“I was reading my putt and saw him duck down,” Tyler Strafaci told the Golf Channel. “I didn’t see him touch the sand, so I didn’t think I was right to make a decision on it, but my dad saw it and he’s going to fight to the death for me. It sucks that it came down to that because it was a phenomenal match.”
Oliva Pinto’s caddie, Brant Brewer, claimed he didn’t touch the sand. However, television replays showed the infraction.
“At this point, it doesn’t really matter,” Oliva Pinto told the Golf Channel. “What happened, happened. He can say anything, but it won’t change what happened.”
The 22-year-old Strafaci, ranked 56th ranked amateur, earned the No. 41 seed by shooting even par in the first two rounds of stroke play. He then defeated Kelly Chinn (4-and-2) and Julian Perico (2-and-1) before the victory over Oliva Pinto (1-up).
Strafaci will face the 29-year-old Hagestad, the 15th ranked amateur and winner of the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur. He was the low amateur in the 2017 Masters, the first U.S. Mid-Am champion to make the cut.
Strafaci is the lone golfer remaining of the 17 with local ties, including Tech’s Andy Ogletree, who won the event last year.