The days are getting shorter, but the golf might be getting more fun? Georgia Tech senior Andy Ogletree won the U.S. Amateur, Scottie Scheffler took home the first Korn Ferry Tour Finals event, a Monday qualifier triumphed on the PGA Tour Champions, and Justin Thomas made Medinah No. 3 look like pitch-and-putt.

Barking up the wrong Ogletree

The U.S. Amateur is just the best. World-class courses, top-notch talent, match play, raw emotion… we could go on. 

Andy Ogletree emerged victorious after defeating John Augenstein 2&1 in the 36-hole championship match. Ogletree shot 70-72 in stroke-play, then defeated Chandler Phillips (4&3), Maxwell Moldovan (19 holes), Blake Hathcoat (5&4), Spencer Ralston (6&5), and Cohen Trolio (3&1) to reach the final. Four down through 11 holes in the championship match, Ogletree battled back to two down after 18, caught Augenstein on the 31st hole, and closed out the championship on the 35th hole of the day (his 114th of the tournament). U.S. Amateur Scoring

Ranked No. 120 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, Ogletree was a bit of an underdog heading into Pinehurst. Many highly ranked players dropped off early in match play, leaving Ogletree in a favorable position to rise to the top. The Tech senior had already notched a win at the Monroe Invitational this summer, but this past week at Pinehurst will be one he remembers forever. The victory gets him into the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, the 2020 Open Championship at Royal St. Georges, a spot on the Walker Cup team, and a tee time with Tiger Woods at the 2020 Masters.

While he didn’t finish the job, John Augenstein had a phenomenal week at the U.S. Am. The Vanderbilt senior trailed for just one hole over his first five matches and knocked off two top-10 amateurs in Akshay Bhatia and Ricky Castillo. An All-SEC First Team player in 2019, Augenstein will look to lead the Commodores to an NCAA title next spring.

Two other quick notes…

  • Cohen Trolio made a great run this weekend but lost in the semi-finals to Ogletree. Trolio is just 17 years old, about to enter his junior year of high school.
  • After grabbing the 64th seed via a 27-for-3 playoff, Austin Squires lost in the quarterfinals to Trolio. This was Squires’s third straight U.S. Amateur appearance and his second straight quarterfinal.

Chicago beemer steamer

Justin Thomas won the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs with a dominant performance at Medinah Country Club. JT started Saturday two shots back, shot a course-record 61, and closed out the BMW Championship with a 68 for a three-shot win. BMW Championship Leaderboard

There are just a few players in the “if they have their best stuff, they almost can’t be beat” category, Justin Thomas is one of them. His approach-shot proximity on Saturday was 15’9”, more than 20’ better than the PGA Tour average. He finished the week second in Strokes Gained: Approach and sixth in SG: Putting. This is his first win of the year, his sixth top 10, and it gets him to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Leaderboard notes

  • Patrick Cantlay made 26 birdies this week but was no match for Justin Thomas. Cantlay finished runner-up, three shots back. As a consolation prize, he earned an automatic spot on the 2019 Presidents Cup team.
  • If not for a Saturday 73, Hideki Matsuyama may have won this weekend. He shot two rounds of 63 at Medinah, finishing third, five shots back of JT.
  • Sungjae Im shot 66-67 on the weekend on his way to a T-11 finish. The 20-year-old South Korean will be the only rookie at East Lake for the Tour Championship.
  • Lucas Glover and Jason Kokrak played their way into the Tour Championship on Sunday. Glover lost his card last season, and had to regain status through Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Kokrak has consistently maintained his job as of late, but this will be his first Tour Championship appearance. Via his East Lake berth, Kokrak also earned his first tee time at the Masters Tournament.

Smokin’ hot start

Scottie Scheffler continued his strong year on the Korn Ferry Tour this weekend. The University of Texas alum won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship for his second win of the season, taking over No. 1 in the season-long top 25 in the process. Scheffler already had his 2019-2020 PGA Tour card locked up from his strong regular season, but this Korn Ferry Tour Finals win gives him the top slot in the priority ranking (for the moment). He now has two wins, two runner-ups, and four additional top-10 finishes on the year. He also made the cut in three PGA Tour events this year and qualified for the U.S. Open. Scheffler is a remarkably consistent player, and frankly it feels a bit weird that he’s not already on the big tour. 

Two shots behind Scheffler was the trio of Beau Hossler, Brendon Todd, and Ben Taylor. While none were able to snag the win, T-2 in the KFT Finals is enough for a 2019-2020 PGA Tour card. Robert Streb (T-5), Brandon Hagy (T-5), Curtis Luck (T-7), Viktor Hovland (T-11), and Harris English (T-14) were among the notables in the top 15. Leaderboard

Quick Hooks

For the first time in three years, Thomas Pieters is a winner on the European Tour. The University of Illinois product shot four rounds in the 60s to win the D+D Real Czech Masters by one shot over Adri Arnaus. Leaderboard

Monday qualifier Doug Barron won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on the PGA Tour Champions this weekend. Barron went 65-68-66 for a two-shot victory over Fred Couples. It is rare for a Monday qualifier to win on any tour, and Barron becomes the first to do it on the Champions Tour in seven years. Leaderboard

It’s now official that Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Patrick Cantlay, and Bryson DeChambeau will be on the 2019 United States Presidents Cup team. The automatic spots for the International squad went to Hideki Matsuyama, Haotong Li, C.T. Pan, Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Abe Ancer, and Cameron Smith.

The United States Walker Cup team will include John Augenstein, Akshay Bhatia, Steven Fisk, Stewart Hagestad, Cole Hammer, Andy Ogletree, John Pak, Isaiah Salinda, Alex Smalley, and Brandon Wu.

The Latest

Combating bomb and gouge: A new proposal – Medinah No. 3 and Pinehurst No. 2 presented two entirely different styles of golf this weekend. Pinehurst was firm, fast, varied, and strategic; Medinah… was not. Andy Johnson offers what you might find to be a surprising proposal for what could be done to bring back intrigue at venues not as topographically and architecturally blessed as Pinehurst. 

Into the wild: Greywalls – Last week, Andy and the Mrs. took their first trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They discovered not only an incredibly beautiful array of landscapes but also bold, adventurous, yet restrained golf course designed by Mike DeVries: the Greywalls Course at Marquette Golf Club.

Patience, young grasshopper – The national media loves to crown the Next Big Thing. This puts extraordinary pressure on young golfers, which usually does not bode well for them. Michael Geiger lays out his plea to pump the breaks when discussing fresh talent.

Shotgun Start: JT torches Medinah, whether the U.S. Am upstaged the FEC, and Todd’s revenge

Andy and Brendan return from the weekend with much to discuss and begin with results—from JT’s win on the dartboard in Chicago, to Pieters’s return to the winner’s circle, to some cards secured at the first KFT finals event, and finally to Doug Barron, the longshot Monday qualifier who won on the Champions Tour. In the not-playing-for-cash department, they review the finals of the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst, comparing the conditions and style of that championship to the FedEx Cup event at Medinah. Is the core golf fan tuning out the FEC in favor of something like the two amateurs the last two weeks, and if so, does that even matter? The comments from Adam Scott and Tiger Woods on distance and the one club that’s become the most important while also the easiest to hit are given full review. A painful “dump in the cup” segment does not play favorites, but on the KFT, they reconnect with an old friend and prepare for a full year of #ToddWatch. They wrap by discussing the auto-qualifiers for the Presidents Cup teams and the USA Walker Cup roster. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.

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Patrick Cantlay and Hideki Matsuyama were two holes behind on Saturday. By the time they finished, our coffee was cold. Don’t let your coffee get cold. Grab a Fried Egg tumbler and keep your cup of joe at its proper temp. Buy yours today!