Crump Cup: Another September triumph for Hagestad as rain shortens event
Stewart Hagestad emerged as the winner of the Crump Cup, marking his second victory in the month of September. However, this year’s tournament was cut short due to heavy rain brought on by Tropical Storm Ophelia. Despite the weather conditions, Hagestad managed to secure the victory in a one-hole playoff against last year’s winner, Stephen Behr.
The Crump Cup is one of the most prestigious mid-amateur golf events in the United States. Typically held at Pine Valley, the tournament features a combination of stroke play qualifying rounds and match play. However, due to the inclement weather, only 16 players from the Championship Flight and eight players from the Senior Flight were able to compete in the one-round sprint to the Cup.
Both Hagestad and Behr battled through the challenging and rainy conditions, shooting identical scores of 73. Matthew McClean finished two shots behind with a score of 75. Despite a shaky front nine, Hagestad regained his composure and made seven pars on the back nine, including a birdie on the par-5 15th. Behr started his day with an eagle on the fourth hole but struggled with bogeys on holes 6 and 9. After shooting a 37 on the back nine, he found himself in a playoff against Hagestad.
The first hole of the playoff was intentionally made challenging by George Crump, the namesake of the tournament. This decision ensured that ties would be resolved quickly. Last year, Hagestad lost in an intense 19-hole semi-final match, but this time he secured victory on the first green.
In the Senior Flight, Matthew Sughrue took an early lead with a front nine score of 33. He maintained his strong play throughout the back nine, shooting a remarkable 69. Bob Royak finished as the runner-up with a score of 74.
Unfortunately, rain has become a recurring issue for the Crump Cup, as last year’s event also faced weather-related challenges. Despite the unpredictable conditions, the tournament has continued to attract top players from both the United States and the UK.
The Crump Cup is named after George A. Crump, a renowned hotelier and course architect who played a significant role in the development of Pine Valley. It is worth noting that Jay Sigel holds the record for the most Crump Cup victories, with nine wins between 1975 and 1993.
While the public is typically invited to attend the final matches on Sunday, this tradition has been suspended due to the current circumstances.
Overall, Stewart Hagestad showcased his skill and resilience in yet another victory, capping off an exceptional September performance. Despite the shortened format and challenging weather conditions, the Crump Cup remains one of the most esteemed events in amateur golf.