News & Opinion

Mid-Am champ Hagestad calmly joins weekend at Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Whatever nerves Stewart Hagestad might have felt in his Masters debut, he obviously has quieted them.

Hagestad became the first U.S. Mid-Amateur champion to make the 36-hole cut in the Masters since the exemption was first awarded in 1989. He shot 1-over 73 on Friday at Augusta National Golf Club for a 147 total and share of 19th place. Australian Curtis Luck, who won the U.S. Amateur and Asia-Pacific Amateur titles, shot 72 for a 150 total and T-45.

Oddly enough, Hagestad felt the weight of his surroundings more during his practice rounds – with Adam Scott, Thomas Pieters, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar – than he did during the tournament.

“My nerves have gotten a little bit better since,” said Hagestad, 25, a former USC player from Newport Beach, Calif. “I slowly but surely adjusted.”

Hagestad nearly holed a 6-iron on the par-4 18th, making birdie, his third of the day.

SHORT SHOTSFred Couples, who is playing in his 32nd Masters, has made the cut for the 29th time. Couples, 57, the 1992 Masters champion, birdied the 18th hole to shoot 70 for a 143 total and share of sixth place. . . . Co-leader Rickie Fowler shot 5-under 67 to tie his career-low round in the Masters. . . . 53 players made the cut, at 6-over 150, from the 93-man field. . . . Defending champion Danny Willett(73-78–151) was among 12 former Masters champions not to qualify for weekend play. The others: Zach Johnson (77-74–151), Bubba Watson (74-78-152), Jose Maria Olazabal 77-76–153), Vijay Singh (78-75–153), Bernhard Langer 75-78–153), Ian Woosnam (76-78–154),Angel Cabrera (79-75–154), Trevor Immelman (79-76–155), Mike Weir (76-79–155), Mark O’Meara (78-78–156) and Sandy Lyle (77-83–160). . . . After the second round, Fowler was installed by Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as the 7-2 favorite, with Sergio Garcia the second choice at 6-1, Jordan Spieth third at 13-2 and Thomas Pieters a 9-1 pick.