Walker Cup Watch List: Mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad has done enough to earn spot

Stewart Hagestad Masters Getty Images

Walker Cup Watch List: Mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad has done enough to earn spot

Amateur

Walker Cup Watch List: Mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad has done enough to earn spot

Those paying attention to this year’s Masters not only saw Sergio Garcia capture his first major title, but also witnessed mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad make history – and in the process, all but guarantee his spot in the 2017 U.S. Walker Cup team.

Granted there’s a lot of golf to be played between now and the Sept. 9-10 matches at Los Angeles Country Club, but Hagestad should already have a spot saved for himself on Captain John “Spider” Miller’s team. He not only won the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur (this year’s edition isn’t until after the Walker Cup), but Hagestad also became the first mid-amateur since 1989 to make the cut at Augusta National. He then held off the world’s top-ranked amateur, Curtis Luck, to win low-amateur honors.

Hagestad should be joined by mid-amateur Scott Harvey, last year’s U.S. Mid-Am runner-up and a past winner of that event, on the team. But don’t count out Todd White, a past Walker Cupper who recently tied for second at the Azalea Amateur.

Stanford senior Maverick McNealy is also a good bet to make the team – and deservedly so. McNealy is ranked second in the world and has already made the choice to remain amateur through the Walker Cup.

Dylan Meyer, Will Zalatoris, Sean Crocker and Sam Burns have done nothing but improve their resumes over the last two months, as well.

Who will make Miller’s 10-man squad this year? We’ll keep tabs on the candidates all year until the team is selected in August. Here is the latest look at the potential American roster (Note: World Amateur Golf Ranking in parentheses; two of 10 players must be mid-amateurs):

Maverick McNealy (2): The McCormack Medal winner might not be the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world anymore, but he’s the United States’ top player for this Walker Cup. Still chasing the Stanford all-time wins record.

Dylan Meyer (6): Won his first college event since Olympia Fields as a freshman, capturing the 3M Augusta Invitational. Victory at Western Amateur and quarterfinal run at U.S. Amateur last summer carry a lot of weight, too.

Will Zalatoris (12): The best player in college golf during the month of March, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and a past USGA champion (2014 U.S. Junior Amateur).

Sean Crocker (9): Followed his Italian Amateur victory with a T-5 at The Goodwin and T-2 at the Western Intercollegiate.

Sam Burns (36): Didn’t get invited to the practice session, but he’s a frontrunner for the Haskins Award this season and was T-8 at the Jones Cup.

Collin Morikawa (11): Showed his potential last summer with a victory at the Sunnehanna Amateur and a playoff loss on the Web.com Tour.

Scottie Scheffler (57): Missed the cut at last year’s U.S. Open, but barely. Represented his country in the World Amateur Team Championship, too. Past USGA champion (2013 U.S. Junior Amateur).

Wyndham Clark (49): The other frontrunner for the Haskins Award is having a great season at Oregon. Will graduate this spring, so he’ll have to make choice to remain amateur until Walker Cup.

Stewart Hagestad (213): Last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur champion solidified his spot on the team by winning low-amateur honors at the Masters.

Scott Harvey (72): Highest-ranked mid-amateur in the WAGR. Runner-up at last year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur. T-5 at Azalea.

NEXT FIVE

Braden Thornberry (40): Won the Jones Cup and just notched his fourth collegiate victory this season.

Noah Goodwin (13): Top-ranked junior in the country and the sixth-highest ranked American amateur. Won the CB&I/Simplify Boys Championship, one of the AJGA’s premier events. Also made match play at last year’s U.S. Amateur.

Doug Ghim (28): Made match play at both Western and U.S. amateurs last year. Has a good track record in USGA events.

Brad Dalke (98): Last year’s U.S. Amateur runner-up missed Masters cut by three, but hit the ball very well tee to green. Represented U.S. in World Amateur Team Championship.

Nick Hardy (17): Qualified for a second straight U.S. Open last year at Oakmont. He missed the cut but made weekend at Chambers Bay in 2015. Made match play at Western Amateur last summer.

SECOND FIVE: Gavin Hall (16), Davis Riley (46), Davis Shore (31), Dawson Armstrong (20), Jimmy Stanger (24)

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