Sports News

Stewart Hagestad notches another win at 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur

undefinedSCARBOROUGH, N.Y. – Mark Costanza saw it coming.

After qualifying for match play at the 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur, the 38-year-old from New Jersey gave the bracket a customary once over. He quickly took note of a familiar name.

Stewart Hagestad.

“You see the draw before you even play the first match,” Costanza said following a suspension-free day at Sleepy Hollow Country Club, which has endured all kinds of weather this week. “You think you might match up again. There is certainly a revenge factor that I was seeking. I was ready to play.”

It’s been a couple of years since they last tangled. Hagestad eliminated Costanza in the 2021 U.S. Mid-Am final at Sankaty Head Golf Club on Nantucket.

Costanza was dialed in Tuesday, advancing to the Round of 32 by rolling in birdie putts at 17th and 18th.

Hagestad was ready, too.

The 32-year-old has a lengthy USGA resume that includes a pair of Mid-Am wins. And he just celebrated a fourth Walker Cup victory at St. Andrews.

Hagestad is moving on again after coming through with a 2-and-1 victory.

“I played great,” Costanza said. “I think I can hold my head up high. I was 5-under with no bogeys and he just beat me. He’s a great champion.”

Hagestad collected seven birdies and will face Nate McCoy (Ankeny, Iowa) in the Round of 16.

“I knew he would be a bit more prepared for this one,” said the California native, who’s had work-related stints in New York and won MGA Player of the Year honors in 2016. “It’s not the finals, but at the same time, he knows that he is one of the better players in the field, and he’s very capable of making a deep run. I think maybe in the last few years he’s realized just how good he is. Before we went off, I tried to collect myself because I knew it was going to be a good one.”

Mark Costanza reacts to a birdie putt on the 18th green at Sleepy Hollow Country Club that gave the Morristown, N.J. resident a 1-up win in the Round of 64 at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship on Sept. 12, (Photo: Mike Dougherty/Journal News)

McCoy is the son of Hagestad’s most recent Walker Cup team captain, Mike McCoy.

Nobody in the field knows the layout at Sleepy Hollow like Brad Tilley, a longtime member of the host club. Nobody had the kind of gallery support the 40-year-old Westchester native and Connecticut resident enjoyed all week, either.

I there was an extra measure of internal pressure it was only because home games are rare in golf.

“It was just love and support from them,” Tilley said of the membership. “I know what kind of opportunity this was. No one is going to know these greens better than me. Usually that’s a huge advantage in match play.”

He finished a 2-up victory over David Szymanski (East Lansing, Mich.) in the Round of 64 on Tuesday and maintained that momentum after lunch until Bobby Massa (Dallas) went next level on the back nine in the Round of 32.

Tilley had a few timely answers but fell 2 and 1.

“(Massa) just kind of turned it on and then I turned it back on top of him and he kept it going,” he said. “We both made a lot of birdies on the back. That stretch of holes, that’s what match play is all about. I know my friends and the members wanted to see me on the other end of that, but I am sure it was a fun match for them to watch.”

Notes: He did pick up his first-ever match play win, but the run of medalist Jeronimo Esteve (Orlando, Fla.) came to an end with a 5-and-4 loss to Brett Patterson (Oxford, Miss.) in the Round of 32. “I’m a fat old guy, so I’ve been riding the bike and training at home to get ready for this week,” said Esteve, 42, a native of Puerto Rico who owns three car dealerships. He is also a cancer survivor. “I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011,” he said. “I’m lucky we caught it early. So far, so good, man. This sounds weird but getting cancer was really good for me. It helped me shift my balance. I worked really, really hard, maybe too many hours before I got sick, and this showed me there are other things in life. I really enjoy every day now. Really. This has been a fun week.” … Sleepy Hollow member Bill Murray was at the club watching. He caddied for Kailin Downs when the club hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2002. … With more rain expected Wednesday, the USGA will be sending players off two tees to speed play.

Mike Dougherty covers golf for The Journal News and Follow along on X/Twitter @lohudgolf.

Related Articles

Back to top button