U.S. Amateur Championship

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Bandon, Oregon, USA

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Stewart Hagestad

Quick Quotes

Q. Talk about how things went.

STEWART HAGESTAD: He's really good, and I made the mistake last year, and all credit to him, of underestimating Maxwell Moldovan. I tried not to do the same, even though I didn't know a ton about his game, because you don't know the juniors as much, you know the college kids. That kid can play. I think he had a poor tee shot on 1 and 3, and other than that, aside from 18, he played really, really solid.

I don't know, I stayed patient and played great. It's obviously tough to kind of back up a nice round coming off of yesterday, but I played real hard and stayed patient and was lucky to make a couple birdies when I needed them and pull out the win.

Q. Was that wedge on 17 particularly difficult knowing that he had a fairly easy putt just off the green uphill and you needed to probably get a birdie on that hole?

STEWART HAGESTAD: It's funny, I even noticed like just personally like out there, I wasn't as nervous as I was in years past. It's not in any way to say that I didn't care, but I was a little bit more comfortable with the position, whether -- obviously you hope you win, but if you play great and get beat, that's easier to take. I knew that I was playing some solid golf, and if I continued to execute, hopefully we could make it close. I just had a feeling that if we could get it to 18 or even get it to extra holes, I was either due to make a putt or maybe I could just continue to do my thing. I don't know, I'm obviously thrilled with how it worked out. I'm bummed for him, but it was a nice -- I'd like to think I'm a good wedge player. I had a good number.

Q. What was the number you had?

STEWART HAGESTAD: I think we had 19, and I played it 16 for a big, firm bounce. It was very similar to like how we played the shot yesterday, just with a touch more wind.

Q. How about the approach shot here at 18; what did you have?

STEWART HAGESTAD: The thought off the tee -- that's tricky because if I hit a good drive, because I have like a lower ball flight, then I'm going to creep it into those bunkers. But I figured if I hit a real good drive, one, it puts pressure on him, but then two, maybe you can get there in two, even with the wind kind of humming off the left. You can run one up. I think I just cheated a little further left than I wanted and tugged it just a touch.

The second shot was not a great lie, so the fact that it ended up kind of in the light rough was unfortunate, but in retrospect maybe it helped a little to kind of cut through the wind a little bit and I didn't have to worry about the spin as much. On that shot I think I had -- I want to say I had somewhere between 95 and 100. You have to ask Casey, I'm not sure. And then I played it like 110, because when it's in that light stuff it's almost more about judging the spin correctly, and the only place you can't hit it in that situation is way long, so you're kind of protecting against that. But yeah, that was a real nice one when I needed it.

Q. What's it like to see a young kid like that go through what he did on the last hole, just hitting the lip of the bunker on the second shot?

STEWART HAGESTAD: I won't swear, but it sucks. Like you've been there before. I've been in the playoff this morning. I've had matches where I felt like I played great and lost or was leading the whole way or whatever. I've obviously been on the opposite side of it as today.

But to be where he is, one, at 18 years old, like in the U.S. Am, I don't want this in any way to come off as arrogant, but if I at 18 years of age played a two-time Walker Cupper that had played in a few majors, I'd be terrified. I'd be 3 down the first tee. So the fact that he came out swinging and had me 2-down at one point, he's got a ton of game. He hit a quick hook off the first tee, and like to fight through that on a day where it's blowing, I mean, he's got a ton of game. It's obvious because he won the Latin American Am. He's only going to continue to get better. It sucks in the moment. It's terrible, and it's a total bummer. I feel for him as an older person. But he's only going to get better from it. As I said, where he is today, he's got the Masters in a few months. I think he has the British Open, as well, is what he said. He's only going to continue to get better. It's just kind of however he wants to take it. You could make the same argument with Collin Morikawa; he took Colonial as a learning experience and now he's won twice since then. If he takes it in the right way, he'll be fine. He'll be better for it.

Q. What's the furthest you've gone in match play in the Am?

STEWART HAGESTAD: Round of 16, I lost to Isaiah Salinda on 18.

Q. Was that at Pebble?


Q. What are you thinking walking up to the 12th tee, you're 2-down, and also, do all your experiences come to the forefront when you're in that situation?

STEWART HAGESTAD: Well, that's a great question. I mean, at 12 I wasn't stressed out yet. I knew that I had to execute and to continue doing -- hitting good shots. But at that point it's not like it was getting any easier, and I was kind of hoping that it would blow a little -- one, lower ball flight, two, experience like you just mentioned, and then three, just because the longer it goes, again, I'm not going to pull the Brooks Koepka experience card, but I'm more comfortable now than I maybe would have been in years prior.

You know, being 2-down, you make, what, a 20-footer and maybe he hits a poor shot, you're not that far out of it. If you're 3-down that's a lot, but 2 you're okay.

I mean, I hit the green in two -- if you go to 13, I hit the green in two like 18 feet and he left it way short of that green, and I mean, I'm kind of sitting there thinking, ooh, that's an easy two-putt birdie, you're going to get another one back here and be all even going into 14. And he hits this awesome wedge shot to like four or five feet, and I'm like, gosh, this kid just won't go away. That's when I was like, you need to continue to step up and hit good ones.

Same thing on 15, I go first, I hit one of the best iron shots I've hit in a long time to a tucked pin, 5-iron, it's playing like all of 210. Captain Crosby walked up on the tee and I'm like, great timing, and I laced one right at the pin, and then he puts one inside me. 15 is like a longer version of 11 at Shinnecock. He just wouldn't go away. No, he was good. But I wasn't too stressed out at 12.

Q. What club did you hit on the approach to 18, and how far would you think the conceded --

STEWART HAGESTAD: Sand wedge, 54-degree, whatever people want to call that, and then six feet, maybe seven. When he missed that I was very ready in my head -- you're obviously -- you've got to expect everything, right, but anyone that's saying that they expect they've got to make a 45-footer, okay, then you have a tremendous amount of mental fortitude; good for you. In my head I was like, we're going to lag a six-footer and it's been a minute since we've done that. Yeah, about six, seven feet.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
100619-1-1002 2020-08-12 20:56:00 GMT

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