RACINE — Todd Schaap has a nice golf resume, but he said it didn’t compare with those of many other contestants in the U.S. Senior Open qualifier at Meadowbrook Country Club on Friday.
“Are you kidding?” Schaap said. “I’m a schmo.”
So, guess who won the qualifier and will tee it up June 27 at the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana?
Schaap, 51, an amateur from Kenosha and a member at Meadowbrook, shot a bogey-free 3-under 68 to take medalist honors.
“I don’t know where it came from, to be honest with you,” he said. “I hadn’t been playing all that well coming into this. It was just a nice round of golf. I hit 16 greens. I kind of know the greens and where the pins are. They were five, four and three (paces) off the edges. I spent the whole day hitting the middle of the greens and taking what it gave me.”
Jim Schuman of Madison earned the second spot, making a birdie on the 17th hole to shoot 69.
Schuman, 55, a member of the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame who teaches at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club, will be making his third consecutive U.S. Senior Open appearance. He tied for 49th two years ago at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts, and missed the cut last year at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“It’s great to get out and compete,” Schuman said. “I really enjoy that. The guys are great and obviously when you get to this stage you know a lot of them because they’re still trying to play and make it to these kinds of events. So, I’m just ecstatic.”
Mike Genovese of Pace, Florida, shot a 70 and will be the first alternate. Robin Byrd of Satellite Beach, Florida, shot a 71 and is the second alternate. Genovese made a costly double-bogey on the 18th hole when a par would have been good enough to advance.
Schaap is a member at Meadowbrook and Kenosha Country Club, where he worked as an assistant professional for seven years before regaining his amateur status about 17 years ago. He has won the Racine Tri-Course Championship and four Wisconsin State Golf Association titles, including the 1986 Boys’ Junior and the Mid-Amateur three times.
“I played in the CPC (PGA Club Professional Championship) back when I was a pro, but I haven’t played in anything that is a major,” Schaap said. “If you look at the leader board right now and see who’s out there, there’s no slouches. These guys are far more accomplished players than I am.”
Yet, his name was the one on top.
Among those who failed to advance were Brian Mogg of Orlando, a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher (72); former No. 1-ranked senior amateur Gene Elliott of West Des Moines, Iowa (72); University of Illinois men’s golf coach Mike Small (73); and former major-league pitcher and Racine native Shane Rawley (79).
Schaap rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the second hole, an 8-footer on No. 14 and a 20-footer on No. 16.
“The two greens that I missed, I wouldn’t say they were easy up and downs,” he said. “The degree of difficulty was high but I got both of them within three feet.”
Schaap finished second to Schuman in his first attempt at U.S. Senior Open qualifying last year. He was first alternate, but did not get to go to The Broadmoor.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said of making it through. “I called my wife and I said, ‘Hey, guess what? We might be going someplace.’”
Schuman made a “not very smart bogey” on the par-5 13th but otherwise was his usual solid self, rolling in birdie putts on Nos. 6 and 10 and the big one, a 12-footer, on the par-3 17th.
“Three in a row,” he said of his U.S. Senior Open appearances. “I somehow grind it out. It’s exciting, obviously.”
|IN CONTENTION - Qualifiers: 2 Alternates: 2|
|1||Todd Schaap (a) Kenosha, WI||F||-3||68|
|2||Jim Schuman Scottsdale, AZ||F||-2||69|
|3||Mike Genovese Pace, FL (alternate)||F||-1||70|
|4||Robin Byrd Satellite Beach, FL (alternate)||F||E||71|
|NOT CURRENTLY IN CONTENTION|
|T5||Ernest Kocs Madison, WI||F||+1||72|
|T5||Gary March Arlington Heights, IL||F||+1||72|
|T5||Gene Elliott (a) West Des Moines, IA||F||+1||72|
|T5||Brian Mogg Orlando, FL||F||+1||72|
|T9||Tom Chambers (a) Union Grove, WI||F||+2||73|
|T9||Mike Small Champaign, IL||F||+2||73|
|T9||Constant Demattia Golf, IL||F||+2||73|
|T12||Brian Fogt St. Louis, MO||F||+3||74|
|T12||Jeffrey Schmid Iowa City, IA||F||+3||74|
|T12||Mike Troy Naperville, IL||F||+3||74|
|T12||Mark Walker Frisco, TX||F||+3||74|
|T12||Paul Erdman (a) Erie, CO||F||+3||74|
|T12||Charlie Brown Sturtevant, WI||F||+3||74|
|18||Brian Silvers (a) Rockford, IL||F||+4||75|
|T19||Craig Sopko (a) Lake Forest, IL||F||+5||76|
|T19||Ralph Spevere (a) Oswego, IL||F||+5||76|
|T19||Eric Brito Sheboygan, WI||F||+5||76|
|T19||James Buenzli Prairie Grove, IL||F||+5||76|
|T19||J Kevin Marion Lake Forest, IL||F||+5||76|
|T19||David Feder (a) Lincolnshire, IL||F||+5||76|
|T25||Jim Gaugert Jr. Lake Geneva, WI||F||+6||77|
|T25||Ron Waytula (a) McHenry, IL||F||+6||77|
|T25||Daniel Moore (a) Chicago, IL||F||+6||77|
|T25||Joel Peck Madison, WI||F||+6||77|
|T25||Kevin Cahill (a) Waukesha, WI||F||+6||77|
|T25||Jim Doing (a) Verona, WI||F||+6||77|
|T31||Mike Greb (a) Racine, WI||F||+7||78|
|T31||Timothy Grogan Milwaukee, WI||F||+7||78|
|T31||John Connelly Perrysburg, OH||F||+7||78|
|T31||Dave Cunningham Glenview, IL||F||+7||78|
|T31||Ian Doig Canada||F||+7||78|
|T31||Thomas Halla (a) Colgate, WI||F||+7||78|
|T37||John Cyboran Wisconsin Rapids, WI||F||+8||79|
|T37||Peter Krause Coleman, WI||F||+8||79|
|T37||Shane Rawley Sarasota, FL||F||+8||79|
|T40||Joe Palmer (a) Norwalk, IA||F||+9||80|
|T40||Scott Lunde Manhattan, IL||F||+9||80|
|T40||Andy Shuman Long Grove, IL||F||+9||80|
|T40||Timothy Metko Rochester Hills, MI||F||+9||80|
|T40||Jim Rollefson (a) Franklin, WI||F||+9||80|
|T40||Blake Johnson (a) Winnetka, IL||F||+9||80|
|T46||Brien Gerber (a) Naperville, IL||F||+10||81|
|T46||Kevin Rafferty Hawthorn Woods, IL||F||+10||81|
|T46||Steve Krause Waterford, WI||F||+10||81|
|T49||Rocky Sperka (a) New Berlin, WI||F||+11||82|
|T49||John Ciciora (a) Oak Brook, IL||F||+11||82|
|T49||Ramiro Romo (a) Burlington, WI||F||+11||82|
|T52||Scott Lang (a) Lake Forest, IL||F||+13||84|
|T52||Terry Cook (a) West Des Moines, IA||F||+13||84|
|54||Greg Dick Milwaukee, WI||F||+14||85|
|T55||John Kestly (a) Pewaukee, WI||F||+15||86|
|T55||Victor Tyson Elmhurst, IL||F||+15||86|
|T55||Michael Saletta (a) Chicago, IL||F||+15||86|
|T55||Robert Gregorski (a) Appleton, WI||F||+15||86|
|59||Matthew Vahala Elkhart, IN||F||+16||87|
|T60||Jerry Maatman (a) Winnetka, IL||F||+17||88|
|T60||Paul Borek (a) Greenville, WI||F||+17||88|
|62||Thomas Peterson (a) Lake Forest, IL||F||+20||91|
|63||Stu Bloom (a) Waukesha, WI||F||+22||93|
|DID NOT FINISH|
|WD||John Brennan (a) Grayslake, IL||+4|
|WD||Robert Below Sun Lakes, AZ|
|WD||Clark Eichstedt Kewaskum, WI|
|WD||Mark Faulkner Carterville, IL|
|WD||Stephen Gray (a) Michigan City, IN|
|WD||Jim Jablonski Peoria, AZ|
|WD||Philip Nathanson Scottsdale, AZ|
|WD||Michael Schille (a) Hurst, TX|
|WD||Tim Scott (a) Boone, IA|
|WD||Stan Utley Scottsdale, AZ|
|JWD||Ken Mattini (a) Wheeling, IL|| |