Jack Blair, Bentley Cotton

Wauwatosa's Jack Blair, Texas' Bentley Cotton pose with 2019 WinCraft McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends Tournament trophies.

To understand how Jack Blair reached the point of winning his first American Junior Golf Association Tour event Friday, the Wauwatosa golfer needed to remember why he hadn't won the WinCraft McArthur Towel & Sports Future Legends Tournament past years at the Legend of Merrill Hills Country Club.

"Every year, I had this tournament circled in my calendar as one I wanted to do really well in," the University of Wisconsin recruit wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf. "I think I put too much pressure on myself to play well in this particular event every year and I usually fell short of what I hoped for. I’ve always felt comfortable at Merrill Hills, so this year, instead of trying to force things, I had a really peaceful attitude about how I played."

His scorecard Friday showed he was at peace playing with the lead, too. 

Blair's 1-under-par 71 in the final round gave him a four-stroke victory over Ohio's Joe Wilson with a 1-under 215 total. Minnesota's Ben Warian (73) and Kaukauna's Brock Hlinak (73) tied for third at 220 while California's Patrick Hong (74-221) rounded out the top five in the boys competition.

In the girls portion of the ninth annual tournament, Bentley Cotton of Austin, Texas, shot 72 and rolled to a five-stroke victory with a 217 total. Franklin's Mallory Swartz (77-233) was the top Wisconsin finisher, in a tie for 11th.

After starting the day with a one-stroke lead over Indiana's Drew Wrightson, Blair played like someone determined to control his own destiny. He birdied Nos. 3, 4 and 7 and, despite a bogey at No. 8, led by four shots at the turn.

"(I) just told myself to try and hit one good shot after another," Blair wrote. "And if I can do that, I’ll live with the results."

The four-shot cushion allowed Blair to do some deeper thinking on the back nine.

"I kind of just had a super positive attitude the whole day," Blair wrote. "The one thing I kept thinking was this quote I heard from one of my old high school teachers: 'Perspective plus gratitude equals an increase in performance.' I love that quote because it kind of forces you to look back at how a cool of a moment you’re in and all the work (your) parents as well as you put in to get there. It helped me to just enjoy the moment and realize that if I won it’d be a great learning experience and if I lost I’d learn even more.

"I was calm the whole day (Friday) and just kept thinking if I keep grinding and do my best mentally, I'll live with the result."

And now? He'll savor it, but not for too long.

He will be Wisconsin's lone representative next week at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. On top of its timing, this victory was so big for so many reasons for Blair. 

"Winning in my home state is awesome; the last Wisconsinite to do it was (Vanderbilt golfer) Harrison Ott so I’m in good company for sure," Blair wrote. "(As for) winning an AJGA (event), it’s less excitement and more validation that I can compete and win big tournaments."


Boys overall

POS.PLAYERSCORER1R2R3TOTAL
1John Blair
Wauwatosa, Wis. (2019)
-1717371215
2Joe Wilson
West Chester, Ohio (2022)
+3777171219
T3Ben Warian
Stillwater, Minn. (2020)
+4747373220
T3Brock Hlinak
Kaukauna, Wis. (2019)
+4737473220
5Patrick Hong
Los Angeles, Calif. (2022)
+5717674221
T6Cameron Huss
Kenosha, Wis. (2020)
+6757176222
T6Henry Poston
Los Alamos, N.M. (2020)
+6767472222
T8Aidan Lafferty
Downers Grove, Ill. (2019)
+7747574223
T8Ben DeLaRosa
Dallas, Texas (2023)
+7737674223
T8Jack Johnson
Chaska, Minn. (2020)
+7777769223
T11Connor Neighbors
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (2019)
+8747971224
T11Drew Wrightson
Zionsville, Ind. (2021)
+8717479224
T11Spencer Crowe
Lake Forest, Ill. (2019)
+8787472224
T14Jack Lundin
Sioux Falls, S.D. (2020)
+9777672225
T14Matthew Raab
Hartland, Wis. (2019)
+9777375225
T16Ian Meyer
Deephaven, Minn. (2021)
+10737776226
T16Peter Radler
Winnetka, Ill. (2019)
+10797572226
T16Robert Beaubien
Barrington, Ill. (2019)
+10737776226
T16Scott Schlader
Phoenix, Ariz. (2020)
+10757477226
T16Shang-En Shen
Taipei, Taiwan (2022)
+10807472226
T21Hayden LeMonds
Wauwatosa, Wis. (2022)
+11777773227
T21John Fischer
Waconia, Minn. (2019)
+11797276227
T21Mac Suber
Tampa, Fla. (2020)
+11757676227
T21Will Frazier
Apple Valley, Minn. (2019)
+11777773227
T25Charles Zielinski
Omaha, Neb. (2020)
+12748173228
T25Drew Sagrillo
Mequon, Wis. (2019)
+12767577228
T25Max Barr
Winnetka, Ill. (2021)
+12707979228
T28Aaron Kuznik
Orono, Minn. (2020)
+13787774229
T28Jack Anderson
Brookfield, Wis. (2019)
+13718276229
T28Jack Dumas
Le Claire, Iowa (2021)
+13757876229
T28Nick Pittman
Urbandale, Iowa (2019)
+13737680229
T32Aiden Choi
(South Korea) San Diego, Calif. (2020)
+14767876230
T32Griffin Roscich
Glen Ellyn, Ill. (2020)
+14757679230
T32Johnny Walker
Chandler, Ariz. (2021)
+14847175230
T35Brady Holland
Elk River, Minn. (2021)
+15807774231
T35Pierce Braun
Phoenix, Ariz. (2020)
+15778272231
T35Will Webb
Lake Forest, Ill. (2021)
+15777678231
T38Aaron Chong
Glenview, Ill. (2020)
+17807776233
T38Davis Johnson
Chaska, Minn. (2021)
+17837476233
T38Jacob Beckman
Middleton, Wis. (2021)
+17797678233
T38Logan Lillehaug
Frederic, Wis. (2020)
+17807578233
T42Ethan Wilkins
Sussex, Wis. (2019)
+18798372234
T42Rory Myers
Wayland, Mich. (2019)
+18807777234
T42Will Verduzco
Kalamazoo, Mich. (2020)
+18767682234
T45Henry Quinn
Arlington Heights, Ill. (2021)
+19807778235
T45Patrick Adler
Winnetka, Ill. (2021)
+19817777235
47Ian Smith
Canton, Mich. (2020)
+20817580236
T48Charlie Haggerty
Lake Forest, Ill. (2021)
+21827679237
T48Conan Pan
Vernon Hills, Ill. (2021)
+21807879237
T50Blake Weinbach
Columbia, S.C. (2021)
+22767587238
T50Brockton English
Shelby Township, Mich. (2021)
+22788179238
52Ben Pausha
Delafield, Wis. (2021)
+23748184239
T53Alexander Bassel
Lexington, Ky. (2020)
+24817980240
T53Nikko Ganas
Schaumburg, Ill. (2021)
+24787983240
55Yun-Jui Yang
Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2021)
+25827881241
56Reindl Weaver
Deerfield, Ill. (2019)
+28778483244
57Graham Head
Glen Ellyn, Ill. (2022)
+29778781245
58Dillon Burr
Marion, Iowa (2021)
+32808088248
59Braeden Resnick
Rice Lake, Wis. (2021)
+35878381251
DQChristian Staudt
Mequon, Wis. (2021)
-DQNS DQ

Girls overall

POS.PLAYERSCORER1R2R3TOTAL
1Bentley Cotton
Austin, Texas (2020)
+1757072217
2Camille Boyd
Shanghai, China (2020)
+6757275222
3Stephanie Su
South Barrington, Ill. (2021)
+9817470225
4Yiyang Xu
Shanghai, China (2021)
+11757775227
5Honghong Zhou
Beijing, China (2021)
+12787377228
6Brianne Bolden
Mokena, Ill. (2019)
+14787775230
T7Caroline Garay
La Jolla, Calif. (2019)
+15767976231
T7Sophie Dalfonsi
Bend, Ore. (2021)
+15758175231
T7Sydney Seigel
Scottsdale, Ariz. (2021)
+15807576231
10Sophia Sulkar
Barrington Hills, Ill. (2022)
+16827575232
T11Kirsty Mitchell
(Canada) Ingersoll, Ontario (2022)
+17807776233
T11Mallory Swartz
Franklin, Wis. (2020)
+17807677233
T11Zoe Newell
Oro Valley, Ariz. (2023)
+17807974233
14Yiting Pan
Shanghai, China (2021)
+18787878234
T15Arlene Faye Salvador
Palmdale, Calif. (2020)
+19777979235
T15Leica Shen
(China) Bellevue, Wash. (2021)
+19777979235
17Yanah Rolston
Fortville, Ind. (2022)
+21797781237
T18Allie Kantor
Milton, Ga. (2021)
+24817782240
T18Katelyn Kuc
Carmel, Ind. (2021)
+24817782240
T18Tzunami Polito
(Mexico) Franklin, Tenn. (2021)
+24798279240
21Jessica Guiser
Hartland, Wis. (2024)
+25828178241
22Lauren Kaltenmark
Zionsville, Ind. (2021)
+26837584242
T23Bailee Tayles
Scottsdale, Ariz. (2021)
+27827982243
T23Melanie Bailes
Lake Forest, Ill. (2019)
+27838278243
25Holly Murphy
Lake Geneva, Wis. (2020)
+28838378244
26Grace Mitchell
(Canada) Ingersoll, Ontario (2019)
+29848279245
27Jenna Han
Mahwah, N.J. (2021)
+30848181246
T28Catherine Reisinger
Park Ridge, Ill. (2021)
+31868180247
T28Caylie Kotlowski
Stoughton, Wis. (2021)
+31828580247
30Glenna Sanderson
Middleton, Wis. (2021)
+35928376251
31Lauren Peterson
Hartland, Wis. (2022)
+37858484253
32Reagan Sohn
Evansville, Ind. (2022)
+41848489257
33Ellie Braksiek
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (2020)
+46898885262
34Aliya George
Emerald Hills, Calif. (2021)
+47879086263
35Joanna James
Orland Park, Ill. (2021)
+531008386269
WDMichelle Harn
Mount Pleasant, S.C. (2019)
-7784WDWD

rob@killarneygolfmedia.com

Rob started covering the Wisconsin golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison & has been the only reporter covering all levels of state golf. He joined Killarney Golf Media in Sept. 2015 & helped launch Wisconsin.Golf in Jan. 2016.