jr boys Swavely drive.jpg

Bennett Swavely of Hudson tracks his drive on the 10th hole at Edelweiss Chalet Country Club on Wednesday. Swavely went on to win the WSGA Junior Boys title by three shots.

Among the leaders going into the final round of the WSGA Junior Boys Championship on Wednesday, Bennett Swavely, a rising junior at Hudson High School, probably was the least experienced in terms of performing in big moments.

He started the day at Edelweiss Chalet Country Club in New Glarus tied for the lead with Cameron Huss of Kenosha, a University of Wisconsin recruit. Drake Wilcox of Sheboygan, the reigning WIAA Division 3 champion, was two shots back and rounded out the final threesome. And Badgers recruit Jack Blair of Wauwatosa was lurking three shots back.

“I knew the guys in my group, Cameron and Drake, were both good players,” Swavely said. “I knew the group in front of me had good players, too, with Jack and (Danny) Sanicki (of Menomonee Falls). I knew any of those guys could make birdies down the stretch.”

Swavely, however, held off all of them, riding a steady 1-over 73 to an even-par 216 total and a three-shot victory in the 54-hole event. Huss shot a 76 and finished second at 219 and Blair (74), Sanicki (73) and Wilcox (75) tied for third at 220.

It was by far Swavely’s biggest victory to date, and he joins a list of champions that includes Steve Stricker, Mark Wilson, Thomas Longbella and Hunter Eichhorn in a tournament that began in 1924.

jr boys piercen- swavely shake.jpg

Piercen Hunt (right), the 2018 WSGA Junior Boys champion, congratulates 2019 winner Bennett Swavely on the 18th green.

“I’ve won a few high school tournaments here and there and I won a few tournaments in the summer when I played in (junior events) in Minnesota,” Swavely said. “But nothing as big as this. It feels good to have my name on that trophy.”

Swavely parred the first eight holes and birdied No. 9, while Huss got off to a slow start with four bogeys in the first seven holes. By the time they made the turn, he was five shots back.

“It was a little disappointing because at the start of the day I was tied for the lead and then I was 4-over through seven,” Huss said. “I had a couple three-putts the first seven holes and I wasn’t in my groove. I played solid the first two days. Just didn’t have it today.”

Blair, who helped Milwaukee Marquette High School win back-to-back WIAA Division 1 state titles and set the tournament scoring record (594) this spring, also got off to a slow start with three bogeys in the first five holes. He did birdie Nos. 6, 8 and 15 but by then it was too little, too late.

“My game felt pretty mediocre the entire week but I just kept grinding,” Blair wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf. “I saw Bennett was 1-under on his front nine and at that point I knew it was over.

“I always tell myself that I have little control over my natural talent or even to an extent how I’m physically playing. All I can control is whether I can quit or keep going. I gave it my all, but got beat by somebody playing golf at a higher, more fine-tuned level.”

Sanicki made a big move with four birdies against a lone bogey on the front nine to pull to within a single stroke, but a triple-bogey on the par-4 10th effectively ended his chances.

Swavely, meanwhile, three-putted from 12 feet for a “bad bogey” on No. 11 and missed the green and failed to get up and down on the par-3 17th for another bogey, but otherwise was steady down the stretch.

“He didn’t make any big mistakes,” Huss said.

Swavely said he avoided looking at the standard bearers’ signs and didn’t know exactly where he stood until Huss told him on the 18th green that he had a three-shot lead.

“I felt like I handed it pretty well,” he said. “Obviously, I was a little nervous coming down the stretch. Like I said, I haven’t really won a big tournament before. This is a big confidence booster for me.”

Swavely plays out of Troy Burne Golf Club, where former University of Illinois All-American Charlie Danielson of Osceola often practices. Danielson ranks 14th on the PGA Tour’s non-member earnings list this year and recently tied for seventh in the Barracuda Championship.

“He doesn’t live too far from me,” Swavely said. “I’ve seen him at Troy Burne a couple times practicing with my coach, Brent Snyder. After I won today, Charlie DM’d me and said, ‘Good job.’ It was nice of him to do that.”

POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
R3
STROKES
 
1-Bennett Swavely  Hudson, WIEF+1707373216 
2
Arrow Down
 1
Cameron Huss  Kenosha, WI+3F+4727176219 
T3
Arrow Up
 1
Jack (John) Blair  Wauwatosa, WI+4F+2767074220 
T3
Arrow Up
 3
Danny Sanicki  Menomonee Falls, WI+4F+1727573220 
T3-Drake Wilcox  Sheboygan, WI+4F+3687775220 
T6
Arrow Up
 8
Blake Wisdom  Lake Geneva, WI+6F-1737871222 
T6
Arrow Down
 2
Kyle Bengtson  Woodruff, WI+6F+4767076222 
T8
Arrow Up
 14
Samuel Nielsen  Fond Du Lac, WI+7F-3817369223 
T8
Arrow Up
 6
Zak Kulka  Beaver Dam, WI+7FE737872223 
T8-Matthew Raab  Hartland, WI+7F+2747574223 
11
Arrow Down
 3
Piercen Hunt  Hartland, WI+8F+3717875224 
T12
Arrow Down
 4
James Gilmore  Middleton, WI+9F+4737676225 
T12
Arrow Down
 5
Jacob Beckman  Middleton, WI+9F+5727677225 
T14
Arrow Up
 3
Tyler Cleaves  Kaukauna, WI+10F+2797374226 
T14
Arrow Down
 2
Karl Gilmore  Middleton, WI+10F+4737776226 
16
Arrow Down
 8
Joe Forsting  Edgerton, WI+12F+7767379228 
17
Arrow Up
 1
Simon Cuskey  Rice Lake, WI+13F+4738076229 
T18
Arrow Up
 4
Lukas Heckmann  Middleton, WI+14F+4748076230 
T18
Arrow Up
 4
Hayden LeMonds  Wauwatosa, WI+14F+4767876230 
T18
Arrow Up
 26
Tommy Kriewaldt  Madison, WI+14F *E788072230 
T21
Arrow Up
 1
Austin Gray  Janesville, WI+15F+5797577231 
T21
Arrow Up
 1
Steven Sanicki  Menomonee Falls, WI+15F+5777777231 
T21
Arrow Down
 3
Austin Gaby  Verona, WI+15F+6777678231 
T24
Arrow Down
 6
Christian Staudt  Mequon, WI+16F+7738079232 
T24
Arrow Down
 10
Jack Lutze  Brookfield, WI+16F+9797281232 
26
Arrow Down
 4
Zachary Walsh  Elm Grove, WI+17F+7767879233 
T27
Arrow Up
 4
Vincent Omernik  Custer, WI+18F *+6797778234 
T27
Arrow Up
 11
Austin Thyes  Sheboygan Falls, WI+18F *+5797877234 
T27
Arrow Down
 5
Noah Kirsch  Lancaster, WI+18F+8787680234 
T27
Arrow Up
 11
Austin Erickson  Sparta, WI+18F *+5797877234 
T27
Arrow Down
 15
Sebastian Kasun  Elm Grove, WI+18F+12787284234 
T32
Arrow Down
 1
Thomas Winkler  Mount Horeb, WI+19F+7787879235 
T32
Arrow Down
 1
Jackson Cain  Delafield, WI+19F+7807679235 
T32
Arrow Up
 6
Adam Lazaroff  Minocqua, WI+19F *+6787978235 
T32
Arrow Up
 6
Ansen Nomm  Minocqua, WI+19F *+6787978235 
T32
Arrow Down
 14
Josh Teplin  Mequon, WI+19F+10728182235 
37
Arrow Down
 15
Ryan Batterman  Cottage Grove, WI+20F+10797582236 
38-Ben Peloquin  Weston, WI+21F *+8787980237 
T39
Arrow Down
 17
Ethan Wilkins  Sussex, WI+22F+12787684238 
T39
Arrow Up
 10
Kyle Wille  Edgerton, WI+22F *+6817978238 
T41
Arrow Up
 3
Nicholas Higley  Strum, WI+23F *+9827681239 
T41
Arrow Up
 8
Nicholas Amtmann  Nashotah, WI+23F *+7817979239 
T41
Arrow Up
 19
Ryan Darling  Allouez, WI+23F *+4847976239 
T44
Arrow Down
 13
Max Reis  De Pere, WI+24F+12787884240 
T44
Arrow Down
 6
Ty Kretz  Marinette, WI+24F *+11807783240 
T44
Arrow Up
 3
Sather Liam  Eau Claire, WI+24F *+9778281240 
T44
Arrow Up
 8
Caden Jacobson  Lake Delton, WI+24F *+7827979240 
T44
Arrow Up
 16
Maxamillian Xiong  River Falls, WI+24F *+5857877240 
T44
Arrow Up
 16
Josh Koszarek  Waterford, WI+24F *+5818277240 
T50
Arrow Down
 19
Marty Swab  Menomonee Falls, WI+25F *+13797785241 
T50
Arrow Down
 6
Stanford Swid  Weston, WI+25F *+11778183241 
T52
Arrow Down
 21
Charlie Schubbe  Appleton, WI+26F+14777986242 
T52
Arrow Down
 3
Davis Greene  Neenah, WI+26F *+10837782242 
T52-Alwang Deang  Madison, WI+26F *+9788381242 
T52
Arrow Up
 8
Mickey Keating  Sun Prairie, WI+26F *+7867779242 
T56
Arrow Down
 25
Ethan Carrick  Sun Prairie, WI+27F+15797787243 
T56
Arrow Down
 1
Trey Oswald  Union, KY+27F *+9798381243 
T56
Arrow Up
 4
Jacob Werlein  Waunakee, WI+27F *+8847980243 
T59
Arrow Down
 7
Alex Koenig  Wales, WI+28F *+11818083244 
T59
Arrow Down
 4
Braeden Resnick  Rice Lake, WI+28F *+10808282244 
61
Arrow Down
 14
Austin Georger  Appleton, WI+29F *+14798086245 
T62
Arrow Down
 7
Robert Warda  Middleton, WI+30F *+12847884246 
T62
Arrow Down
 2
Kaeden Nomm  Minocqua, WI+30F *+11828183246 
64
Arrow Down
 9
Will Summers  Richfield, WI+31F *+13818185247 
T65
Arrow Down
 10
Ben Hilbelink  Menomonee Falls, WI+33F *+15837987249 
T65
Arrow Up
 5
Bode King  Hartland, WI+33F *+10868182249 
67
Arrow Down
 7
William Hemauer  Wauwatosa, WI+34F *+15788587250 
68
Arrow Down
 8
Simon Mitchell  Mineral Point, WI+36F *+17877689252 
69-Spencer Stuke  Delafield, WI+39F *+17818589255 
70
Arrow Down
 10
Connor Nelson  Waukesha, WI+40F *+21818293256 

garyd@killarneygolfmedia.com

Gary has covered golf in Wisconsin since 1980 and is a multiple award winner in the GWAA writing contest. He was inducted into the WSGA Hall of Fame in 2017 and joined Wisconsin.Golf in 2018 after a distinguished career at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.