AUGUSTA, GA (April 6, 2017) -- With the winds swirling on day one of the 2017 Masters Stewart Hagestad opened with a 2-over 74.
The Southern California native was the first amateur off on Thursday and he was paired with 1987 champion Larry Mize, who also made his way around in 2-over.
Hagestad, in the field by way of his 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur victory, started his round off with a bogey before moving back to even-par with a birdie on No. 2.
Much of the remainder of the round was steady for the former USC golfer as he bogeyed three-times and birdied once more on the par-5 13th. Hagestad played the par-5's in 2-under.
With his strong first round on a day where the average score was comfortably over-par Hagestad has put himself in position to become the first ever U.S. Mid-Amateur winner to make the 36-hole cut since the Masters began extending an invitation in 1989. Nathan Smith came oh so close in 2004 but playing alongside Arnold Palmer he double-bogeyed the final hole.
“I can’t emphasize enough: it’s really, really playing tough,” Hagestad who is tied for 28th said. “If you told me I was going to shoot 74 this morning I’d be like, ‘Great. Let’s go have a beer with the boys at home with the family, play some pool, maybe get some practice in. Totally cool with that.’ ”
U.S. Amateur championship match opponents Curtis Luck and Brad Dalke shot matching 6-over 78's on day one.
With the conditions growing more difficult as the afternoon wore on both players did their best to avoid the big numbers.
Playing alongside defending champion Danny Willett Luck was able to do that but he only birdied once, on the par-5 13th, while bogeying seven-times. What will disappoint Luck the most is his three straight bogeys to close his round.
For Dalke, the Oklahoma sophomore, it was a day that was comprised of five bogeys, a double-bogey and a birdie on No. 9.
Latin American Amateur winner Tota Gana opened his tournament with a 9-over 81 that included a 15th hole birdie. Gana was the only amateur not to drop a shot on the first hole.
2016 British Amateur champion Scott Gregory was the second amateur to complete his round and unfortunately it was a struggle. Gregory started the day triple-bogey, bogey and he was never able to find his form signing for a 10-over 82. Gregory did roll in two birdies on the difficult 10th and the 13th.
-Golfweek contributed to this story