Matt Hageman of Dixon, Ill., fired a final round of 6-under-par 66 to claim the top spot on the leaderboard at the Medicus Preseason Junior in the Chicago Southland Sunday. His tournament total of 4-under-par 140 was good for a one-shot margin over Josh Clay of Canton, Ohio.
Beginning the day five shots behind the leader, Hageman recorded five birdies over his first seven holes to make the turn with the lead after opening with a5-under-par 31on the front side.
Hageman is one of several Junior Players working with Chuck Evans and Tracy Lehnecker at the Medicus Golf Institute Player Development Program based in Destin Fl.
“Coming into the round, I knew I wasn’t going to hand the tournament over,” Hageman said. “If I lost, I didn’t want it to be easy for the other guys. I was actually a little ticked at myself after the front nine because I missed two birdies inside 12 feet, but I just kept pushing.”
Hageman’s only bogey of the day came after a wayward drive on No. 14. He rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 15th to build a one-shot advantage coming down the stretch. After Clay’s approach nearly found the cup from under a tree and rolled to less than a foot for birdie on No. 17, Hageman had to work to stay focused.
“The No. 1 rule is to always expect anything, but I didn’t expect that,” Hageman said. “The nerves really kicked in and I had to back off a few times. But I was able to calm myself down and stuffed one right in there next to his.”
Carrying a one-shot lead into the final hole, Hageman made a crucial up-and-down for the first victory of his AJGA career. The weekend was both eventful and memorable for the 17-year-old.
“After the first round, I hopped in the car and we drove two hours home to make it to my prom,” Hageman said. “I was up at 4:30 in the morning to get back for today’s round. But I had my first prom and now my first AJGA win. It could be the best weekend ever.”
Clay carded a final round of even-par 72 to finish second with a tournament total of 3-under-par 141. Tyler Klava of Pace, Fla., recorded a two-day total of 2-under-par 142 to finish third. Brett Patterson of McMinnville, Tenn., finished fourth at 1-over-par 145 and Brenten Blakeman of Burr Ridge, Ill., rounded out the top-five with a total of 3-over-par 147.
Medicus Golf and The Medicus Golf Institute are dedicated to enabling all golfers to “Live Their Vision” in reaching their potential. By expanding its corporate vision, mission, products and services, Medicus Golf will enable golfers to learn and grow — both as a person and as a player — in a series of new and exciting developmental formats.
Medicus Golf enters its third year of sponsorship of the AJGA by supporting the Medicus Preseason Series. The Medicus Learning System, a comprehensive series of golf training aids, is dedicated to assisting golfers of all ages.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information on the Medicus Preseason Junior in the Chicago Southland, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the AJGA Web site, ajga.org.