Hagestad Gets to 8 under, 7up on Beck, then Hangs on for 3rd U.S. Mid-Am Title
September 15, 2023 | 7 min.
ByMichael R Fermoyle
SCARBOROUGH, N.Y. -- Stewart. Hagestad was 3 under par in the stroke-play qualifying for the 2023 U.S. Mid-Amateur, with 69s at both Fenway Golf Club (par 70) on Saturday and Sleepy Hollow Golf Club on Sunday. That put him in a nine-was tie for seventh place, and he got the No. 14 seed for match play. In his first five matches, he was 20 under at Sleepy Hollow, which is where all the matches were played. He was even better through the first 21 holes of the championship match against No. 28 Evan Beck. The final started Thursday afternoon, and when it was suspended after 18 holes, Hagestad was 6 under and 5 up. After the match was resumed Friday morning, Hagestad made a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole and hit an 8-iron to 4 feet at the third. Suddenly, he was 8 under and 7 up.
Then things started to get iinteresting. Not that there was a lot of drama. Hagestad finally did start showing signs that he is actually human, and Beck won six of the next 12 holes. So it was no longer a blowout. But it was never a nail biter, either, and Hagestad was able to get to the finish line -- which turned out to be the 16th hole -- without ever being less than 3 up, and he claimed a 3&2 victory.
This was the third Mid-Amateur title for the 32-year-old financial analyst, who grew up in southern California (and played golf for USC) but now lives in New York City, not that far from where the Mid-Am was played.
On Wednesday, he won two matches -- the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals -- and made 14 birdies in the process. But the birdies were a lot harder to come by Thursday morning. He made only two of them in his semifinal match against the No. 18 seed, Sam Jackson, and he needed a really nifty par-saving flop shot to win the 18th hole -- and the match, 1 up.
The final was a different story. Hagestad grabbed an early lead by winning the second hole with a par and stayed 1 up by matching Beck's birdies at the 410-yard, par-4 fourth and the 470-yard, par-5 sixth. He also birdied the 218-yard, par-3 seventh and the 483-yard, par-4 eighth for a 3-up lead.
Beck is a 33-year-old former Wake Forest star who was a professional for a while and then got his amateur status back. He's been moving up in the World Amateur Golf Rankings during the last couple of years and is now No. 85, which is pretty impressive, considering that the rankings are dominated by guys in their 20s who hit drives that stay in the air for several days. Hagestad is No. 16. That's just one measure of how good he is. It is another that on Thursday afternoon, Beck had to make his third birdies just to win one hole. That came at the par-4 ninth (420 yards). It capped off a front-nine 32 for Beck -- but that didn't prevent him from being 2 down.
Hagestad increased his lead to 5 up by winning the par-5 12th and par-4 13th with birdies and the 14th with a par. He didn't make his first bogey of the final until the fourth hole Friday morning, 22 holes into the match. Beck won that one, and he won the par-5 sixth with another birdie and the long par-3 seventh with a par. He cut the deficit to 3 down when he won the par-3 10th with a birdie, but that was as close as he got., Hagestad won the 11th (hole No. 29) with a par, but Beck came right back with a birdie to win the par-5 11th.
A par at the 14th was good enough for Hagestad to go 4 up again, and he was dormie. He lost the par-5 15th to Beck's eagle, but he needed only to halve the par-3 16th with a par to gain possession of the Robert T. Jones Memorial Trophy for the third time.
In doing so, he joined some select company, tying Jay Sigel, who had been the only three-time Mid-Am winner. And only four-time champ Nathan Smith has more.
U.S. Mid-Amateur (Men's)
At Sleepy Hollow Country Club
Par 71, 6,850 yards
& at Fenway Golf Club
Par 70, 6,578 yards
Stroke play (the top 64 players advance to match play)
1. Jeronimo Esteve 67F-68SH--135
2. Scott Harvey 67F-69SH--136
T3. Sam Jones 68SH-69F--137
T3. Nate McCoy 69SH-68F--137
T3. Harry Bolton 70F-67SH--137
T3. Blair Hamm 69F-68SH--137
T7. Stewart Hagestad 69F-69SH--138
T16. Bryce Hanstad 73F-66SH--139
T28. Evan Beck 70SH-71F--141
T43. Josh Persons 70SH-72F--142
Failed to advance (16-for-14 playoff at 144)
George Ordway 73SH-75F--148
Jesse Larson 72SH-76F--148
Ben Greve 73SH-76F--149
Sammy Schmitz 72F-77SH--149
Jesse Bull 75SH-79F--154
Match play (all matches are being played at Sleepy Hollow)
Round of 64
No. 1 Jeronimo Esteve def. No. 64 Paul Mitzel 3&2
No. 2 Scott Harvey def. No. 63 Trey Cassity 2&1
No. 3 Nate McCoy def. No. 62 Charles Soule 1 up
No. 4 Sam Jones def. No. 61 Conor O'Brian 3&2
No. 60 Brice Wilkinson def. No. 5 Blair Hamm 2&1
No. 59 Jason Bataille def. No. 6 Harry Bolton 2&1
No. 58 Keith Guest def. No. 7 Chris Devlin 20 holes
No. 57 Bobby Massa def. No. 8 Derek Smith 3&2
No. 17 Bryce Hanstad def. No. 48 Justin Bryant 2&1
No. 19 Mark Costanza def. No. 46 Josh Persons 1 up
Round of 32
No. 33 Brett Patterson def. No. 1 Esteve 5&4
No. 34 Joe Du Chateau def. No. 2 Harvey 2 up
No. 3 McCoy def. No. 30 Andy Sajevic 1 up
No. 4 Jones def. No,. 36 Daniel Wittlinger 3&2
No. 28 Evan. Beck def. No. 60 Wilkinson 3&1
No. 59 Bataille def. No. 38 Todd White 2&1
No. 26 Torey Edwards def. No. 58 Guest 1 up
No. 57 Massa def. No. 40 Bradford Tilley 2&1
No. 16 Nick Maccario def. No. 17 Hanstad 2 up
Round of 16
No. 33 Brett Patterson def. No. 16 Nick Maccario 1 up
No. 18 Sam Jackson def. No. 34 Du Chateau 3&1
No. 14 Stewart Hatestad def. No. 3 Nate McCoy 3&1
No. 4 Jones def. No. 13 Jack Schultz 6&5
No. 28 Beck def. No. 21 Joseph Deraney 5&4
No. 54 Parker Edens def. No. 59 Bataille 2&1
No. 23 Stephen Behr def. No. 26 Edwards 5&4
No. 57 Massa def. No. 334 Nate Smith 19 holes
No. 33 Patterson def. No. 57 Massa 2&1
No. 28 Beck def. No., No. 4 Jones
No. 18 Jackson def. No. 23 Behr 1 up
No. 14 Hagestad def. No. 54 Edens 2&1
No. 28 Beck def. No. 33 Patterson 2&1
No. 14 Hagestad def. No. 18 Jackson 1 up
No. 14 Hagestad 5 def. No. 28 Beck 3&2