September 15, 2023
Scarborough, New York, USA
Sleepy Hollow Country Club
Q. What are the emotions you're feeling right now?
STEWART HAGESTAD: Just so much joy. I mean, there's so many thoughts that come into your head, good, bad, otherwise, not just throughout the day but kind of throughout the week. Evan is such a good player. I know that he's one of the best in the world. He's got a ton of horsepower, and I saw some of his matches, and I kind of had a feeling it might come down to the two of us.
He's got a lot of wins in his future, and I know we're going to have plenty of battles like that in the future.
Q. What would you say the key was coming down the stretch?
STEWART HAGESTAD: Just to stay positive, stay super present. Just be super disciplined, execute the right way. But just make him beat me.
I knew as evidenced by the shot on 15 he was very capable of doing that, but if you're going to lose holes, you want to lose with birdies and eagles versus the alternative.
Q. You are now in rare company: Three Mid-Am titles. You're aware of the history --
STEWART HAGESTAD: I'm very aware.
Q. Jay Sigel, Nathan Smith, you think of all the other guys that have won three of the same USGA championships, it's a laundry list of luminaries. Put that in perspective.
STEWART HAGESTAD: I'm very aware. Jay has got three, Nathan has actually got four, Tiger has got a whole bunch of things, Juli Inkster has got a bunch, Jack Nicklaus. The Inkster one is funny because she roasted me at the '17 Walker Cup.
But I don't even know what to say. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought this was possible. I'm going to need a minute to kind of decompress, but there's a lot of emotions going right now.
Q. Why are you such a strong -- 28-4 in match play. It's a record that -- you've won three of these in a seven-year span. It takes more than just hitting golf shots to do this.
STEWART HAGESTAD: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is really just -- it's not just this week. It's the whole year. Everyone is really good. You kind of look around and there's so many guys that are just capable of making a ton of birdies in a hurry, and back in '18 I played Max Moldovan in the first round of the Am and he was a junior at the time and he's turned out to be an absolute stud, but I kind of underestimated him and maybe overestimated my own ability. I always harken back to that as like a true wake-up call of like, hey, you're getting everyone's best, you've got to bring it. Luckily we did that this week.
Q. Can you talk about the up-and-down on the short par-4? It was starting to leak a little bit --
STEWART HAGESTAD: Well, hold on. I hit a great tee shot, and then when I thought I hit a great wedge, it spun back. You can't be upset for hitting two great shots. It just obviously ripped back, and back in that little corner the wind was swirling. But I just thought back to kind of a practice session that myself and a few friends had, and I kind of tried to channel some of the things -- not necessarily that we had worked on, but just hitting quality shots and just take kind of the situation out of it and just focus on what we could do.
Q. Last time you were in a similar situation in '21 you had a huge lead, started to go a little bit. Today you had another huge lead, started to go a little bit, and you righted the ship.
STEWART HAGESTAD: Yeah, so it's funny, I was thinking about this earlier. I was somehow worried but also never worried. I don't really know how to describe that, other than the fact that I knew if I just kept doing what I was doing, I'd be tough to beat. But at the same time, yeah, it's tough to not let that creep into your head. But it's over now, and here we are.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports