Nine birdies and an eagle helped Stewart Hagestad finish the first round of the 20th annual Players Amateur at Berkeley Hall Club in the lead with a score of 61. His 11-under round broke the South Course record which was previously 62.
The Newport Beach, California native entered the back nine 3-under but really caught fire after hitting his driver to less than 2 feet on the par-14th for an eagle to get to 7-under. He continued his streak with birdies on 15, 16, 17 and 18.
Hagestad moved to Hilton Head Island to attend the International Junior Golf Academy in high school and has not been back to the area in 10 years. The 28-year-old, who works for the Los Angeles firm Crescent Capital, chose to compete in the Players Amateur to prepare for the Pan-American Games and U.S. Amateur in August.
His ultimate goal is to make the Walker Cup team.
“I basically took off from May until the end of September. Is it productive for my career, no, but given the opportunity to earn your way and be selected for the Walker Cup team is a risk I am willing to take,” Hagestad said.
Play was suspended at 2:05 p.m. due to weather with 8 groups still on the course. Play resumed 3:36 pm. Blake Windred, from New South Wales, Australia finished up his round after play resumed. He is in second place with a 7-under 65.
The second round gets underway Friday at 7:30 a.m. at Berkeley Hall Golf Club. Admission is free and the tournament is open to the public. For first-round scores, go to https://2019playersam.golfgenius.com/pages/4806630959006889683