Stewart Hagestad became the first U.S. Mid-Amateur champ to
earn low amateur honors at the Masters (Augusta.com photo)
After a breakout year that saw him become a household name, Stewart Hagestad
is the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Player of the Year.
The AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Player of the Year is awarded based on a point system earned through performance in major amateur events throughout the course of the year.
So much of what Hagestad did in 2017 can be traced to what happened in on September 15, 2016. It was then, late in the 36-hole U.S. Mid-Amateur final, that Hagestad found himself four holes down with five to play against 2014 champion Scott Harvey. Needing to play near-perfect golf to pull out the win, Hagestad did just that
, making birdies on five of the next six holes, including a 14-footer for the championship on the 37th hole.
The Masters invitation
that followed set up his entire 2017 season.
Final Mid-Amateur Ranking, 2017
Hagestad started 2017 by representing the U.S. at the South American Amateur, where he finished tied for 24th. He then finished tied for 36th at the Jones Cup in Georgia.
It was at the Masters in April that Hagestad elevated his profile and realized a dream, first becoming the first U.S. Mid-Amateur champion to make the cut
, and then finishing in a tie for 26th and winning the Silver Cup as the low amateur
. That put him inside Butler Cabin with Sergio Garcia for the green jacket presentation on TV, and then at the formal ceremony in front of the Augusta National membership and the media.
After the Masters, Hagestad turned his focus to making the U.S. Walker Cup team
His next tournament was the Coleman Invitational at Seminole, where he carried the lead into the final round
before finishing fourth.
In May, Hagestad traveled to Ireland to play in two events: the Irish Open, in which he tied for 13th, and the Carey Cup
, a team match between the Metropolitan Golf Association and the Golfing Union of Ireland.
He returned to the U.S. and qualified for the U.S. Open
, and played in his second consecutive professional major at Erin Hills.
Over the summer, Hagestad had good finishes in the Northeast Amateur, the Trans-Mississippi Championship, and the Pacific Coast Amateur as he prepared for the U.S. Amateur. After the U.S. Amateur, his second dream was realized when he was named to the U.S. Walker Cup team
The next month at L.A. Country Club, Team USA won the Walker Cup
over Great Britain & Ireland, with Hagestad defeating Jack Singh Brar in his Sunday singles match.
Hagestad closed out his 2017 season by making match play in both the Crump Cup and the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
He finishes 2017 #1 in the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Rankings
, ahead of Owen Edwards of Wales. Harvey finished third, with Garrett Rank of Canada fourth and Justin Tereshko of Greensboro, NC fifth.
Matt Parziale, who succeeded Hagestad as U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, ends the year eighth in the rankings.