So how does Newport Beach's Stewart Hagestad prepare for his fourth United States Amateur Championship in the last five years?
Answer: Win four matches to reach the final of the fifth Southern California Golf Association Match Play Championships at Sandpiper Golf Club in Goleta.
Hagestad, a Big Canyon Country Club member and incoming USC senior, took Notre Dame's Niall Platt to the 17th hole in Wednesday's final before Platt pulled out a two-and-one victory.
Platt took the early lead on Hagestad with a birdie and eagle in the first five holes. Hagestad, playing the course for the first time this week, birdied the first hole and remained on Platt's heels. Hagestad parred the 13th hole, a 532-yard par-five, to trim Platt's lead to one up. Platt regained the lead for good with a par on the par-five 15th hole, while Hagestad bogeyed.
The tournament started Monday with 32 players, four of whom will play in the U.S. Amateur that begins Monday at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.