Hagestad takes Low Amateur at 81st Masters
UPDATE (April 9, 2017) - A final round 73 at Augusta National Golf Club helped Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale secure low amateur honors at the 81st Masters on Sunday as he totaled 6-over 294 (74-73-74-73) for the week. As low amateur, Hagestad receives the Silver Cup, which the Masters began presenting in 1952.
Related: Dream Masters Week for Hagestad USGA
Hagestad, who edged Australian and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck for low amateur honors, tallied five birdies on Sunday, with three coming on par fives. The soon-to-be 26 year old registered 13 birdies for the week, playing the first nine in 1-over and the second nine in 5-over during his four rounds.
Luck closed the gap to just one with a birdie streak on the second nine, but Hagestad responded with birdies of his own on Nos. 13 and 14 to earn a four-shot cushion. A bogey followed on the par-three 16th, but Hagestad added pars on the finishing holes to put the exclamation point on what was a dream-like week.
"I had chills from aout 75 yards out and to have everyone just here to support me, what an honor," said Hagestad of his walk up the 18th. "I mean, this is absolutely ... why you play the game and why you practice and it's a really, realy special week for me and I'm sure the emotions will hit me here at some point."
Hagestad has a full slate ahead, beginning with a trip to Ireland, which will include play in the Irish Amateur Open (May 11-14) at Royal County Down prior to the 14th Governor Hugh L. Carey Challenge Cup, May 17-18 at Galway Bay Golf Resort. Later in the month he'll compete at the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, May 27-31.
UPDATE (April 8, 2017) - Following a third-round 74 at Augusta National Golf Club, Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale will enter Sunday's final round with a four-shot edge in his race for low amateur honors at the 81st Masters. Hagestad has tallied rounds of 74-73-74 en route to his 5-over 221 total and is tied for 32nd. A total of 53 players made the cut prior to weekend play.
Hagestad, who turns 26 on Monday, carded three birdies for the second straight day, as he took advantage on three of the four par-fives. Hagestad has tallied eight birdies for the week, playing the par-fives in 5-under.
Hagestad's final round will begin at 11:45 a.m., Sunday, and he will play alongside Daniel Berger.
UPDATE (April 7, 2017) - The Masters Tournament has extended an invitation to the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion since 1989, and on Friday afternoon Stewart Hagestad of Deepdale became the first ever to capitalize on the opportunity and make the cut at Augusta National Golf Club. Hagestad finished in style with a birdie on the par-4 18th, tallying a 1-over 73 for the round and a 3-over 147 score for 36 holes.
Related: Friday notes from the 81st Masters
After pars on his opening three holes, Hagestad converted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4-5 to quickly jump up the leader board. At one point, the reigning MGA Player of the Year stood tied for ninth. A 50-foot par save on the 10th helped brighten the stretch from Nos. 9-12 in which he tallied three bogeys; however, Hagestad steadied himself with pars on the following four holes. After a bogey on the 17th, Hagestad nearly holed his approach to 18, leaving just three feet for birdie and his 1-over 73.
Masters 2017: Stewart Hagestad | 18th Hole, Round 2 pic.twitter.com/WfpjcJca5m
— Masters Highlights (@MastersMoments) April 7, 2017
Hagestad begins the weekend tied for 19th. While the week began with five amateurs in the field, Hagestad and reigning U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck are the only two set to play the weekend. Luck is three shots behind Hagestad at 6-over 150.
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (April 6, 2017) - After playing practice rounds with the likes of Ben Crenshaw, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar and others earlier in the week, reigning MGA Player of the Year Stewart Hagestad began the Masters with a 2-over 74 on Thursday.
Related: Pre-Masters Q&A with Hagestad
Beginning play at 8:33 a.m. alongside 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize and Brian Stuard, Hagestad opened with bogey on the first but quickly bounced back by holing a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 second. Conditions grew more challenging as his round progressed as winds blew consistently above 20 miles per hour. After posting a 1-over 37 on the first nine, the 2016 Met Amateur and U.S. Mid-Am champion had a par on 10 then played Amen Corner in even par. Though he carded a bogey on the challenging par-4 11th, Hagestad got up and down for birdie from 60 yards on the par-5 13th. The 25-year old sank an eight-footer for par on 16, but dropped a shot with bogey on 17. He closed with an impressive two-putt from outside of 80 feet on the 18th green, securing his opening 74.
"I can't emphasize enough - it's really, really playing tough," Hagestad remarked in a Golfweek report.
At day's end, Hagestad's 74 placed him tied 26th in the 93-man field and as the low scorer among the five amateur competitors; Curtis Luck and Brad Dalke, the U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up, respectively, both posted 6-over 78s. On Friday, Hagestad will have the opportunity to become the first ever Mid-Amateur to make the cut at the Masters--none have done so since the winner first earned an invitation in 1989. Hagestad begins play on Friday at 11:40 a.m.