Stewart Hagestad (USGA photo)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 25, 2018) – There are two favorites still standing at the U.S. Mid-Amateur. One of them is mostly known to locals – that would be Charlotte native Brett Boner
. The other is a past champion, a seasoned veteran of this highest level of amateur golf and a man who had to overcome a considerable bit of experience on Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals. That would be Stewart Hagestad
At 27, Hagestad hasn’t had time to collect the sheering playing experience that his opponents brought to Tuesday’s matches at Charlotte Country Club. Hagestad met U.S. Senior Amateur champion Jeff Wilson in the second round of match play and beat him, 3 and 2. He then faced off against 59-year-old Matthew Sughrue
, the oldest competitor to make match play. Hagestad won that match by a 3-and-2 margin as well.
“Yeah, I remember it was either [2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion] Sammy Schmitz or someone else,” said Hagestad, “but they said that getting through the first day is good, but to make it through the second day, that is where a lot of cool things can happen with exemptions and just maybe a little bit more attention as far as the event or prestige or whatever.
“I played two really, really strong seniors today and I'm happy to be moving on.”
Hagestad, the 2016 Mid-Amateur champion who went on to be low amateur at the 2017 Masters, is the clear favorite. After all, we’ve seen him on this stage before. Plus, he’s the only one who has seen this part of the championship. Seven of the eight remaining players are first-time quarterfinalists in any USGA championship.
Medalist Stephen Behr, 25, of Florence, S.C., would have brought some intrigue to a quarterfinal match-up against Hagestad, only Behr didn’t last that long. Leading by one hole with two to play against Rusty Mosley
, 36, of Vidalia, Ga., Behr saw his opponent win holes 17 and 18 with pars for a 1-up victory.
Mosley, a former Florida State player, closed out the match in dramatic fashion by converting a 25-foot downhill putt after Behr pushed his approach into the right greenside bunker. Behr’s third shot went into the bunker on the opposite side of the green and then he nearly holed his fourth shot, setting the stage for Mosley’s heroics.
“Biggest putt of my life so far,” said Mosley, who is competing in his first U.S. Mid-Amateur. “Pretty neat.”
was another notable winner on Tuesday. Schonbaum started match play by knocking off defending champion Matt Parziale. The 27-year-old Argentinian defeated David Bolen and Grant Schroeder and is now the only international player left on the bracket.
Schonbaum is vying to be the first foreign-born champion in U.S. Mid-Amateur history. Canadians Garrett Rank (2012) and Warren Sye (1995), and South-African born Wayne Raath (2000) are the only international players to reach a final.
As for the locals, Boner’s path to the quarterfinals was far from easy. He went 22 holes with Germany’s Claudio Consul on Tuesday morning, then knocked off Kory Bowman in the afternoon, 4 and 3.
“I took a shower, changed clothes, put on a new pair of socks and a couple Band-Aids,” he said of the short turnaround. “And, yeah, once I got off the first tee and hit a solid tee shot, I'm like, ‘Just stick to your routine.’ My whole thing this week has been routine, commit and, accept.”
, a Cary, N.C., native who played for the University of North Carolina, is also in the quarterfinals. O'Connell won the Monroe Invitational earlier in the summer.
Information from the USGA used in this report
ABOUT THE U.S. Mid-Amateur
The U.S. Mid-Amateur originated in 1981 for the
amateur golfer of at least 25 years of age, the
purpose of which to provide a formal national
championship for the post-college player. 264
begin the championship with two rounds of sroke
qualifying held at two courses, after which the low
(with a playoff if necessary to get the exact number)
advance to single elimination match play.
View Complete Tournament Information