CHAMPIONS
Champions Update: Harvey Rallies to Win Coleman Title May 1, 2017 By David Shefter, USGA

Winning the Coleman Invitational at Seminole Golf Club was emotional for 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Scott Harvey. (USGA/Chris Keane)

A budding rivalry is taking place in the mid-amateur ranks between two of the most recent U.S. Mid-Amateur champions.

Depsite a 13-year age difference, Scott Harvey, who turns 39 on May 30, and Stewart Hagestad, 26, have waged some exciting battles since Hagestad turned 25 and became eligible for mid-amateur competitions.

Hagestad birdied five of the last six holes to register an epic comeback against Harvey, the 2014 champion, in the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship last September at Stonewall in Elverson, Pa., winning on the 37th hole after trailing by four holes with six to play.

Earlier that year, Harvey edged Hagestad at the George Thomas Invitational at The Los Angeles Country Club, site of this year’s Walker Cup Match and a place where Hagestad has a junior membership.

The two were also the only mid-amateurs invited to the Walker Cup practice session in December at L.A.C.C.

This past weekend in Florida, the two were again involved in a final-round battle. Hagestad owned the 36-hole lead by two strokes in the annual George L. Coleman Invitational at Seminole Country Club, but it was Harvey who hoisted the trophy after gutting out a final-round, 2-over-par 74 in breezy conditions for a one-stroke victory. 

Hagestad, who in April became just the second reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion to earn low-amateur honors in the Masters, struggled to a 78 to finish fourth, two strokes behind Harvey.

This was an emotional victory for Harvey because his late father, Bill, had won the Senior Division of this prestigious event in 1993 and 1994. Bill Harvey, one of the more accomplished amateurs in North Carolina history, passed away in 2013, and when Scott won the U.S. Mid-Amateur a year later at Saucon Valley Country Club, he talked fondly about the influence he had on his golf career. Bill also loved Seminole and this invitational for mid-amateur and senior golfers.

“He died three and a half years ago and there hasn’t been a day I haven’t thought about him,” said Harvey, who finished at even-par 216. “Winning this [event] was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life.”

Since claiming the U.S. Mid-Amateur title, Harvey has accomplished plenty, including a spot on the 2015 USA Walker Cup Team. He certainly would love another Walker Cup opportunity this September. USA captain John “Spider” Miller attended the Coleman and had a chance to watch Harvey and Hagestad.

Harvey’s upcoming schedule includes the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club with partner Todd Mitchell, U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J., as well as the Porter Cup, Western Amateur and U.S. Amateur, where he garnered the final match-play spot last August at Oakland Hills Country Club after a seven-hole playoff.

Hagestad, No. 212 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking™, will have a similar itinerary leading up to this summer’s U.S. Amateur. Despite his final-round struggles in the Coleman, he was happy for Harvey. While the two are golf rivals, they have also become friends off the course. Before last fall’s championship match, they dined together.

“If it wasn’t me, there’s nobody else in the field I would want more to win it than him,” Hagestad told Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte. “This means the world to him because he’s now on the board [in the Seminole locker room] with his father.”

Another USGA champion went wire to wire in taking the Senior Division title. Doug Hanzel, the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion, posted 2-under 214 to edge two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Tim Jackson by one stroke.

Stasi Again Prevails in Florida Women’s Mid-Amateur

Ever since the Florida State Golf Association began conducting a women’s mid-amateur competition for in 2013, one name has dominated: Meghan Stasi. The four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion collected her fourth title in five playings – she did not compete in 2015 – this past weekend at Sugar Mill Country Club in New Smyrna Beach, in a playoff.

Stasi, 38, of Overland Park, Fla., holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to defeat 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior runner-up Ina Kim, of Jupiter, Fla. Stasi also won at Sugar Mill last year.

“A good start on the summer,” said Stasi, who is set to play in the U.S Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship May 27-31 at The Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with partner Dawn Woodard.

Stasi remains the last mid-amateur to have competed for the USA in the Curtis Cup Match. That came nine years ago at St. Andrews, where the Americans rolled to a 13-7 victory on the Old Course.

Kerr Defeated in Playoff

Cristie Kerr, 2007 U.S. Women’s Open champion, is approaching 40, but you would hardly know it by her last two performances on the LPGA Tour. Kerr, 39, lost in a six-hole playoff to Haru Nomura, of Japan, on Sunday in the Volunteers of America Shootout at Las Colinas Country Club in Dallas. This came two weeks after her win in The Lotte Championship in Hawaii, her 19th on the LPGA Tour.

Kerr has definitely become an anomaly on a tour that has been heavily tilted toward millennials.

“I had a great comeback to even get into the playoff,” said Kerr, who carded an even-par 35 over the final nine holes in gusty conditions while Nomura squandered a five-stroke lead by shooting a second-nine 40. “I had her on that second playoff hole when I was behind the green, and I just made an error and you can’t do that in playoffs. You have to take advantage of when you have the chance, and I didn’t do that, so I lost.”

Nevertheless, this should put Kerr in the conversation as a pre-championship favorite for the U.S. Women’s Open in July at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., a layout she has played multiple times.

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.

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