Stewart Hagestad earns Masters invite with Mid-Am victory
The 33-year-old punched his ticket to Augusta National with a win at the 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, contested this week at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. He won the 36-hole championship match 3 and 2 over Evan Beck, completing his triumph on the iconic par-3 16th overlooking the Hudson River.
“I’ve been like teetering on crying since we got done,” Hagestad said. “I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say.”
Hagestad led 5-up after the first 18 of the 36-hole final, and pushed the lead to 7-up multiple times. Over 118 holes of match play, he was 31 under, with just five bogeys and a double.
The win at Sleepy Hollow is Hagestad’s third U.S. Mid-Am title, tying him with amateur legends Nathan Smith and Jay Sigel for the second-most all-time.
“It’s anything beyond what I would have ever dreamed of,” Hagestad said. “When you’re a kid, you dream of playing in USGA events. I still remember my first one in 2008, and just the lights were so bright and the course was so long and the course was so hard, and to sit here and to look back and say that I’ve won three USGA championships, I mean, that’s unbelievable.”
The victory comes two weeks after Hagestad’s fourth Walker Cup appearance, where he went 2-1-0 at St. Andrews as he helped the Americans to a comeback victory over Great Britain and Ireland.
In addition to his third invite to play in the Masters, Hagestad’s victory comes with plenty of other perks as well. He’s exempt into the next 10 U.S. Mid-Ams, the next two U.S. Amateurs and next summer’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
“That hasn’t really hit me yet,” Hagestad said. “When I got the invitation for the 2022 Masters, I got it and immediately broke down in tears.”