Hagestad rallies for Mid-Am win, Masters invite

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Stewart Hagestad birdied five of his final six holes to cap an impressive rally that netted him the U.S. Mid-Amateur title and a trip to the 2017 Masters.

Hagestad was 4 down with five holes to play in the 36-hole final against 2014 champion Scott Harvey. But he cut the deficit in half with birdies on Nos. 14 and 15, then birdied each of the last two holes of regulation to force extra holes. Once in overtime, Hagestad rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 37th hole to book his ticket to Augusta National.

Harvey held a 3-up lead after the first 18 holes, and the 38-year-old built a 5-up advantage through 25 holes as he sought to become the sixth multiple winner in tournament history. But Hagestad, who lives in Greensboro, N.C., rattled off birdies on seven of the next 12 holes to steal the title.

Hagestad's comeback win proved popular with several PGA Tour players, who tweeted their congratulations after the match:

This marked the first time in USGA history that a 36-hole final was contested across two different courses. The morning match was played on the North Course at Stonewall Links in Elverson, Pa., which the players had not seen since the stroke-play portion of the event last weekend. The second match was played on the Old Course, which had hosted each of the previous match-play rounds.

Played annually since 1981, the U.S. Mid-Amateur is open to amateur golfers age 25 and older who possess a USGA handicap index of 3.4 or better.