In Week Two, University of California sophomore Brandon Hagy took the New Year’s Invitational at St Petersburg Country Club, Florida, with a sensational eagle-three on the very last hole. But that finish flattered a back-nine that had seen him lose a six-stroke lead in the five holes after the turn.
Hagy was reigned in by Bank Vongvanij, the University of Florida senior taking the lead on the 15th. Both birdied the 16th, Vongvanij making his fourth birdie in seven holes, and both three-putted the par-three 17th, leaving Hagy one stroke behind on the 18th tee.
“I just told myself, if I could stay one shot back I’d have a chance on 18 because of my length,” Hagy said. “I was thinking make eagle. “I had already hit the green in two with an iron earlier in the tournament. It was downwind to the left which really suited my draw."
The 19-year-old hit a four-iron to 20 feet from 240 yards out to set up an eagle-opportunity, which he took full advantage of. “It was my best swing of the week, at the biggest moment,” he explained.
As reward for joining a list of winners that includes WAGR Number One Peter Uihlein, as well as tour players, Jeff Overton, Brandt Snedeker and JB Holmes, Nagy makes and 138-place ascent to 394th in the world. Vongvanij, meanwhile, is up six to 60th.
Elsewhere, Jarrod Freeman shot an amazing nine-under-par 62 to take the Harvey Norman Junior Championship at Pennant Hills and Muirfield golf clubs. He finished the event at 13 under par to register a four-shot victory over Jake Higginbottom. Freeman makes a remarkable 659-place ascent to WAGRank 658, this week.
The USA’s Peter Uihlein has resumed his status as the World Amateur Golf Ranking Number One, after David Chung took the title for one week.