Jacob Beckman, Ty Kretz | 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur qualifiers

Middleton's Jacob Beckman, left, and Marinette's Ty Kretz qualified for the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship out of the local qualifier at Watertown CC.

WATERTOWN — Jacob Beckman and Ty Kretz couldn't have packed much more into their June schedule than they have over the last four weeks, so how did the two Wisconsin golfers spend the final day of the month? By adding another tournament to their July schedule.

Beckman, a University of Wisconsin-bound golfer from Middleton, and Kretz, a Marinette golfer headed to South Dakota State, shot matching 69s during Wednesday's U.S. Junior Amateur qualifying at Watertown Country Club to earn the two available berths. The U.S. Junior Amateur will be played July 19-24 at the Country Club of North Carolina at Pinehurst, N.C.

Both had to rally to do so. Beckman, who shot 36 on the front nine, shot 33 on the back to catch Kretz, his only playing partner in the third-to-last group, at 1-under. Kretz, who had bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17, needed a birdie on the final hole to avoid what would have been a 6-for-1 playoff for the final spot.

"I was getting frustrated with those two bogeys and hit a great drive on (No.) 18 to 75 yards out," Kretz, who finished third at the WIAA Division 2 state tournament and second at the WPGA Junior Championship, wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "(I) hit a perfect wedge to about a foot for birdie and tapped it in. ... It means a lot to be able to qualify for such a competitive tournament. It takes a lot grinding and effort to be able to edge out all these great players for those two spots." 

Indeed, 12 golfers finished within five shots of the leaders in all, a who's-who headlined by WIAA Division 3 state champion Noah Kirsch of Lancaster, current University of Wisconsin golfer Cameron Huss of Kenosha and future Badger Graham Moody of Vancouver, Wash. They were among five golfers to shoot 70, one stroke off the pace, while three golfers finished T-8 at 72, including Minnesota recruit Bennett Swavely of Hudson and Spencer Stuke of WIAA Division 1 state champion Kettle Moraine (Wales).

"It has been a long few weeks of golf," Beckman wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf, referring to a stretch in which he won the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, finished T-33 at the Ray Fischer State Amateur Championship and T-12 at Monday's 36-hole Balance & Believe Invitational. "It is super rewarding to get through this into the U.S. Junior because it shows my work is starting to pay off."

Like Kretz, Beckman had to work to avoid a playoff for a trip to North Carolina.

After opening with a birdie at No. 1, he bogeyed Nos. 2, 5 and 9 to make the turn at 2-over 36. Beckman played bogey-free golf from there, making birdies at Nos. 13 (with a 20-foot putt), 14 (two-putt) and 17 (with a 7-foot putt).

"On 18, I knew where I stood and tried to play it just like (No.) 18 at state," wrote Beckman, who two-putted for par to edge Swavely by one shot for the title. "(I) ended up pulling a drive way left into (No.) 17 and had a good angle at the pin up over the trees. (I) hit a pitching wedge to the back of the green and two-putted for par." 

And now, coming off one busy month, Beckman and Kretz are looking forward to another.

"It means a lot to get through this event," Beckman wrote. "I’m excited to represent Wisconsin at the U.S. Junior. My game is in a really good spot right now and I look forward to the busy schedule I have in the month of July."

T1Ty Kretz  Marinette, WIF-169 
T1Jacob Beckman  Middleton, WisconsinF-169 
T3William Harned  Nashotah, WisconsinFE70 
T3Pierce Grieve  Lake Forest, IllinoisFE70 
T3Graham Moody  Vancouver, WashingtonFE70 
T3Noah Kirsch  Lancaster, WIFE70 
T3Cameron Huss  Kenosha, WIFE70 
T8Spencer Stuke  Delafield, WisconsinF+272 
T8William Hemauer  Wauwatosa, WIF+272 
T8Bennett Swavely  Hudson, WIF+272 
T11Mason Haupt  De Pere, WIF+373 
T11Sebastian Kasun  Elm Grove, WisconsinF+373 
T13Mccord Grice  Atlanta, GeorgiaF+474 
T13Alex Koenig  Wales, WIF+474 
T15Hayden LeMonds  Wauwatosa, WisconsinF+575 
T15James Baker  Middleton, WisconsinF+575 
T15Ryan Kai Nam Leung  Hong Kong ChinaF+575 
T15Alec Sosnowski  Middleton, WisconsinF+575 
T15Jamozzy Skenandore  De Pere, WIF+575 
T15Maxamillian Xiong  River Falls, WIF+575 
T21Parker Etzel  Eau Claire, WisconsinF+676 
T21Jack Glaspy  Pewaukee, WIF+676 
T21Alex Weiss  Middleton, WisconsinF+676 
T21Braeden Resnick  Rice Lake, WIF+676 
T25Alwang Deang  Madison, WisconsinF+777 
T25Jacob Frederickson  Cottage Grove, WisconsinF+777 
27Cole Ross  Waunakee, WIF+878 
28Aiden Cudney  Appleton, WIF+979 
29Andrew Aune  Madison, WisconsinF+1080 
30Emery Endres  Cedarburg, WisconsinF+1484 

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