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Stewart Hagestad advances to US Amateur quarterfinals

BANDON, Ore. (AP) — Stewart Hagestad advanced to the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals, winning two matches Thursday at windy Bandon Dunes. Hagestad, the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion from Newport Beach, California, beat Spencer Tibbits 3 and 1 in the morning and topped Harrison Ott 4 and 3 in the afternoon. Hagestad set up a quarterfinal match with Tyler Strafaci, a 1-up winner over Segundo Oliva Pinto in the round of 32.

“I consider myself a pretty darned good wedge player,” Hagestad said. “My short irons and wedges I feel like I’m just as good as any of them. If I putt well, then I feel like I’m a tough out.” For the first time since 2004, all eight quarterfinalists are American.

The 29-year-old Hagestad is trying to move from 15th into the top seven in the World Amateur Golf Ranking to gain a U.S. Open exemption. He’s also pushing to make a third consecutive U.S. Walker Cup team.

In the other upper-bracket quarterfinal, Aman Gupta will face Michael Thorbjornsen. In the round of 32, Gupta beat Sam Bennett 5 and 3, and Thorbjornsen edged Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira 3 and 2. The 18-year-old Thorbjornsen, from Wellesley, Massachusetts, won the 2018 U.S. Junior.

In the lower bracket, Philip Barbaree will play Matthew Sharpstene, and Cameron Sisk will meet Charles Osborne. In the round of 32, Barbaree beat William Mouw 3 and 1, Sharpstene topped Davis Chatfield 4 and 3, Sisk beat Davis Lamb 5 and 3, and Osborne routed Carson Lundell 7 and 5.

Barbaree won the 2015 U.S. Junior. “Well, it means a lot,” said Barbaree, a rising senior at LSU. “I’ve had a pretty good USGA record, and this probably being my last Amateur will be icing on the cake.”

“It was really windy out there,” said Thornbjornsen, who last year at Pebble Beach became the second-youngest golfer to make a cut in a U.S. Open since World War II. “It was playing really tough out there.”

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