Stewart Hagestad wins his first Azalea Invitational
Stewart Hagestad (USGA Photo)
Stewart Hagestad (USGA Photo)

Stewart Hagestadcan add the Azalea to his long list of triumphs in his illustrious amateur career after holding off a late charge from Matthew Troutman at the Country Club of Charleston.

On Thursday, Hagestad raced out to the top of the leaderboard with an opening round 66 for a one-shot lead. A 69 in the second round opened up the lead to three shots. As players below him shot low rounds on Saturday and Sunday, Hagestad maintained the lead he developed in the opening two rounds and finished at 8-under par.

The win didn’t come easily, though. After an even-par 71 in the third round, three players were lined up one shot behind Hagestad. Hayes Brown fired a 65 on Saturday, while Brett Patterson shot a 66, and Calahan Keever shot 68 to set up a dramatic final round.

However, each of those three couldn’t get anything going on the front nine and slowly drifted down the leaderboard. Peyton Blackard a high school junior from Indiana, shot a 67 on Sunday to jump into contention and finished in third place at six-under par.

CC of Charleston proved to be a tough match for Hagestad on Sunday, too. He made a double-bogey on the par-3 fifth to drop to five-under par. However, it was the only hole he’d play over par all day. He made a birdie on the ninth hole and then shot a 33 on the back nine with birdies on holes No. 13 and 16.

Hagestad is currently ranked No. 4 in the Mid-Amateur Rankings. He recently won the 2023 U.S. Mid-Amateur and the 2023 Crump Cup.

U.S. Mid-Am: Stewart Hagestad enters rarified air with third win
Crump Cup: Another September triumph for Hagestad as rain shortens event

The birdie on 16 proved pivotal, as the Oklahoma sophomore Matthew Troutman, who started the day three shots behind Hagastad, made three birdies on the back nine to reach seven-under par on the 17th tee. However, Troutman, who was playing one group ahead of Hagestad, made bogey on the par 3.

Hagestad arrived at the 17th hole after just making a birdie on the 16th. Troutman’s bogey dropped him out of the lead and it was too late to try and get it back. He made par on 18 while Hagestad played the final two holes in even par to sign for a 70 and his first Azalea victory.

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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