Saturday, August 17, 2019

BMW Championship -- Day Three Wrap-Up

It's a shame I decided to take a nap, because I missed one of the best rounds of golf you will ever see.  Justin Thomas put on a spectacular show at Medinah today, shooting an 11-under par sixty-one in order to pull away from the field.

On the other hand, a major problem with trying to treat the BMW Championship as a major tournament is that the course is not set up like a major.  The scores this week look more like the best golfers in the world are at Paxton Park than at a famous old country club.

Anyway, the golf world is better when Justin Thomas is playing well, and we will hope he can win tomorrow.

In retrospect, I should have been following the U.S. Amateur, which is also being played this weekend, and which is an actual major tournament.  This year, they're playing the Amateur at Pinehurst Number Two, and one of the great stories of the week is another Kentuckian -- John Augenstein.  Augenstein played his high school golf for Owensboro Catholic and now plays for Vandy.  Here's what he's done so far:

In the round of 64, he played Ryan Smith, a rising high school senior from Carlsbad, Calif.  He beat Smith 6 and 4.

In the round of 32, he played Akshay Bhatia, the top-ranked player in the country under 18.  He beat Bhatia 4 and 2.

In the round of 16, he played Ricky Castillo, the number-9 amateur in the world.  Castillo just graduated from high school, and he will be playing for Florida in the fall.  He also had the second-best score of anyone in the qualifying rounds at the Amateur.  This was a great match.  After eight holes, Augenstein was 4-up.  But then Castillo won the 10th hole with an eagle, the 11th hole with a birdie, and the 12th hole with another birdie.  Now Augenstein was only one up.  But he parred the last six holes in a row -- and all Castillo could do was match him par for par.  With the one-up victory, Augenstein moved into the quarter-finals.

In the quarterfinals, Augenstein faced Palmer Jackson, who just graduated from high school in Murrysville, Pa. and who will be playing at Notre Dame in the fall.  Augenstein was 3-up after five holes, but lost the eighth and ninth holes due to bogeys.  But he righted the ship, and the next five holes were halved.  Jackson then bogeyed the 15th and 16th holes, and Augenstein had a 3 and 2 victory.

In the semifinals, Augenstein faced William Holcomb V from Crockett, Tex.  Holcomb is a rising senior at Sam Houston State.  Holcomb birdied the third hole to go 1-up.  Augenstein tied him with a par on the 4th.  Holcomb then bogeyed the 6th and 7th holes, and found himself 2 down.  But he birdied the 9th and was only 1 down.  The next four holes were halved, but Holcomb lost the 14th with a bogey.  When Augenstein won the 16th with a birdie, he had a 3 and 2 victory and a trip to tomorrow's 36-hole final.

So Kentucky golfers are going for a double tomorrow.  Justin Thomas -- of Louisville St. Xavier and the University of Alabama -- will be trying to win the BMW Championship.  John Augenstein -- of Owensboro Catholic and Vanderbilt University -- will be trying to win the U.S. Amateur.  He will be taking on Andy Ogletree, a rising senior at Georgia Tech.

Meanwhile, here are the scores from Medinah:

1.  J. Thomas-21 (65+69+61=195)

T2.  T. Finau-15 (67+66+68=201)
T2.  P. Cantlay-15 (66+67+68=201)

4.  R. Sabbatini (RSA):  -14 (67+68+67=202)

5.  J. Rahm (ESP):  -13 (68+69+66=203)

T6.  B. Snedeker-12 (66+71+67=204)
T6.  C. Conners (CAN):  -12 (69+66+69=204)
T6.  L. Glover-12 (66+69+69=204

T9.  K. Kisner-11 (68+68+69=205)
T9.  X. Schauffele-11 (67+68+70=205)
T9.  H. Matsuyama (JPN):  -11 (69+63+73=205)

1 comment:

  1. Oh, and the A's beat Houston 8-4. Oakland is now only 6 1/2 games behind the Astros.