Clutch Performance: John Augenstein clinches Walker Cup for U.S.

photo of John Augenstein putting on a glove while on a golf course
Joe Howell/Vanderbilt


Vanderbilt golfer John Augenstein showed his match-play prowess at the 47th Walker Cup, clinching the victory for the United States at Royal Liverpool on Sept. 8. Augenstein, one of only four American players to play in all four of the matches, posted a record of two wins, one draw and one loss at the competition, which pits the 10 best male amateur golfers from the U.S. against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland. Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth are among the golfers who represented the U.S. in the Walker Cup earlier in their careers.

“I didn’t know that my match this afternoon was the clinching point, but it really doesn’t matter who clinched it,” said Augenstein, a senior from Owensboro, Kentucky. “The fact is that we’re a team, and we won the Walker Cup for each other and for the United States.”

The U.S. trailed 7 to 5 entering the last day of the competition but earned 2.5 of the 4 available points in foursomes and then dominated singles play in the afternoon, winning 8 of the possible 10 points to take the match 15.5 to 10.5. The American victory was the first on European soil since 2007.

“We’re all so proud of John,” said Scott Limbaugh, head coach of the Vanderbilt men’s golf team. “This is a great day for that team, and they certainly showed a lot of resilience in how they competed today.”

Augenstein joins Hunter Stewart, BA’15, as the only two Commodores to be named to a Walker Cup team. Augenstein found out he’d won a spot in the competition after coming in second at the U.S. Amateur championship in August—a performance that also earned him exemptions into the 2020 Masters and 2020 U.S. Open.

He is recipient of the Steve and Nicholas Zeppos Scholarship, the Robert Benson Memorial Golf Scholarship, and the Toby Wilt Athletic Scholarship.