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Hagestad feels right at home

SCGA Amateur Championship

Big Canyon member climbs to second and is in the final pairing with leader Patel in SCGA Amateur.

July 21, 2012|By Bryce Alderton
  • Bhavik Patel of Bakersfield leads after three rounds at the 113th SCGA Amateur Championship at Big Canyon Country Club.
Bhavik Patel of Bakersfield leads after three rounds… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — This week is becoming quite memorable for Stewart Hagestad.

The 21-year-old Big Canyon Country Club member qualified for his fourth United States Amateur championship at the Old Works Golf Course in Anaconda, Mont., on Monday. Then Saturday at his home course he shot a three-under-par 69 to move into second place after 54 holes of the Southern California Golf Assn. Amateur championship.

Hagestad, playing the SCGA Amateur for the first time, is four-under (70-73-69—212) for the tournament, trailing leader Bhavik Patel of Bakersfield (71-71-67—209) by three shots. Patel, the 2011 California Amateur champion, entered the third round three shots behind first-round leader Xander Schauffele of San Diego, but played a bogey-free round with five birdies, including three of the four par-fives.

Hagestad and Patel will play together in the final group beginning at 8:39 a.m. Sunday. Tee times begin at 7 a.m.

"This is what you practice and play for," Hagestad said. "I told my mom and dad, 'The goal is to be there on Sunday on the back nine. That feeling for us as players, that is what you want to put yourself in.' I feel like I have as good a chance as any. [I'll] do the best I can, and hopefully give everyone at Big Canyon, friends and family, mom and dad, something to root for."

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Hagestad, who plays for USC, entered the third round in third place, four shots off the lead. He shot one-under on the front nine before making his move with three birdies and a bogey on his final four holes. Hagestad and playing partner Manav Shah of Bakersfield were spurred in part after they finished the eighth hole.

A rules official told the two players to speed up their pace. The official told someone that he clocked Hagestad taking from one minute, five seconds to a minute 11 seconds to hit once he stood over the ball.

"I took it for what it was; I felt like I was paying fast enough," Hagestad said. "I like to be thorough with what I'm doing. I'm one of the players who would like to be meticulous. I didn't feel like we were playing slow. I had a feeling like there would be a logjam on [holes] 14, 15, 16 holes, in the past they've slowed up play. I tried to walk a little quicker to the ball."

Hagestad birdied both 15 and 16, bogeyed 17, and birdied the par-five 18th.

Hagestad hit his drive right on 16, but punched out with a five-iron, giving himself a wedge shot into the green. He hit his approach to two feet and sank the putt.

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