where he stuck his 245-yard second shot to 16 feet. He left his eagle try just inches shy of the cup and settled for a tap-in birdie.
Together in last place are the two youngest amateurs in the field, Yuxin Lin
and Abel Gallegos
. Lin, who is the only amateur to have played in the Masters before, had a wild start to his morning as he doubled the 10th and eagled the 15, making just one par on that side. His final nine, the front side, was less eventful and featured just four bogeys among five pars.
For the 18-year old Gallegos, his day began at the first where some inevitable first-tee jitters sent his tee shot left into the Georgia pines. He quickly bounced back with a birdie at the second before going 9-over his next 11 holes. To keep his round in the 70s, however, the young Argentine made a trio of impressive birdies at 15, 16, and 17 before a closing bogey at 18 to shoot 79.