Stewart Hagestad is about to do what no amateur has in 34 years
Stewart Hagestad will return to Pebble Beach for his third straight U.S. Open (Golfweek photo)
has had his share of success in recent years.
His 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur win propelled him to a Masters low amateur finish the following spring. Last year he made deep runs at both the U.S. Amateur (Final 16) and the U.S. Mid-Amateur (Semifinals). His third-place finish at the Coleman Invitational this spring was his third straight top-4 finish there.
But on Monday at U.S. Sectional qualifying, Hagestad put himself in a position to do what no amateur has done in 34 years -- play in three straight U.S. Opens.
In the first round at Newport Beach Country Club, Hagestad the 28-year-old rebounded from a double-bogey on the par-five third in the best way possible -- he made a hole in one at the very next hole. He would finish the morning round at 3-under 68, which at the time fell outside the top five qualifying spots available, but eight birdies highlighted an afternoon 66 at Big Canyon Country Club that put him at 9-under 134. That score would just hold up, putting Hagestad through on the number.
The USGA recently changed its U.S. Open exemption criteria to include the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, but it didn't help Hagestad. He was the last U.S. Mid-Amateur champion to have to get in through qualifying, which he has now done the last three years.
The last amateur to play in three straight U.S. Opens was Jay Sigel of Pennsylvania, who played in three straight from 1983-1985. In that stretch, Sigel made the cut twice and finished as low amateur at Winged Foot in 1984 with a T43 finish. Sigel was one of America's best amateur golfers, winning two U.S. Amateurs, three U.S. Mid-Amateurs, and a British Amateur. He represented the United States on nine straight Walker Cup teams.
Hagestad has a way to go to match Sigel's 11 straight Masters appearances, and more incredibly he will have to qualify for the next 30 U.S. Opens to catch the all-time amateur record holder William C. Campbell, who played in 33 straight through 1977.
Related: 5 amateur records that will never be broken (and 5 that might be)
It should be noted that both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson played in two straight U.S. Opens as amateurs and were eligible to play in a third straight, but both turned pro beforehand.
ABOUT THE U.S. Open Final Qualifying
Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open Championship.
Played at various sites across the U.S. on the
week and half
before the U.S. Open. There is also a qualifier in
and in England. 36 holes of stroke play at each
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