Morgan Stanley Junior Tour Championship | 2018 top three boys

From left, Kenosha's Cameron Huss (third), Brookfield's Jack Lutze (first) and Kaukauna's Brock Hlinak (second) pose with their trophies from the 2018 Wisconsin PGA Junior Tour Morgan Stanley Tour Championship.

As much as Jack Lutze tried not to become consumed with what playing partner Brock Hlinak was doing Thursday, the Brookfield golfer knew it’d be tough to ignore his Kaukauna rival.

The final round of the Morgan Stanley Tour Championship, an invitation-only event for the top golfers on the WPGA Junior Tour, essentially would be a match-play battle between the two.

“Throughout the whole day, I knew Brock was going to be my main competition,” Lutze wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. “He is quite a bit longer off the tee, which would help (Hlinak) on some short par-4s but I knew that if I stuck to my game plan I (would be) able to match his overall score for the hole. I didn’t want to view the day as a match, but as we got closer to the end I started to do some calculations to realize where I stood overall compared to him.”

After Hlinak, who started the day two shots behind, rallied twice to square their duel, Lutze made a critical birdie on the par-5 13th hole and held the lead through some tense holes down the stretch. Both golfers played their final five holes in 1-under-par, but Lutze emerged with the victory, shooting a 1-under 71 to edge Hlinak by one shot with a 5-under 139 total for 36 holes.

For Lutze, the victory takes some of the sting out of his runner-up finish to Kenosha’s Cameron Huss at last week’s Wisconsin Junior Masters in Racine. Huss (72-73) placed third Thursday.

“Walking off the green was an amazing feeling,” Lutze wrote of out-dueling Hlinak, who was in the hunt last week at the Wisconsin State Amateur in Minocqua and then qualified Tuesday for the upcoming Wisconsin State Open by shooting 7-under 65 at Ridgeway CC in Neenah.

“I was finally able to calm down and relax. During the high school season I shot consecutive 74s at Washington County and I know I went under par both times (this week)! It was surreal.”

Indeed, it was an tension-filled showdown against Hlinak from the get-go.

After matching pars on the first two holes, Hlinak drew to within one by making birdie on the par-5 third hole and pulled even when Lutze bogeyed the par-3 fourth. Hlinak gave one back with a bogey at the par-3 sixth and Lutze led by two again after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

Both golfers turned in even-par 36 before Lutze bogeyed No. 10 and saw his lead shrink to one shot. Hlinak squared the match again with a birdie on the par-3 11th hole and, after both parred No. 12, it came down to strategy on the 548-yard, par-5 13th hole that yielded just three birdies.

“Brock striped his (drive) down the middle of the fairway, so all I can do is match him and be a little further back,” Lutze wrote. “I had a pretty decent drive in the fairway, and then laid up for my second shot. Brock, on the other hand, was on the green in two so I had to trust my yardage with my wedge and stick (an approach shot) in a makeable (birdie) range. Brock blew his first putt by and eventually three-putted. I was able to sneak my putt in for birdie.”

According to Lutze, Hlinak missed a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 14, where he was able to get up-and-down to save par. After routine pars on the par-3 16th hole that played as the third most-difficult hole on the course, Hlinak had one last par-5 to try and make something happen.

“I knew he would go for it in two so I just wanted to give myself the opportunity,” Lutze said. “With 230 yards to the pin, I hit a 4-iron since the wind was down and helping. He had around 180 or 190 and a mid-iron in. I would pure my shot and land in the middle of the green putting it closer than him. We both gave it a run for eagle but barely missed and had tap-in birdies.”

Lutze’s win boosts him to No. 3 on the WPGA Junior Player of the Year points standing with 964 points. He trails only Hlinak and Hartland’s Piercen Hunt in the season-long standings.

“My main goal going into this tournament was to rack up as many points as I could to make the Wisconsin Junior Cup team for next year,” said Lutze, who will play in the Wisconsin State Golf Association Junior Boys Championship next week at Rolling Meadows GC in Fond du Lac before playing a Golfweek Junior Tour event Aug. 11 and 12 at the Warren Course at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.  ”With this win, I have gained positive confidence to strive for similar tournament performances. Overall I was elated to win and hopefully able to bring light to my future that could possibly lead to college golf.”

In the girls competition, Eau Claire's Lexi Meade shot 2-over-par 74 and completed a wire-to-wire victory in the 36-hole event. Her 3-over 147 total was six shots better than Loyola (Ill.)-bound Lorenza Martinez of Menomonee Falls and Madeline Koenig, a senior-to-be at Kettle Moraine HS in Wales.

Meade made her move both days on the back nine at Washington County. She made four birdies in a bogey-free 32 in the opening round, helping her salvage her 73. She made two more Thursday (at Nos. 14 and 17) around bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 to maintain a safe distance between her and Martinez and Koenig, who finished eagle-bogey to get within six shots of the winner.

"The back nine at Washington County is a great layout," Meade wrote in an email interview with Wisconsin.Golf. "Every hole is right there in front of you, no tricks or gimmicks. It played to my strengths of length with the driver and accuracy with the irons. The greens were in excellent condition and I putted really well, which created a great combination for scoring."

Meade also credited playing partners Rachel Kauflin, Jessica Guisser and Koenig for creating a relaxed competitive atmosphere.

"We were all laughing, chatting, and cheering each other on," Meade wrote. "That created a really positive vibe that allowed me to play great golf."

Meade and most of the girls competing in the event will now turn their attention to the high school season. Practice begins Monday and one of the first big events on the schedule is Thursday with the Hartford Invitational at Washington County.

"It's definitely a confidence booster, and I'm extremely happy to head into the high school season fresh off a good win," wrote Meade, whose Eau Claire Memorial team opens play Friday at the Barron Invitational. "As far as my expectations, I just to focus on what I can control: Remaining positive, approaching everything with a good attitude and putting in plenty of hard work. If I combine all of that with going out and enjoying the game, I think good play will follow."


Boys overall

 
PosPlayerTodayThruTotalR1R2TotalPoints 
1Jack Lutze  2020, Brookfield, WI-1F-56871139350 
2Brock Hlinak  2019, Kaukauna, WI-2F-47070140300 
3Cameron Huss  2020, Kenosha, WI+1F+17273145250 
T4Connor Brown  2019, Racine+2F+27274146187.50 
T4Drake Wilcox  2020, Sheboygan, WI+1F+27373146187.50 
T6Elliott Nielsen  2018, Fond du lac, WI+1F+47573148145 
T6Danny Sanicki  2019, Menomonee Falls, WI+1F+47573148145 
T8Ryan Schuelke  2018, Manawa, WI-2F+57970149120 
T8Joshua Teplin  2020, Mequon, WI-3F+58069149120 
T8Austin Thyes  2019, Sheboygan Falls, WI+4F+57376149120 
T11Steven Sanicki  2019, Menomonee Falls, WI+9F+6698115095 
T11Maxwell Schmidtke  2019, Sheboygan, WIEF+6787215095 
13Ty Kretz  2021, Marinette+4F+7757615180 
T14Logan Lillehaug  2020, Frederic, WI+4F+8767615273.50 
T14Jack Summers  2020, Richfield, WI+5F+8757715273.50 
T16Evan Thomas  2019, Junction City, WI+1F+9807315357.50 
T16Jiseung Choi  2020, Houghton, MI+4F+9777615357.50 
T16Zach Bernhardt  2019, Eau Claire, WI+6F+9757815357.50 
T16Zach Walsh  2019, Elm Grove, WI+8F+9738015357.50 
T20Marty Swab  2020, Menomonee Falls, WI+2F+10807415437.50 
T20Sean Murphy  2019, Middleton+4F+10787615437.50 
T20Preston Cedergren  2020, Green Bay, WI+3F+10797515437.50 
T20Jacob Beckman  2021, Middleton, WI+5F+10777715437.50 
T24Jamozzy Skenandore  2020, De Pere, WI+1F+11827315517.50 
T24Jack Anderson  2019, Brookfield, WI+7F+11767915517.50 
T24Joseph Forsting  2019, Edgerton, WI+8F+11758015517.50 
T24Zak Kulka  2019, Beaver Dam, WI+9F+11748115517.50 
T28Ian Behringer  2019, Manitowoc, WI+1F+1283731564.17 
T28Christian Staudt  2021, Mequon, WI+4F+1280761564.17 
T28Samuel Nielsen  2020, Fond Du Lac, WI+6F+1278781564.17 
T28Mason Gardner  2018, Waupaca, WI+8F+1276801564.17 
T28Reis Schweiner  2019, Sherwood, WI+8F+1276801564.17 
T28Mason Schulz  2019, Mukwonago, WI+8F+1276801564.17 
34Max Schneider  2019, Neenah, WI+12F+137384157  
T35Thomas Kriewaldt  2020, Madison, WI+2F+148474158  
T35Kevin McMeans  2018, Manitowoc+5F+148177158  
T35Tyler Cleaves  2019, Kaukauna, WI+7F+147979158  
38Grant Wininger  2019, Racine, WI+5F+178477161  
T39Alex Koenig  2023, Wales, WI+6F+188478162  
T39Ansen Nomm  2020, Minocqua, WI+8F+188280162  
T39James Johnson  2019, Greendale, WI+10F+188082162  
42Kyle Wille  2019, Edgerton, WI+9F+198281163  
43Aaron Kresse  2020, Wales, WI+9F+238681167  
44Kadin Kleman  2020, Janesville, WI+14F+268486170

Girls overall

 
PosPlayerTodayThruTotalR1R2TotalPoints 
1Lexi Meade  2019, Eau Claire, WI+2F+37374147350 
T2Lorenza Martinez  2018, Menomonee Falls, WI+3F+97875153275 
T2Madeline Koenig  2019, Wales, WI+6F+97578153275 
T4Elise Hoven  2021, Grafton, WI+6F+127878156187.50 
T4Rachel Kauflin  2020, Wauwatosa, WI+7F+127779156187.50 
6Speedy Kent  2018, Mequon, WI+3F+148375158150 
T7Annie Balduzzi  2019, Onalaska, WI+7F+158079159120 
T7Courtney Matschke  2018, Franklin, WI+6F+158178159120 
T7Erika Priebe  2018, Appleton, WI+9F+157881159120 
T7Grace Suter  2020, Oconomowoc, WI+9F+157881159120 
T7Sarah Balding  2022, Brookfield, WI+11F+157683159120 
12Anouska Siva  2019, Brookfield, WI+6F+16827816090 
13Samantha Krutz  2020, Brookfield, WI+8F+17818016180 
14Holly Murphy  2020, Lake Geneva WI+8F+19838016375 
15Kendra Swanson  2019, Beaver Dam, WI+17F+21768916570 
T16Sophia Dooman  2019, Janesville, WI+7F+22877916657.50 
T16Jessica Guiser  2024, Hartland, WI+5F+22897716657.50 
T16Brighton Young  2021, Loves Park, IL+8F+22868016657.50 
T16Mallory Swartz  2020, Franklin, WI+10F+22848216657.50 
20Gianna Gastrow  2018, Hartland, WI+6F+24907816845 
21Lauren Peterson  2022, Hartland+13F+25848516940 
22Caylie Kotlowski  2021, Stoughton, WI+13F+26858517035 
T23Samantha Soulier  2019, Waunakee, WI+14F+30888617427.50 
T23Lily Sheppard  2019, Sherwood, WI+23F+30799517427.50 
25Treva Dodd  2024, Brookfield, WI+16F+31878817520 
26Kallie Lux  2021, Janesville, WI+11F+32938317615 
27Bailee Bussan  2018, Cuba City, WI+12F+33938417710 
28Madison Haugen  2024, Brookfield, WI+18F+3690901805 
29Jolie Guyette  2021, De Pere, WI+26F+60106982045

More from this Section