There’s a noble reason the U.S. Mid-Am champ conceded an 8-foot putt
Stewart Hagestad has added another trophy to his mantle — or, more to the point, the same trophy another time.
Hagestad won the 40th U.S. Mid-Amateur Friday afternoon, holding off Mark Costanza for a 2-and-1 victory at Sankaty Head Golf Club, his second time hoisting the Robert T. Jones Memorial trophy.
“I’m speechless,” Hagestad said. “I can’t stop smiling. It’s something I’ve set as a goal for myself for a long time, and I’m thrilled.”
The win adds to Hagestad’s decorated resume; he has become the most recognizable mid-amateur in golf over the last decade. In addition to two U.S. Mid-Am wins, he’s also won the Metropolitan Amateur and appeared on three victorious Walker Cup teams.
And while his win in Massachusetts added another impressive bullet point, it was an act of sportsmanship in the quarterfinal that may come to define his march to the title.
Locked in a heated battled with Christian Sease on Wednesday, Hagestad moved his marker on the 14th green so as not to interfere with his opponent’s line. However, in the heat of the moment, Hagestad forgot to move his mark back — until Sease reminded him to move back his mark. If Hagestad had failed to do so, Sease would have won the hole at a pivotal point in the match.
After remarking his ball, Hagestad missed his birdie try and then immediately conceded Sease’s eight-footer for par as a thank you to his opponent.
“It just felt like the right thing to do to give him the eight-footer,” Hagestad said. “He could have easily said nothing, and I could have lost the hole. It’s more important to be a good guy than anything else. Obviously winning the hole is a plus, but it was the right thing to do, and I would do it again.”
Hagestad went on to win the match 2 up on his way to winning the title two days later.