Zak Kulka | 2019 Morgan Stanley WPGA Junior Tour Championship | Boys champion

Zak Kulka | 2019 Morgan Stanley WPGA Junior Tour Championship | Boys champion

HARTFORD — Zak Kulka has been trying to get a lot of things checked off the to-do list this month as he gets ready to leave in August for UW-Green Bay.

Last week, the Beaver Dam golfer had his wisdom teeth removed. Monday, Kulka won his first 36-hole event in 11 years playing WPGA Junior events.

Kulka shot a 3-under-par 69 at Washington County Golf Course and, with a 36-hole 2-under 142 total, captured the Morgan Stanley WPGA Junior Tour Championship by two shots over Drake Wilcox, the reigning WIAA Division 3 state champion from Sheboygan who shot his second straight 72. Jamozzy Skenandore of De Pere closed with a 72 to finish third at 1-over 145.

In the girls competition, Hartland's Jessica Guiser completed a wire-to-wire victory with a final round 76. Her 3-over 147 total gave Guiser, who opened with a 71, a two-shot win over Sarah Balding of Brookfield, who shot 75. 

"I got my wisdom teeth out on Wednedsay last week so I've been doing a lot of resting these last few days," Zulka wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf. "I haven't really been able to eat a lot of foods so I've been trying to stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids."

Kulka, who was one shot behind Wilcox and Fond du Lac's Sam Nielsen after Sunday's opening round, opened bogey-bogey before making a birdie at the par-5. But he was still one back of Nielsen, who finished fourth, at the turn.

That changed in a hurry as Kulka made a scrambling birdie at No. 10 and then birdied the next two holes in a row to take the lead. After another birdie at the par-3 14th hole, the lefty shanked his approach shot on the par-4 15th hole into a patch of fescue, managed to hit his third shot on the green and then two-putted for bogey to see his lead over Wilcox trimmed to one.

"It was one of those things where it was so bad, you just kind of gotta laugh it off and move on and try not to make too big a score," wrote Kulka, who hit a driver/6-iron on the par-5 17th hole to 20 feet and two-putted for birdie to restore his margin to two going into the home hole. "That wone was big because I knew that we were all still pretty close going into that hole."

For Kulka, whose start Tuesday was his 143rd in a WPGA Junior points event since playing his first Futures Tour event in 2009, the victory comes as the sun prepares to set on his junior career. He will tee it up in the WSGA Junior Amateur one last time next week at Edelweiss Chalet CC in New Glarus and then compete in the Wisconsin State Open at Geneva National GC in Lake Geneva before beginning his freshman year with the Phoenix.

"This was one of the last junior tournaments, so it was nice to finally get the job done and win," Kulka wrote. "I've been playing pretty well lately, so it definitely gives me some more confidence going into my final two tournaments of the summer."

For Guiser, who will be an eighth grader this fall, this was also her first win in a 36-hole WPGA-sponsored junior event. After shooting a 1-under 71 in the opening round, she opened with a birdie Monday and managed to keep rising sophomore Sarah Balding of Brookfield Central at bay down the stretch.

"Having the lead going into a tournament of this level was comforting, and the birdie to start off the round also helped, knowing I had some room for error while playing with two amazing players," Guiser wrote via text message to Wisconsin.golf, referring to Balding and Franklin's Mallory Swartz.

The turning point in her duel with Balding came at the par-3 16th hole. Guiser hit a hybrid on the par-3 to within three feet for birdie; Balding bogeyed.

But Guiser wasn't celebrating quite yet. After going for the green in two on the par-5 17th hole and hitting her second shot thin, she was faced with a tough chip to the green that she got close enough to two-putt for a par.

"Winning this tournament has been an amazing opportunity to play and learn from some of the best players around the area like Rachel Kauflin, Sarah Balding and Mallory Swartz," Guiser wrote. "I am extremely lucky to be able to play with such amazing talent at such a young age."


Boys overall

POS
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
POINTS
 
1Zak Kulka  2019, Beaver Dam, WI-2F-37369142350 
2Drake Wilcox  2020, Sheboygan, WIEFE7272144300 
3Jamozzy Skenandore  2020, De Pere, WI+1FE7372145250 
4Samuel Nielsen  2020, Fond Du Lac, WI+2F+27274146200 
5Ty Kretz  2021, Marinette+4F+17573148175 
6Joshua Teplin  2020, Mequon, WI+5F+27574149150 
T7Ty Mueller  2021, Mequon, WI+7F+57477151135 
T7Aiden Cudney  2024, Appleton, WI+7F+57477151135 
T9Carson Brock  2020, Onalaska, WI+8F+37775152115 
T9Levi Williams  2019, Green Bay, WI+8F+77379152115 
T11Kyle Bengtson  2020, Woodruff, WI+9FE817215395 
T11Kyle Wille  2019, Edgerton, WI+9F+5767715395 
T13Austin Erickson  2020, Sparta, WI+10F+3797515470.40 
T13Jack Lutze  2020, Brookfield, WI+10F+4787615470.40 
T13Brice Klabunde  2020, Cameron, WI+10F+6767815470.40 
T13Hayden LeMonds  2022, Wauwatosa, WI+10F+5777715470.40 
T13Christian Staudt  2021, Mequon, WI+10F+5777715470.40 
18Addison Raimer  2021, West Bend, WI+11F+5787715555 
T19Zach Walsh  2019, Elm Grove, WI+12F+1837315647.50 
T19Ansen Nomm  2020, Minocqua, WI+12F+8768015647.50 
T21Brad Buechel  2019, Kewaskum, WI+13F+5807715732.50 
T21Marty Swab  2020, Menomonee Falls, WI+13F+6797815732.50 
T21Nick Amtmann  2021, Nashotah+13F+8778015732.50 
T21Bryson Mercier  2022, Powers, MI+13F+11748315732.50 
T25Austin Georger  2021, Appleton, WI+14F+8788015817.50 
T25Jackson Cain  2021, Delafield, WI+14F+10768215817.50 
T27Benjamin Pausha  2021, Delafield, WI+15F+582771597.50 
T27Thomas Kriewaldt  2020, Madison, WI+15F+879801597.50 
T29Benjamin Soboleski  2022, Wauwatosa, WI+16F+682781605 
T29Matthew Paulson  2021, North Prairie, WI+16F+979811605 
31Yinta Yang  2023, Menasha, WI+17F+881801615 
32Caden Jacobson  2022, Lake Delton, WI+19F+982811635 
T33Noah Kirsch  2022, Lancaster, WI+20F+118183164  
T33Ryan Darling  2022, Green Bay, WI+20F+128084164  
T33Maxamillian Xiong  2021, River Falls, WI+20F+137985164  
T36Jordan Carvenough  2021, Marinette, WI+21F+68778165  
T36Charlie Erlandson  2023, Verona, WI+21F+128184165  
T38Maxwell Reis  2022, De Pere, WI+23F+148186167  
T38Elijah Bartel  2021, Waupaca, WI+23F+177889167  
40Ethan Arndt  2021, Madison, WI+24F+168088168  
41Spencer Stuke  2024, Delafield, WI+28F+158587172  

Girls overall

POS
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
POINTS
 
1Jessica Guiser  2024, Hartland, WI+3F+47176147350 
2Sarah Balding  2022, Brookfield, WI+5F+37475149300 
3Elise Hoven  2021, Grafton, WI+7F+17873151250 
4Rachel Kauflin  2020, Wauwatosa, WI+10F+37975154200 
5Mallory Swartz  2020, Franklin, WI+12F+67878156175 
6Skye Two Hawks Skenandore  2024, De Pere, WI+13F+67978157150 
7Hannah Dunk  2023, Janesville, WI+17F+107982161140 
T8Isabella Dory  2019, Menomonee Falls, WI+18F+68478162125 
T8Caylie Kotlowski  2021, Stoughton, WI+18F+98181162125 
10Samantha Krutz  2020, Brookfield, WI+19F+137885163110 
T11Myranda Kotlowski  2020, Stoughton, WI+20F+7857916495 
T11Lauren Peterson  2022, Hartland, WI+20F+6867816495 
13Annie Balduzzi  2019, Onalaska, WI+21F+7867916580 
14Norah Roberts  2023, Racine, WI+22F+9858116675 
15Jenna Anderson  2022, Dousman, WI+25F+13848516970 
16Alyssa Schmidt  2021, Oregon, WI+26F+15838717065 
17Madi Vine  2019, Beloit, WI+27F+11888317160 
18Amanda Karvala  2021, New Berlin, WI+28F+16848817255 
T19Jolie Guyette  2021, De Pere, WI+30F+14888617445 
T19Grace Suter  2020, Oconomowoc, WI+30F+15878717445 
T19Treva Dodd  2024, Brookfield, WI+30F+20829217445 
22Madison Haugen  2024, Brookfield, WI+32F+15898717635 
23Rylie Severson  2020, Green Bay+33F+21849317730 
24Ashleyjen Powell  2023, Appleton, WI+35F+20879217925 
25Izzi Stricker  2024, Madison, WI+40F+21919318420 
26Kaci Duquaine  2020, New Franken, WI+51F+289510019515