Hastie '21 set to play in Optimist Junior Golf Championships

Posted: July 11, 2017

Curt Hastie is heading south to play in his first Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.

The annual event for young players is held in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. and the course is the PGA National Resort & Spa. PGA National is home to the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic and has been host to the PGA Seniors Championship, the 1987 PGA Championship and the 1983 Ryder Cup.

Four of PGA National’s championship layouts will be used for the event — the Champion, Fazio, Estates, and Squire courses.

Junior golfers ages 10 to 18 will travel from around the world to play in the annual tournament.

One of them will be Hastie, 14, who will be a freshman at Chaminade this fall. He has attended Chaminade since sixth grade.

“I am excited to go and face worldwide competition,” Hastie said. “My goal is to make the cut and after that, I will see what place I am in and decide what my next goal will be. I am hoping to place in the top 20.”

His father Stacy and mother Carol will accompany him along with his godfather, Doug Weible and his wife Shelly. Family friends Richard and Nancy Hayes also will be going.

The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is one of the largest and best-known junior golf tournaments in the world. Each year, more than 700 golfers participate in THE OPTIMIST. Optimists have been involved in the sport of junior golf for more than 30 years by holding local, regional and international tournaments.

Players must play in a district qualifier in order to advance to the Florida event. Hastie won the local qualifier for the Optimist with a 74 to earn his way into the tourney.

Hastie is happy with how he’s been playing overall.

“I have been playing decently lately, however, have been working on fixing a few minor things in my swing,” Hastie said.

Play begins Sunday (July 23) and runs through July 28 for Hastie’s 14-15 age division.

Other local golfers competing will be Ryan Walsh, of Chesterfield, in the 10-12 boys division. Benjamin Redmond, of Des Peres and who goes to De Smet, will compete in the boys 16-18 group. Grace Aromando, of Lake St. Louis who will be a sophomore at St. Joseph’s Academy, and Sarah Lewis, of Chesterfield who will be a senior at Marquette, will compete in the girls 15-18 division.

Hastie enters the Optimist event fresh off winning his age group at the 18th annual Metropolitan Junior Amateur Golf Championships.

Hastie carded a 4-over-par 148 to win the boys 14-15 division by seven strokes in the event held at Aberdeen Golf Club in Eureka.

He knew what he wanted to do in the tournament.

“My thoughts entering the Metropolitan Junior Tournament were positive,” Hastie said. “I went in thinking that I wanted to shoot mid-70’s the first day and make sure I was in the hunt going into the second day.”

His plan worked out just like he had hoped.

Hastie shot a 77 on the final day.

However, he fired a 1-under 71 in the first round. The 71 was his best round ever.Hastie shot a 77 on the final day.

“I went in the first round trying to hit greens in regulation,” Hastie said. “I was successful with that hitting 16 greens. I realized I was having a great round instead of just a decent round, was when I had back-to-back birdies on hole 13 and hole 14.”

He had a good plan for his second round.

“Going into the second day, I knew I had a big lead, so I was just trying to shoot mid-70’s by trying to make pars and play it safe,” Hastie said.

His playing partner was Jack Cronin, who will be a sophomore at Marquette.

“I did not know Jack going into this tournament but I have heard of him and how good of a player he is,” Hastie said. “He had played in a few tournaments that I have been in, but I was not paired with him.”

Winning the tournament left Hastie feeling good.

“I was really happy with my game and how I accomplished the goals I set,” Hastie said.

It was not the first time he has won a tournament.

In the past two years, Hastie has won a couple of Hurricane Junior tournaments and have placed in the top three in many other events.

This year, besides the MAGA, Hastie won the Optimist Qualifier at Aberdeen with a 74. He also has placed in the top three in two Hurricane Tournaments.

He is playing Friday (July 21)and Saturday in the St. Louis Griesedieck Men’s Championship at St. Louis Country Club.

After the Optimist tourney, Hastie will tee it up in the St. Louis Summer Challenge that will be played July 29-30 at Aberdeen Golf Course in Eureka. The tourney is part of The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour team series is designed to incorporate a unique team event inside a regular individual HJGT stroke play event.

“I also just made it past the first round of the Drive, Chip and Putt and will be moving on to the next round,” Hastie said. “My dad and I are thinking about going down to Sea Island, Georgia to play in a Hurricane event over Thanksgiving break.”

Hastie’s swing coach Ryan Martin. He is the director of instruction at Sunset Country Club in Sunset Hills. The family belongs to the club.

Moreover, Hastie has one other thing that has left him feeling good about his summer.

“One thing I am most excited about [is] with all my hours of practice, I can finally beat my dad more than he beats me,” Hastie said.