- USGA photo
After a year that clearly established him as the best mid-amateur of this generation, Stewart Hagestad
is the AmateurGolf.com Mid-Amateur Player of the Year for the third time.
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. This year, Hagestad ascended back to the top of the mid-amateur golf world, winning his second U.S. Mid-Amateur championship and representing a winning United States Walker Cup team for the third time.
Hagestad won his first AGC Player-of-the-Year award in 2017, the year after winning his first
U.S. Mid-Amateur, as he became the first mid-am to earn low amateur honors
at the Masters and helped the U.S. team win the Walker Cup at Los Angeles Country Club.
Players of the Year
|2021 ||Stewart Hagestad|
|2020 ||Stephen Behr|
|2019 ||Stewart Hagestad|
|2018 ||Matt Parziale|
|2017 ||Stewart Hagestad|
His second AGC POY award came in 2019, as he made more history by becoming the first amateur in 34 years
to play in three straight U.S. Open championships, and helped the U.S. retain the Walker Cup
at Royal Liverpool in England.
In the run-up to the 2021 Walker Cup, Hagestad played in a couple of major amateur events, playing well and finishing T11 at the Jones Cup in Sea Island, Ga., and T5 at the Terra Cotta Invitational in Naples, Fla.
At the Walker Cup, the U.S. clinched the win
after Hagestad won his singles match over Ben Jones of England. At the age of 30, he was the only mid-amateur to play on either team.
The next month, returning to where he first tasted Walker Cup success, Hagestad rolled to a 9-shot victory
at the George C. Thomas Invitational at Los Angeles Country Club.
Later in the summer, in a tournament known as the most grueling week in amateur golf, Hagestad finished T19 in the Western Amateur, finishing just a shot away from the match play Sweet 16.
In September he made his deepest run yet at the Crump Cup at Pine Valley, making the final match before falling to Michael Muehr, who won his fourth title
But the match play run at Pine Valley prepared him well for the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Sankaty Head Golf Club in Siasconset, Mass. Though he comfortably qualified for match play and started out strong with two decisive wins, Hagestad had to go 23 holes in the third round, gutting it out over the 2020
AGC Player-of-the-Year Stephen Behr
(Atlanta, Ga.). Ultimately Hagestad won his final three matches, including a 2&1 finals win over Mark Costanza
(Morristown, N.J.) to give him a second U.S. Mid-Amateur title
With the win, Hagestad put himself back on top of the mid-amateur golf world and will give him return trips to the Masters (his second appearance) and U.S. Open (his fourth) in 2022.
Despite his success, Hagestad still has no plans to turn pro, and has said he will reassess where he is with his golf game and what he wants his life to look like in the future.
In an exclusive interview with AmateurGolf.com
in October, Hagestad said he hadn't put too much thought into the future, but added this:
Final Mid-Amateur Ranking, 2021
"At this stage in my amateur career, most of my goals relate to USGA Championships, major championships, national team events, and anything I can do to help grow and give back to the amateur game that has given me so many incredible experiences."
Sounds like he isn't going anywhere any time soon.
Finishing as the runner-up in the 2021 Mid-Amateur points race was Garrett Rank
of Canada, who had a pair of runner-up finishes in the Porter Cup and Dogwood Invitational, as well as a Final 16 run in the U.S. Mid-Amateur. Lupton Invitational champion Joseph Deraney
was third, followed by George Burns
of Scotland and Jack Brooks