Azalea Invitational: Stewart Hagestad aims for wire-to-wire win
Stewart Hagestad (USGA Photo)
Stewart Hagestad (USGA Photo)

On a day when the weather was good and the winds were down, scores were low in the Azalea Invitational at the Country Club of Charleston. After 54 holes, Stewart Hagestad will sleep on the lead for the third straight night with a one-shot lead.

On a perfect day for scoring, Hagestad spun his wheels as each of his three birdies was erased by a bogey. His three-shot lead has shrunk to one shot as a trio of players reached six-under par.

Calahan Keever has improved his score by one shot each day with rounds of 70-69-68. It was a rather pedestrian Saturday until Keever eagled the par-5 15th and birdied the 18th hole to jump from 3-under par to 6 under in the blink of an eye.

A 66 from Brett Patterson, which included five birdies and a ninth-hole eagle has hiM in the hunt. The Oxford, Mississippi native reached the U.S. Mid-Amateur semi-final in 2023. He missed out on battling Stewart Hagestad in the final after losing to Evan Beck. He’ll have his shot on Sunday at the Azalea to try and topple the 3-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.

Hayes Brown shot a 65, the round of the day, to jump from the middle of the pack to one shot off the lead. A 65 would have surprised even Brown after he dropped shots on the opening two holes. An eagle on the fifth hole and birdies on 7 and 8 got the 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur semi-finalist rolling. A flawless 31 on the back, with birdies on hole Nos. 2, 14, 15, and 17, has Brown firmly in the mix.

Two shots behind the lead is Oklahoma sophomore Matthew Troutman who had a similar start to Brown. He made a bogey on the second hole and then a double bogey on the third to fall to two-over par for the tournament 9 shots behind Hagestad at the time. Then he ripped off eight birdies en route to a 66. It was a stretch of golf reminiscent of his Oklahoma teammate P.J. Maybank, who broke the Azalea scoring record last year on his way to the title.

Patrick McCann is the only player at four-under par. He also fired a 65 on Saturday.

The 54-hole cut was made at 9-over par heading into the final day tomorrow.

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Stewart Hagestad widened his lead to three shots in the Azalea Invitational following a 2-under 69 on Friday at the Country Club of Charleston. 

The reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion had a quieter scorecard in the second round. After notching six birdies on day 1, Hagestad made three on Friday on hole Nos. 5, 13, and 14. His lone bogey came on the 11th hole.

College of Charleston freshman Miles Eubanks started the day one behind Hagestad; a 71 on Friday helped him maintain his second place position but he’s now three shots back. It could have been a lot worse for Eubanks, as he played the first seven holes in 3-over par. Birdies on hole Nos. 8, 10, 12, and 13 saved his round. 

Eubanks does have company in the second spot. Finley Bartlett shot a 70 to reach 4-under par. Kevin Grady had the round of the day, his 68 helped him climb into a tie for second. Brad Tilley also shot a 68 to match Grady’s impressive round. 

After an opening 67, high school junior Parker Severs shot 72 and will begin the third round four shots behind Hagestad. Callahan Keever, Peyton Blackard, Sam Jackson, and Marc Dull are also all at 3-under par.

Following tomorrow’s round, the field will be cut to the top 60 before Sunday’s final round.

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Crump Cup: Another September triumph for Hagestad as rain shortens event


The first round of the Azalea finished with a legendary mid-amateur alone at the top of the leaderboard after shooting a 5-under 66.

Stewart Hagestad’s last time in the golf spotlight was in the Pan-Am games in November; he finished 16th.  Hagestad’s fall was marked by a trio of wins in the Walker Cup, U.S. Mid-Amateur, and the Crump Cup. 

Now, he’d like to add another win to his resume, and he’s off to a good start. Hagestad kicked off the Azalea with birdies on holes No. 1 and 2 en route to an opening 33 at the Country Club of Charleston. Overall, Hagestad made six birdies, with his only blemish coming on the third hole. 

Sitting one shot off the lead are Miles Eubanks of Warrenville, S.C., and Parker Severs of Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Sever is a junior at Lakewood Ranch High School. If it weren’t for a dropped shot on the 16th hole, Severs would have finished Thursday atop the leaderboard. An eagle on the par-5 fifth hole was the highlight of Severs’ round. The youngster finished second in the 2023 Dixie this past December.

Eubanks, a freshman at the College of Charleston, has yet to tee it up for the Cougars; however, this round might catch coach Mitch Krywulycz’s eye. Eubanks made two eagles on the day. First, he made a two on the 12th hole and then made a three on the par-5 15th. He shot a 31 on the back nine with a bogey on the 18th hole.

Hagestad is currently ranked No. 4 in the Mid-Amateur Rankings.

Four players shot 4-under 68 - Finley Bartlett, Matthew TroutmanNate Gahman, and Nicholas Arcement to set up a competitive fight over the next 54 holes.

A quick scan down the leaderboard will show a former NFL quarterback shot a 71 in the opening round. Tony Romo had a rather tidy card, making nine straight pars on his front nine. He dropped a shot on hole Nos. 10 and 18. His only birdie came on the 13th hole.

Players have 36 more holes to get inside the 60-player cut, which will happen on Saturday before Sunday’s final round.

Results: Azalea Invitational
1CAStewart HagestadNewport Beach, CA50066-69-71-70=276
2KYMatthew TroutmanLouisville, KY40068-73-67-69=277
3INPeyton BlackardFort Branch, IN30070-69-72-67=278
4FLPatrick McCannTallahassee, FL30075-69-65-70=279
T5SCAustin LangdaleTownville, SC30073-70-68-69=280

View full results for Azalea Invitational

ABOUT THE Azalea Invitational

72-hole stroke play championship with a 54-hole cut on a 1925 Seth Raynor design. Good mix of college players, juniors and mid amateurs. 7 spots available in a qualifier. Impressive list of past champions at this traditional event. Reigning USGA champs often use this tournament as a tune-up for the Masters.

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