Hagestad Wins Epic Rematch With Costanza to Reach Last 16 in Mid-Am

By David Shefter, USGA

| Sep 12, 2023 | Scarborough, N.Y.

Hagestad Wins Epic Rematch With Costanza to Reach Last 16 in Mid-Am

What Happened

It was a quiet Tuesday at the 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. While there was plenty of noise on the classic C.B. Macdonald design – the usual chatter among players, caddies, officials and spectators – there wasn’t any crackling of thunder or loud blasts from airhorns. Nobody from the USGA mentioned the words delay, suspension or dangerous situation, and the on-site meteorologist didn’t need minute-by-minute consultations with officials for the first time since the championship commenced on Saturday.

Translated: the story was golf, not precipitation, squeegees or electricity.

After three days of storms that put a cramp into the schedule, the championship managed to get in two full rounds of match play that trimmed the field from 64 to 16 competitors.

Electricity might not have been in the clouds, but there were some fireworks on the course when two-time champion Stewart Hagestad met Mark Costanza, the runner-up to Hagestad two years ago at Sankaty Head Golf Club on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, in the Round of 32. Four-time Walker Cupper Hagestad, 32, of Newport Beach, Calif., outlasted Costanza, 34, of Morristown, N.J., 2 and 1, in an epic duel that featured 12 birdies, seven by the winner. Four holes were tied with birdies, with Hagestad winning three holes and Costanza one.

Costanza birdied the opening hole for a 1-up lead and held that margin until Hagestad birdied the par-3 10th, and he took the lead for good with a 4 on the 533-yard, par-5 12th hole. Hagestad closed out Costanza with an 82-yard, lob-wedge approach to 2 feet on the 424-yard, 17th.   

When the two met in 2021, the score in the 36-hole final was the same 2-and-1 margin, with Costanza rallying from a 7-down deficit thru 11 holes to make Hagestad a bit uncomfortable coming down the stretch of a match that didn’t concluded until Friday because of fog delays that pushed back the schedule.

“I knew he would be a bit more prepared for this one,” said Hagestad, who helped the USA Walker Cup Team to a fourth consecutive victory last weekend on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland by posting a 2-1 record. “It’s not the finals, but at the same time, he knows that he is one of the better players in the field, and he’s very capable of making a deep run. I think maybe in the last few years he’s realized just how good he is. He’s got a ton of horsepower. He’s got a lot of speed. He wedges it nice. He hits it great. He putts it nice. Before we went off, I tried to collect myself because I knew it was going to be a good one.

“You know when you go play a guy like him, he’s going to bring it.”

2019 runner-up Joseph Deraney seems poised for another run at the Mid-Am title after posting two wins on Tuesday at Sleepy Hollow C.C. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

2019 runner-up Joseph Deraney seems poised for another run at the Mid-Am title after posting two wins on Tuesday at Sleepy Hollow C.C. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Added Costanza: “You see the draw before you even play the first match. You think that you might match up again. There is certainly a revenge factor that I was seeking. I was ready to play. I played great. I think I can hold my head up high. I was 5 under with no bogeys and he just beat me. He’s a great champion.”

The run of medalist and top seed Jeronimo Esteve, of Puerto Rico, came to a halt in the Round of 32 with a 5-and-4 defeat to Brett Patterson, of Oxford, Miss., a 31-year-old accounting professor at Ole Miss who is nearing his Ph.D. in accounting at the school. Patterson, a qualifier for last month’s U.S. Amateur, didn’t make a birdie over his first eight holes in bolting out to a 5-up lead. A birdie on No. 9 pushed the lead to 6 up, and even consecutive birdies on 11 and 12 by the seven-time Latin America Amateur competitor wasn’t enough to prevent Patterson from advancing.

“I know he didn’t have his best stuff today,” said Patterson, competing in his 12th USGA championship but first U.S. Mid-Amateur. “But this golf course can get you in a hurry and I kind of had the mantra of fairways and greens, and give myself a chance at birdie.”

The guy who edged Patterson in this year’s Mississippi Amateur, 2019 U.S. Mid-Am runner-up Joseph Deraney, 40, of Tupelo, birdied four of his first nine holes en route to a 4-and-3 victory over Nate Gahman, of Albany, Ga., in the Round of 32. Deraney, who captured his third Canadian Mid-Amateur title last month, pulled away by holing a miraculous flop shot from gnarly greenside rough on No 8 and then converting a 15-foot birdie on No. 9. When Gahman chopped into the lead with birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Deraney responded with an impeccable 8-iron approach from 175 yards to 2 feet to push the margin to 4 up.

A little work with longtime club pro V.J. Trolio at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss., just prior to his arrival in Metropolitan New York provided an extra boost of confidence for the stay-at-home father of three.

“For me, I always feel like I bring the pelvis towards the ball and the hands kind of go out,” said Deraney of his swing adjustment. “Just some mechanical stuff. But I’ve been doing it since I was 16, so it was pretty easy to clean up. But I putted much better than I did [in stroke play]. No three-putts today.”

Nick Maccario, 31, of Haverhill, Mass., a semifinalist in 2021, played just 32 holes on Tuesday and never trailed to make the final 16. In the Round of 32, he defeated 2022 quarterfinalist Bryce Hanstad, of Edina, Minn., 2 up. He eliminated Craig McCoy, of Frisco, Texas, in the Round of 64, 6 and 4.

Stephen Behr Jr., 30, of Atlanta, Ga. who had an epic 23-hole defeat to Hagestad in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Mid-Amateur, also produced a pair of wins on Tuesday, eliminated No. 10 seed Kevin Grady, of Catonsville, Md., in the second round, 3 and 2, after opening with a 1-up decision over Alejandro Villavicenzio, of Guatemala. 

Ole Miss accounting professor and Ph.D. candidate Brett Patterson crunched the right numbers on Tuesday at Sleepy Hollow C.C. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Ole Miss accounting professor and Ph.D. candidate Brett Patterson punched the right numbers on Tuesday at Sleepy Hollow C.C. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

No. 3 seed Nate McCoy, 33, of Ankeny, Iowa, the director of handicapping and course rating for the Iowa Golf Association, pulled off a pair of 1-up wins to advance. In fact, he said the two best shots of the day came on No. 18, a 6-iron in the Round-of-64 win over Charles Soule, and the 5-iron from 187 yards to within 6 feet to set up a winning birdie against Andrew Sajevic, of Omaha, Neb.

But Todd White’s bid to add the U.S. Mid-Amateur to the U.S. Senior Amateur title he won on Aug. 31 at Martis Camp Club came to an end with a 2-and-1 loss in the Round of 16 to Jason Bataille, 40, of Bridgewater, N.J.  

What’s Next

Due to impending weather, the Round-of-16 matches will go off both the first and 10th tees on Wednesday morning. The top half of the bracket will start on No. 1, and the lower half on No. 10, beginning at 7 a.m., and continuing every 10 minutes. The quarterfinals are scheduled for the afternoon. Admission is free and spectators are encouraged to attend.


  • The 16-for-14 playoff for the final match-play spots concluded on Tuesday morning with Paul Mitzel, of Seattle, Wash., edging former University of Alabama assistant golf coach Hunter Hamrick, of Pike Road, Ala., on the sixth extra hole. Mitzel made a 5 on the par-5 15th to get the 64th seed. The six holes matched the second-longest playoff in U.S. Mid-Amateur history (2007). In 2019 at Colorado Golf Club, the playoff lasted nine holes.

  • Three of the 14 players who advanced from the playoff won a pair of matches on Tuesday. Besides the aforementioned Jason Bataille, Bobby Massa eliminated Sleepy Hollow member Brad Tilley, and Parker Edens, the men’s golf coach at South Dakota State, defeated Preston Dembowiak in the Round of 32. Two other survivors won first-round matches: Brice Wilkinson and Keith Guest, the latter defeating Chris Devlin in 20 holes, the longest match of the championship to date.

  • Two was a good number for Joe Du Chateau, of Fond du Lac, Wis., on Tuesday. He won two matches by the same 2-up margin, including his Round-of-32 encounter against 2014 champion and No. 2 seed Scott Harvey. He also eliminated Benjamin Conroy from nearby Cromwell, Conn.

  • Both finalists from the 2022 championship at Erin Hills are headed home. Defending champ Matthew McClean, of Northern Ireland, failed to qualify for match play and runner-up Hugh Foley, of the Republic of Ireland, was eliminated in the Round of 64 on Tuesday by Torey Edwards, of Long Beach, Calif., 6 and 5. Foley, 26, is planning to enter DP World Tour Q-School later this fall. McClean didn’t arrive on-site until Friday night after representing Great Britain & Ireland in the Walker Cup Match last weekend and then attending a friend’s wedding in Spain.

  • The average age of the match-play field was 35.13. Nine countries, including the U.S., were represented. Besides the 56 Americans, there was one player each from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Guatemala, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Panama and Puerto Rico.

  • Longtime Sleepy Hollow member and legendary actor/comedian Bill Murray was on the property as a spectator. In the 2002 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Sleepy Hollow, Murray caddied for Kailin Downs.
Jason Bataille, of Bridgewater, N.J., has gone from playoff survivor to a spot in the final 16 of the 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)

Jason Bataille, of Bridgewater, N.J., has gone from playoff survivor to a spot in the final 16 of the 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur. (USGA/Kathryn Riley)


“I had a feeling that was coming. Nate’s really good. We’ve played a handful of different things together. I know that Mikey will be out there. He’s obviously going to be rooting for his son. But at the same time, he’s another one of those guys – Nate – who can bring it and is really capable of making a bunch of birdies and playing well. We’re going to have to recover appropriately and do it again tomorrow.” – Stewart Hagestad on facing Nate McCoy, the son of 2023 USA Walker Cup captain Mike McCoy in the Round of 16

“I was doing OK in that [match with Costanza] because I think adrenaline took over. You know that Mark is a stud. Of course, you are a little tired, but at the same time, I didn’t think about it quite as much. You are kind of reacting to what he does and there were a lot of great shots out there. Again, I will just try to drink a bunch of water and recover appropriately.” – Hagestad when asked about fatigue after the Walker Cup and now the grind of the Mid-Amateur

“He made birdies. He is tough but you know he is not going to make a lot of mistakes. If you go into a match thinking you are going to get a couple of freebies, if you do, you should go play the lottery.” – Mark Costanza on facing Hagestad

“This feels pretty surreal at the moment. It’s been pretty cool [having my father/2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy watching]. It’s actually pretty special that he can be here with me this week. We only see each other a few times a year just because of our schedules. This will be one I definitely will remember no matter what happens.” – Nate McCoy

“My [Round-of-64[ match this morning was very similar to the match I lost in Charlotte in 2018. It was kind of eerie. It was the same shot, my opponent was in the same position, and I always regretted how I handled it. Today I had an opportunity to take one club more, swing smooth and I hit a good one in there. It felt really good. And then to duke it out with Stew (Stewart Hagestad) at Sankaty [Head] in the Round of 16 and playing great golf against him just lets me know that when I play well I have the game to win this thing.” – Steven Behr Jr.

“I was a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for about 2½ years. The long workdays. I wasn’t playing much golf, so I figured I’d try the academia route. I always knew teaching was something that I would enjoy and sure enough it is. I have really enjoyed my time at Ole Miss.” – Brett Patterson on why he altered his career and decided to get his accounting Ph.D.

“I’ve got a 9-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl that turned 6 last Thursday. She’s in kindergarten now. Probably have one more year of that and then [I’ll] find something to get into. My kids all have soccer, there’s dance and there’s ballet. Mid-Am [golf] is fun but it also takes a lot of time away from everything else.” – Joe Deraney on being a stay-at-home dad to three grammar-school-age children

“It feels like sports. This was a huge opportunity for me. I consider myself in a group of players that can win this event. I think I am a tough match for anyone, any year. Playing at home was a huge advantage. I am proud that I made match play under a lot of pressure. I think I put on a good show for our members, and I am really grateful for all the support I got this week.” – Sleepy Hollow member Brad Tilley on his run to the Round of 32

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.