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Hagestad gets in again

U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier

USC golfer from Newport Beach earns second spot in U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier at Big Canyon, finishing two strokes behind top qualifier Graham Brockington.

July 25, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Don Leach / Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — Stewart Hagestad was certain of one thing after he played 36 holes of golf on Monday.

"I'm going to sleep really well," Hagestad said with a smile.

Hagestad deserved a good night's rest. He started the U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifier at Big Canyon Country Club with a bang and he closed it out with a round of applause.

The 6-foot-5 golfer from Newport Beach nailed an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole. Hagestad was on his way to Big Canyon's second qualifying spot and his third trip to the U.S. Amateur Championship.

A woman told Hagestad's father, John, "It looks like you're going to Wisconsin."

"I guess so," said John, who is looking forward to making the trip with his son next month to Erin Hills, host of the 111th U.S. Amateur Championship.

John saw his son turn in a four-under-par 140 performance on his home course, just two strokes back of the top qualifier, Graham Brockington. The third qualifier from the sectional was Vista's Sejun Yoon, who recorded a 141.

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Hagestad and Brockington have faced each other in college, Hagestad with USC and Brockington with Stanford.

Hagestad said he felt great before the two-round tournament because of a recent trip with his dad to Montana. Father and son might want to visit Big Sky Country more often the way Hagestad began the first round.

Hagestad fired a 66 through the first 18 holes. The number raised some eyebrows, but he has done better, once shooting a 63 at Big Canyon.

He gave himself a chance at hitting that number again. He birdied a half dozen times and eagled once. The eagle came on No. 6, a par four.

"That's when I knew I had something going and you know it might be a good day," Hagestad said.

Hagestad led the 76-player field after the first round, but he was hard on himself.

During the break, his mother, Merry, noticed his demeanor.

"Why are you not so up on yourself after such a great round in the morning?" she asked him.

"Mom, this is a long, long day and a lot of things can happen," Hagestad responded.

A lot happened in the second round to Hagestad and other golfers, especially the local ones.

Newport Beach's Ray Biggerstaff entered the second round in third with a 70. Behind him, Newport Beach's Mike Carpenter and Kevin Hayes had 71s, tying the two with three others for fifth place.

Biggerstaff and Hayes fell apart in the final 18 holes. Biggerstaff was 13 shots over in the second round and he tied for 31st at 155. Hayes was 16 over, putting him in a tie for 43rd at 159.

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