Vanderbilt golfer grabs Players Amateur lead heading into final round

Vanderbilt’s John Augenstein shot a 3-under 68 to take the lead at the 19th annual Players Amateur at Berkeley Hall Golf Club on Saturday.

The Kentucky native has a history of playing well on the North Course. Last year, he shot three rounds in the 60s and finished tied for fifth.

Augenstein, who grew up vacationing at Hilton Head Island, settled down after Friday’s up-and-down round by shooting two bogeys and five birdies.

“I love this golf course. The greens are perfect. I feel like I have putted well this week. I haven’t necessarily played great yet, but I have always kept the ball in front of me and have been able to score when I needed to,” Augenstein said.

A win Sunday earns the contestant an exemption into the 2019 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, South Carolina’s only PGA TOUR event.

“Honestly, there is a lot of golf left to be played. I know I am in a good position, but I still have to go out there and play well tomorrow. There is going to be a lot of guys out there gunning for me,” Augenstein said.

One of those guys is Andy Zhang. The Florida Gator is sitting in second place after a third-round 71 that included four bogeys, giving him a three-day total of 10 under. Ohio State’s Will Grimmer and New Zealander Daniel Hillier are two shots back.

Former Hilton Head Christian standout Bryson Nimmer is tied for eighth, seven shots back. Nimmer had a birdie and eagle on his first two holes but struggled after that, including a triple bogey on No. 15.

The final round gets underway Sunday at 7 am at Berkeley Hall Golf Club. Admission is free and the tournament is open to the public.