SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Aug. 9, 2012) -- The SCGA Match Play Championship has never been won by anyone but a collegiate golfer, and this year was no different as Niall Platt of the University of Notre Dame captured the 5th SCGA Match Play Championship title with a 2 & 1 victory of USC's Stewart Hagestad. The victory is the first SCGA win for Platt."It feels great," said Platt after the round.
"I putted really well and was able to take advantage of some opportunities. I really didn't have any expectations coming into the tournament so to pull this out feels pretty special."
Platt took a 1 up advantage on Hagestad with an eagle on the first hole of the match, a 524-yard par 5, a lead the Santa Barbara native would never relinquish. The match remained close throughout, however, with Hagestad never allowing Platt to take more than a two hole advantage.
Finding himself 2 down through 10, Hagestad was able to win the 11th hole with an impressive up and down, after pulling his second shot well left of the green. Platt made what may have been the putt of the match on the 341-yard par 4 12th hole, however, sinking a 30-footer to squash any momentum Hagestad may have gained.
Despite allowing Hagestad to once again pull within one with four holes to play, Platt won hole 15 when Hagestad 3-putted for bogey to just about put the match out of his opponent's reach.Platt, who entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed, defeated Ryan Indovina, David Kim, Gary Robinson and Ronnald Monaco en route to his title.
He had an dominant 5 & 3 victory over Monaco in his semifinal round Wednesday morning, shooting 5-under during the 15 holes played."The course is kind to ball-strikers, and I did that well today," said Platt, who said despite living in the area hadn't played Sandpiper GC since the summer of 2010.
Platt finished his 17-hole final round with one eagle, two birdies and three bogeys. Hagestad carded one birdie and two bogeys. His strong finish in the tournament comes on the heels of a fourth-place finish at the SCGA Amateur Championship last month. He will compete in the U.S. Amateur Championship next week.
Southern California (SCGA) Match Play Championship: Top Finishers