Finally, someone other than Scott Harvey won the Mid-Amateur division of the George C. Thomas Invitational, played at the Los Angeles Country Club in California. In so doing, Stewart Hagestad got an assist from the airline industry.
Hagestad, ranked No. 31 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, lapped the field by closing with 5-under-par 67, winning by nine shots ahead of Nick Geyer on his home course. Hagestad, a member of the winning U.S. Walker Cup team in May, shot 5-under-par 207 and was the only player to finish under par on the course that will host the 2023 U.S. Open.
Harvey, who won the previous four Thomas events, headed to LACC to defend his 2019 title; the tournament was not played in 2020 due to renovation of the greens. However, a persistent cough that was not related to COVID-19 resulted in him being denied boarding by the airline, despite being fully vaccinated.
Decorated amateur Mike McCoy had a similar easy time winning the Senior Amateur division, closing with a final-round 74 to top good friend and playing partner Gene Elliot by five shots. McCoy, who won the Thomas as a Mid-Amateur in 2013 and 2014, is rounding into form after surgery to rebuild his left rotator cuff in June 2020.
“I am trending up,” McCoy told GGP after his win. “It’s good to be healthy.”
Next up for him is the U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club in July.
Less than a month after Dylan Menante helped guide Pepperdine to the 2021 NCAA team title, the Carlsbad, California, resident claimed the most meaningful individual victory of his amateur career at the Northeast Amateur.
Menante went bogey-free Saturday during a final-round, 2-under 67 at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, Rhode Island, to edge Jerry Ji by two strokes. The 20-year-old rising junior was under par in all four rounds at the par-69 Donald Ross course, methodically picking off birdies and avoiding large mistakes. He finished at 9-under 267.
Menante came into the final round with a one-stroke lead and maintained that slim margin after making par on his first 10 holes of the day. Ji, a rising junior at the University of Illinois, was 4 under on his opening nine to sit one stroke back of Menante, but Nos. 11 and 12 proved to be the separator between the two. Menante birdied both holes while Ji went par-bogey, taking most of the drama out of the final stretch.
The 59th edition of the Northeast Amateur had a stout field, and Menante is a worthy champion given his pedigree. After two seasons at Pepperdine, he ranks second in career scoring average (70.82) and has nine top-10 finishes in 19 college tournaments. Menante finished tied for 17th at the NCAA Championship and then went 1-1-1 in match play during the Waves’ run to the team title.
Menante started the week a career-best No. 38 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. He has played in two U.S. Amateurs and has now qualified for a third, and he recently represented the United States at the Palmer Cup.
Behind Menante and Ji, Connor Howe of Georgia Tech and Joseph Weiler of Purdue tied for third. Garrett Barber of LSU, Kelly Chinn of Duke and Davis Chatfield of Notre Dame tied for fifth.
Drew Hackett of UNC-Wilmington shot 12-under 204 on Friday to claim the 49th playing of the Rice Planters Amateur at Snee Farm Country Club in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Hackett finished three clear of college teammate Landson Robbins and Furman University’s Mac Scott. The rising junior from Charlotte, North Carolina, finished the college season with a 72.93 stroke average.
Hackett joins former winners Brooks Koepka, Hal Sutton, Tom Lehman and Stewart Cink.
Christoffer Bring became the fourth player from Denmark to lift the trophy when he overhauled Sweden’s Ludvig Åberg on the closing holes to win the European Amateur Championship at the Golf du Médoc Resort in France.
Bring, 22, started the final round a single shot adrift of the Swedish world No 3 after opening rounds of 64, 64 and 69 and fell further behind after carding double-bogey 6 on his opening hole. But he fired six birdies in his next 17 holes to post 67 for a 20-under-par 264 aggregate and join compatriots Morten Backhausen (1993), Lucas Bjerregaard (2010) and Nicolai Højgaard (2018) as a winner of Europe’s premier amateur championship.
The victory earned Bring a spot in next month’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s, where he will join 2019 champion Matthias Schmid of Germany, whose exemption was extended when last year’s championship was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“I’m extremely happy (to get the chance to play in the Open),” Bring said. “It’s great. It’s pretty surreal right now. I can’t really believe it but it’s pretty cool.”
Staff and Wire Reports