Hagestad Claims U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship for the Third Time

Stewart Hagestad of Newport Beach joined the likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Bob Jones, Mickey Wright, Annika Sorenstam, Hollis Stacy, Juli Inkster, JoAnne Carner and Carol Semple Thompson as golfers who have won the same United States Golf Association title three or more times.

The 32-year-old Hagestad defeated Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, Va., 3 and 2, in the scheduled 36-hole final of the 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, N.Y., after also claiming the title in 2016 and 2021.

“Just so much joy,” said Hagestad, who joined Jay Sigel with three U.S. Mid-Am titles and is one behind record-holder Nathan Smith. “I mean, there’s so many thoughts that come into your head, good, bad, otherwise, not just throughout the day but kind of throughout the week.

“Evan is such a good player. I know that he’s one of the best in the world. He’s got a ton of horsepower, and I saw some of his matches, and I kind of had a feeling it might come down to the two of us.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought this was possible. I’m going to need a minute to kind of decompress, but there are a lot of emotions going right now.”

Hagestad, who has won numerous other amateur events, raised his match-play record in the Mid-Am to 28-4, a victory total that ties him for second with 2002 champion George Zahringer and leaves the former USC golfer 10 behind all-time leader Jerry Courville Jr.

Much like his 2021 win at Sankaty Head on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, Hagestad had to sleep on a 5-up advantage. And in that final round, Costanza cut that margin all the way to one hole before Hagestad captured his only hole of the second 18 on No. 35 to secure a 2-and-1 victory.

Heavy fog forced a finish the next day this time after multiple weather delays throughout the week, as Beck, the 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur runner-up who played at Wake Forest, and Hagestad played only the first half of the 36-hole final in the afternoon.

Hagestad, the 16th-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings sank a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 19, made a par save from about the same distance to halve No. 20 and hit an 8-iron to within four feet for another birdie on the par-3 21st for a 7-up lead when play began again the next day.

Beck, the 2021 Virginia State Open champion and a two-time winner of the Virgina State Mid-Amateur, got closer when Hagestad made bogeys Nos. 22 and 25, before Beck made a two-putt birdie from 48 feet on the 24th hole and a 15-foot birdie putt on the 28th hole to slice his deficit to 3 down.

Hagestad, who has played on four straight winning United States teams in the Walker Cup, won the 32nd hole with a five-foot par putt, and after Beck was conceded an eagle on the next hole, it was over on the 36th green, where Hagestad made a par and Beck missed a 10-footer for birdie that would have extended the match.

The victory earned Hagestad a spot in the 2024 U.S. Open on the famed No. 2 course at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C., where he competed in his first USGA Championship at the 2008 U.S. Amateur.

In addition, Hagestad probably will earn an invitation to the 2024 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga. In 2017, Hagestad became the first invited U.S. Mid-Amateur champion to make the cut and was low amateur at Augusta as well.

For complete results, visit: https://championships.usga.org/usmidamateur/2023/scoring.html

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