AGC Staff Picks: Favorite moments from the 2023 year in Amateur Golf
As we move into the new year and the new year of Amateur Golf, it would not feel right unless we look back and reminisce on the amazing year that 2023 was. From great storylines, dominant victories, and stories of triumph, 2023 was rich with memories. Here are some of the AmateurGolf.com's staff's favorites.
The Maxwell Moldovan and Alex Schaake eight-hole playoff to earn a spot in the U.S. Open. Being in attendance for that was truly incredible to watch, as the talented golfers went back and forth, hitting great shot after great shot.
Also, the United States winning a thrilling Walker Cup over Great Britain and Ireland was incredibly fun to watch at the home of golf.
Related: THE 49TH WALKER CUP: A DOMINANT SUNDAY FOR THE UNITED STATES SECURES THE WIN
Rose Zhang overcoming the pressure and earning her Augusta National Women's Amateur title in a two-hole playoff over Jenny Bae.
Related: ROSE ZHANG SURVIVES A WILD FINAL ROUND TO WIN THE AUGUSTA NATIONAL WOMEN'S AMATEUR
What a way to cap off an incredible career of amateur and collegiate golf. And then, winning almost immediately on the LPGA Tour in a down-the-stretch duel with Jennifer Kupcho, the inaugural ANWA champ in 2019, making her presence known immediately as a professional.
Stewart Hagestad’s September was something else. After narrowly missing out on making U.S. Amateur matchplay because of a 10 on the fifth hole at Colorado Golf Club, Hagestad traveled to St. Andrews for his fourth straight Walker Cup as the wily veteran. He helped the team come back from an early deficit to win his fourth Walker Cup. Then he took home his third U.S. Mid-Amateur at Sleepy Hollow - his second in three years. He capped off the month with a Crump Cup win at Pine Valley. Pretty incredible stuff.
It seems the line between amateur and professional is getting blurrier with every passing year. This year, Sam Bennett found himself in the maelstrom at Augusta in the final round on Saturday. He fired back-to-back rounds of 68 to find himself in the group with two major champions.
Related: THE MASTERS: A WEEK SAM BENNETT WILL NEVER FORGET
Ludvig Aberg and Rose Zhang, the two Haskins Award winners from 2023 turned pro and proved that they belonged, both winning professional events early in their career. One has to wonder if we’ll see an amateur breakthrough and win a PGA Tour or LPGA Tour event in the near future. Probably needs to happen before the rollback.
Watching 2022 U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett getting into the final group with Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka at the Masters.
I also agree with Pete, watching Rose Zhang overcoming dumping it into the water at No. 15 at Augusta National and winning the only major amateur tournament that had eluded her was a site to see.
I enjoyed watching 13-year-old Kartik Singh from India make the cut and become the youngest ever to do so at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne in Australia.
Related: ASIA-PACIFIC AMATEUR: KARTIK SINGH BECOMES YOUNGEST EVER TO MAKE THE CUT
Also watching the top Indian amateur, Avani Prashanth, win the LET Access Series pro event in Sweden.