Augenstein, U.S. squad take aim at Walker Cup

John Augenstein

Owensboro's John Augenstein and the rest of the United States contingent are ready to take aim at a Walker Cup championship Saturday and Sunday at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

The top 10 amateur players in the U.S. will be squaring off against the top 10 amateurs from Great Britain and Ireland in the 47th edition of what is generally considered the amateur equivalent of the famed Ryder Cup.

Augenstein, a former star at Owensboro Catholic High School and senior All-American at Vanderbilt University, expressed deep appreciation of being named to the U.S. squad shortly after his runner-up finish in the U.S. Amateur last month in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

"I'm very proud of being selected for the Walker Cup," Augenstein told the media. "That was a major goal, obviously."

Joining Augenstein on the U.S. team will be U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree, Cole Hammer, Akshay Bhatia, Stewart Hagestad, Steven Fisk, John Pak, Isaiah Salinda, Alex Smalley, and Brandon Wu.

The event is played across two days with 18 singles matches and eight foursomes (alternate-shot) matches.

With a total of 26 points available, a team must secure 13.5 to win the championship, although the team in possession of the Walker Cup can retain it with 13 points.

The United States team arrives in England as defending champion following a dominant performance in 2017, when they posted a 19-7 victory at Los Angeles Country Club.

Team USA holds the overall series lead at 36-9-1. In the 15 meetings since 1989, however, the Americans have just an 8-7 advantage.

The event is named after George Herbert Walker, former president of the United States Golf Association. He was the grandfather of George H.W. Bush and the great grandfather of George W. Bush -- the 41st and 43rd presidents of the United States of America.

Royal Liverpool itself has a long, distinguished history of golfing first. It hosted the inaugural men's amateur championship in 1885, which became The Amateur Championship, and it staged the first transatlantic match between GB&I and the USA, which soon after became the Walker Cup in 1922.

Royal Liverpool has hosted only one Walker Cup. In 1983, the USA won 13-5-10.5.

Televised highlights of the Walker Cup will be aired on the Golf Channel during the weekend.

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