USA Reclaims Walker Cup
The United States team reclaimed the Walker Cup, defeating Great Britain & Ireland, 19-7 at The Los Angeles Country Club. (Photo: USGA/Chris Keane)
UPDATE -- A dominating performance from start to finish earned the U.S. Walker Cup team a convincing 19-7 win over Great Britain and Ireland at The Los Angeles Country Club. Stewart Hagestad, 2016 MGA Player of the Year, went 1-1 while competing in both singles sessions close to his hometown of Newport Beach, Calif., and at the club where he's a junior member.
The USA split Saturday's opening foursomes (alternate shot) matches, 2-2, but took over in singles by winning six of the eight matches to capture an 8-4 lead heading into the final day of competition. Hagestad faced a six-hole deficit through 10 holes of play against Jack Singh Brar in his first Walker Cup action, but won the next four holes to quickly trim the deficit to just two. However, Singh Brar won the par-three 15th, then halves on the 16th closed out the match for Sing Brar, 3-and-2.
Sunday morning saw the USA extend its lead behind a 3-1 effort in foursomes to set up an 11-5 edge with the final 10 singles matches remaining. Needing just 2.5 more points to reclaim the Cup, NCAA champion Braden Thornberry quickly added one with a 6-and-5 victory. Hagestad received a second chance against Singh Brar in singles. Despite dropping the first two holes, Hagestad bounced back with three consecutive wins on Nos. 4-6 to take a 1-up advantage. A birdie-two on the ninth extended the lead to two, but Singh Brar won both Nos. 12-13 the square the match. A par-five on the 14th returned the lead to Hagestad. Following two halves, Singh Brar lost the par-four 17th by penalty as he hit the sand after his third shot failed to escape the bunker, which led to a 2-and-1 win for Hagestad.
"To have the [13th point] on my home course, in front of all my friends and family, is pretty special," Hagestad told the USGA following the match. "I think I'm going to have to take some time and sleep on this and let it marinate. But to do it in a team setting, to do it representing the United States ... it's just so gratifying."
Norman Xiong of Canyon Lake, Calif., clinched the USA win with a halve in his match against Scott Gregory. The final tally of 19-7 marks the second-largest margin of victory in the Match's history. The USA also won by 12 in the 1997 Match at Quaker Ridge in Scarsdale, N.Y., doing so by an 18-6 margin.
The 47th Walker Cup Match is set for Sept. 7-8, 2019, at Royal Liverpool, in Hoylake, England.
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (September 8, 2017) -- Stewart Hagestad's dream of being selected to the U.S. Walker Cup team was realized on August 20, when the USGA announced the squad that will take on Great Britain and Ireland. The weekend of competition is now here, as the 2016 MGA Player of the Year out of Deepdale and the U.S. team will look to reclaim the Walker Cup with 26 matches taking place over Saturday and Sunday, September 9-10, at The Los Angeles Country Club--where Hagestad is a junior member.
Related: Walker Cup Homepage
Hagestad expressed his desire to make the Walker Cup team last summer before going on a tear to claim the Met Amateur and then the U.S. Mid-Am several weeks later. The victory led to an invitation to the 2017 Masters Tournament, where he made the cut with rounds of 74-73 and eventually earned Low Amateur honors, tying 36th overall. Hagestad is the first Met Area competitor selected to the squad since George Zahringer in 2003.
"It's a dream come true and it's something I've thought about literally every day for the last two years," Hagestad recently said at Hollywood Golf Club where he tied for 10th in the 102nd Met Open Presented by Callaway. "It's an honor that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life."
The week has already presented memorable moments for Hagestad, who has been part of MGA international teams for both the Carey Cup and French-American Challenge. The U.S. squad was fully equipped with team gear early in the week and on Thursday had the honor of being joined on course by former U.S. President George W. Bush during a practice round. The opening ceremony takes place Friday, while the 46th Walker Cup Match begins on Saturday with four foursomes matches (alternate shot) in the morning and eight singles matches in the afternoon. Sunday once again features four foursome matches in the morning followed by 10 singles matches in the afternoon.
Television coverage of the Walker Cup will be available on FS1, from Noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, then Noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.