Augenstein rests, waits on potential call for U.S. Open

John Augenstein

John Augenstein concedes he is worn out.

The former Owensboro Catholic High School and current Vanderbilt University star has had a whirlwind spring on the golf course, and Augenstein is relishing the opportunity to catch up on some rest this week in Owensboro.

"I'm tired," Augenstein said Monday evening, after returning from Roland, Arkansas, where he represented the United States in the Arnold Palmer Cup last week. "I don't think I've slept past 6:15 (a.m.) in the past month."

There remains, however, a chance that Augenstein won't sleep much this week, either, as he is a 2nd alternate for participation in the fabled U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at Pebble Beach, California.

"You never know," he said. "I want to stay optimistic that I might get in. I'm always preparing to play, so I'll be ready if I get the call. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

"It would be a real honor to play in the U.S. Open, of course, but if it doesn't work out this week, I believe there will be other opportunities for me in the years to come."

Augenstein came within a single shot of qualifying outright for the event on June 3 in Purchase, N.Y. -- a triple-bogey on No. 17 in the final round being the crippling blow in a round of 75. Augenstein shot a 69 in the opening round of qualifying on June 2.

"That was very frustrating because I didn't play anywhere near my best golf and I still just missed it by one shot," he said. "But it was also a learning experience and that's part of the game, as well."

Augenstein's Team USA wound up losing to the International team in the Palmer Cup at the Alotian Club, but that did little to damper the overall experience.

"It was one of the most memorable weeks in my entire golf career," Augenstein said. "It was so special to learn about Arnold Palmer's legacy, his footprint on the game, and how he continues to grow the game even though he has passed.

"It was really cool to meet new people in the game, enhance friendships, and there's just nothing quite like representing your country -- that was so much fun and a very rewarding experience."

Now, Augenstein waits -- and rests.

"I definitely need some rest," he said, "but if I do get that call, I'll be off to Pebble Beach."

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