George Kneiser - match play.jpg

UW-Green Bay's George Kneiser took medalist honors at The Grover Page Classic in Jackson, Tenn.

As George Kneiser made his way to Jackson, Tenn., with the UW-Green Bay men's golf team this week to begin his final semester of eligibility at The Grover Page Classic, the Oconomowoc native felt his excitement growing.

"I was really excited to get out of the cold and get on the grass this spring," Kneiser wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "It's always a nervous excitement with not having hit off actual grass in months. (I) was able to figure things out in my practice round and be ready to roll Monday."

After back-to-back 4-under-par 68s during Monday's 36-hole opener left him with a five-shot lead, Kneiser finished what he started Tuesday. He bounced back from a double-bogey on his opening hole by playing the next 17 in 1-under-par and rode a closing 73 and a 7-under 209 total to a five-shot victory over Southern Illinois' Riley Klingelberg (72-69-73) in the 54-hole event, the second collegiate triumph for the reigning Horizon League champion.

The Phoenix also counted a 75 from Max Pasher, a 76 from Brady Sarauer and one of the two 80s from Ben Gilles and Zak Kulka in a final-round 304. That dropped UWGB into third place with a 901 total — 24 shot behind first-place Tennessee-Martin and one shot behind Indian Hills Community College.

"It was definitely a solid showing as a team, but it also showed us how much room there is for improvement," Kneiser wrote, adding that the team was "pleased, but not satisfied" with its finish in its first time competing in the event. "Our team has the potential to compete well in the Horizon League this spring, so I think this week helped us realize ... we are good enough as a team now to play with anybody, but we also realized how many strokes we left out on the course this week and it's mostly short-game mistakes and management mistakes holding us back."

Kneiser managed to extend his solid start to a second day after matching his morning 68 with another during the afternoon during Monday's marathon. He said his putter, which helped him make nine birdies over 36 holes on opening day, helped him save several pars and make three more birdies Tuesday.

"Starting off with a bogey-free 68 was a really good start, but I've always found it tough to back up a good round with another in the afternoon," he wrote. "There (was) no break in between (rounds) so it was nice to continue my solid play the whole day. I had a good cushion after Monday, but the plan for (Tuesday) was still to play aggressive and just keep adding to the lead."

Now, the key will be building off his strong start to the spring schedule as Kneiser moves closer to his Horizon League title defense in May.

"I have been really excited to get things going this spring and this just adds to the fire," Kneiser wrote. "I know it'll be even harder to defend at conference this year than it was to win last year, so I've just been keeping my foot on the gas with workouts and practice, trying to get my game to an even better spot than it was last spring."

Team/Player Leaderboard
Jackson Country Club - Jackson Country Club Par: 72 Yardage: 6783
Jackson, TN US
Mar 8-10, 2020
Pos.Team/Player (seed)Rd 1Rd 2Rd 3Total
1UT - Martin292294291877
T4Ross Redmont (1)737274219
T6Jack Story (2)727276220
T6Jacob Uehlein (5)757471220
T8Tate Chumley (4)747671221
T14Nick Wolf (3)737675224
2Indian Hills CC300301299900
T17Jesse MacNaughtan (4)747873225
T19Harry Fearn (2)757279226
T19Ethan Keane (5)797473226
T23Cyril Henault (3)747778229
T26Harry Doig (1)777875230
3Green Bay301296304901
1George Kneiser (1)686873209
T8Brady Sarauer (3)737276221
T33Max Pasher (5)798275236
T40Ben Gilles (2)837580238
T44Zak Kulka (4)818180242
4Bradley University301301304906
T12Alex Ciaramitaro (1)727675223
T17Josh Kirkham (2)747378225
22Jalen Hodges (3)807672228
T26John Stillman (5)757679230
T51Brady Kreiter (4)877986252
5Arkansas-Pine Bluff304295315914
T12Tristan Maharaj (2)747475223
T14Niklas Frimodig (3)727478224
T33Grayson Martin (1)767486236
T33Joshua McCray (4)837380236
49Justin Lee (5)828382247
6Alabama State301315305921
T8Thacher Neal (2)747671221
T23Noel Sims (1)757777229
31Afnan Chowdhury (3)728576233
T40Thomas Caddell (4)807781238
57Jett Even (5)909189270
7John A. Logan College318311309938
T19Will Schroeder (4)747874226
32Jack Moran (1)798076235
T37Caleb Ursham (2)847380237
47Blake Golden (5)818280243
50Tanner Walton (3)928079251
8Tennessee State U.320312312944
T26Lane Hooper (4)827573230
T33Landon Albert (2)777881236
T42Kamren James (1)838076239
T42Tyler Woods (3)787982239
56Allen Stokes (5)909185266
9Alabama A&M3493253311005
T37Jason Johnson (1)837678237
48Nylan Washington (2)888176245
54Torrance Allen (4)898389261
55Conner McMillian (3)898588262
58Reginald Brown (5)9710496297
Pos.Player (Team)Rd 1Rd 2Rd 3Total
2 Riley Klingelberg (Southern Illinois ) 726973214
3 Bryson Morrell (UT - Martin) 687573216
T4 Thomas Burou (Indian Hills CC) 757371219
T8 Antoine Sale (Indian Hills CC) 767273221
T14 Mason Chandler (UT - Martin) 777473224
T23 Andrew Thornton (Southern Illinois ) 738076229
T29 Austin Schnell (Green Bay) 787579232
T29 Blade Gadd (Indian Hills CC) 807676232
T37 Luke Smith (UT - Martin) 788277237
T44 Patrick Sicula (Green Bay) 828179242
T44 Ryan Schuelke (Green Bay) 877778242
T51 John Stokes (Tennessee State U.) 808686252
53 Nick Armbrust (Bradley University) 848885257

More from this Section