GARDEN CITY, Kanas — Dan Woltman knows how much it means to win golf tournaments like the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am.
A year ago, his $20,000 winner's check was one of four first-place purses he captured during a remarkable run through state opens in the upper Midwest.
That's why he was fine Sunday with seeing Colorado's Nick Mason cap a wire-to-wire victory at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course. Mason and Woltman matched scores for the second day in a row as Mason, who opened Friday with an 8-under-par 64, rode his sizzling start to a six-stroke victory over Woltman (70-68-70) and Trent Whitekiller, who went 65-76-68 earn his share of second.
"Nick played the best of anybody this week and deserved to win," Woltman wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf. "I’m happy for him he has finished second there three times so it was nice to see him finally pick up the 'W.'"
Meanwhile, Woltman was disappointed not to put more of a scare into Mason — the former University of Wisconsin golfer parred every hole on the back nine after turning in 2-under 34 — as he settled for his sixth top-10 finish in as many weeks playing in South Dakota, Iowa and Kansas the last six weeks.
"Conditions were windy (Sunday)," Woltman wrote. "With firm greens and very difficult pins, it was a tall task to shoot a low number and my putter wasn’t up for the task. (But it's been a) solid couple weeks. The game has been good not great. (I) still need to improve in many areas."
A year ago, Woltman pocketed more than $100,000 for his four wins, a fourth-place showing and an 11th over the same stretch before adding another $10,000 to his name for winning the Wisconsin State Open. His defense of that championship comes a week from Monday at Geneva National Golf Club in Lake Geneva against an expanded field featuring 204 golfers.
"Last year, I was fortunate enough to grab a couple wins as it is very difficult to win three- and four-round golf tournaments," Woltman said. "My game is close this year and hopefully a few days off will help recharge the batteries before the State Open next week because I am drained physically and mentally after these six weeks in a row."