PGA Pro Mick Smith putt

Mick Smith studies his putt on the seventh green on Tuesday. Smith, representing the Practice Station, won his second straight PGA Professional Championship.

As a young golfer growing up in Sydney, Australia, Mick Smith couldn’t have imagined himself winding up on the other side of the world, in a place called Wisconsin.

It’s been an interesting journey, with a stop along the way at NCAA Division II Columbus State in Georgia, followed by a stint back home on the Australian PGA Tour, and finally a move back to the U.S. in 2000, this time to stay. He met his wife, a Wisconsin girl, and settled down in Summit.

“I wouldn’t have thought I’d end up in Wisconsin, but I’m so glad that I have,” said the 48-year-old Smith. “I have a great wife and two beautiful daughters that I wouldn’t change for the world. I love my life here and all the friends that I’ve got here and the guys I get to play golf with. I’m very happy. I’m glad the way things turned out.”

Australia’s loss was the Wisconsin PGA Section’s gain.

On Tuesday, Smith birdied three of the last six holes at the University Club of Milwaukee, fired a 2-under 69 and became the first back-to-back winner of the WPGA Professional Championship since Jim Schuman in 2001-’02.

Smith, who teaches at The Practice Station in New Berlin, finished at 3-under 139 in the 36-hole tournament, one stroke ahead of Thomas Burton of Hidden Glen in Cedarburg, who also closed with a 69 and finished at 140.

Erik Stenseth of University Ridge Golf Course and Schuman, who teaches at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club in Wauwatosa, tied for third at 142. Stenseth shot a 69 and Schuman, a four-time winner of this event, shot a 71.

“It’s not my goal to beat those guys,” Smith said. “I like and respect them. I’m just trying to play as good as I can and see where I come out. I just like playing well and if I end up at the top, that’s good.”

Burton, Schuman and Stenseth all jockeyed for the lead on the front nine, while Smith fell off the pace with a double-bogey on the par-4 sixth hole.

“I hit a high-draw 5-wood (off the tee) but just turned it over a little more than I wanted,” he said. “It hit a tree and we couldn’t find the ball. Just unlucky.”

Burton birdied the par-5 11th hole to get to 2-under for the tournament but couldn’t get another putt to drop, finishing with seven consecutive pars. Schuman shot 2-under on the front nine to move into a share of the lead, but made back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14.

Smith, meanwhile, fought his way back into contention after the double. He hit the green in two on the par-5 eighth and two-putted from 40 feet for a birdie. Then he rolled in a long birdie putt on the par-3 12th to get back to even for the round and 1-under for the tournament.

“Twelve was probably the best birdie of the day,” he said. “It was 213 yards into a hard wind. I hit a 3-iron just past pin-high but left, about 35 feet, coming up over a rise and back down toward the hole. I holed it, and that got me going. I hit a really nice drive on the next hole, middle of the fairway, then hit a low punch 8-iron to about eight feet and rolled it in for birdie there.”

That pulled him into a tie for the lead with Burton, and Smith went ahead by one when he made a curling 12-footer for birdie on the par-4 16th.

“I always watch the leaderboard, so I knew when I birdied 16, I was one ahead,” he said.

He parred the last two holes and picked up the $4,000 first prize.

Smith will lead five qualifiers into the 2022 PGA Professional Championship, to be played in April at Omni Barton Creek in Austin, Texas. Also advancing to the national championship were Burton, Stenseth, Schuman and Jeff Kaiser of the TaylorMade Player Development Center, who finished at 1-over 143 and won a four-man playoff for the final spot.

Earlier this year, Smith finished T-22 at the PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The low 20 scorers earned exemptions into the PGA Championship on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in May. Smith missed by one shot.

“Unfortunately, on the last hole I hit a ball under the lip of a bunker and made a double-bogey, so I’m fortunate to go back again and have another crack at it,” he said. “I think I’ll feel a bit more relaxed and comfortable going into the tournament this time, so I’ll try and do a better job.”

1Mick Smith  The Practice Station-3F-27069139$4,000 
2Thomas Burton  Hidden Glen-2F-27169140$3,000 
T3Erik Stenseth  University Ridge GCEF-27369142$2,025 
T3Jim Schuman  Blue Mound G&CCEFE7171142$2,025 
T5David Roesch  Storm's Golf Range+1F-37568143$1,162 
T5Mark Voeller  Golf Galaxy - Brookfield+1F+17172143$1,162 
T5Michael Crowley  Morningstar GC+1F+17172143$1,162 
T5Jeffrey Kaiser  TaylorMade Player Dev Center+1F+36974143$1,162 
T9Jamie Christianson  Horseshoe Bay GC+3F+17372145$803 
T9Ryan Helminen  Ridgeway CC+3F+47075145$803 
T9Timothy Schroyer  Pine Hills CC+3F+66877145$803 
T12Andy Hansen  University Club+4FE7571146$623 
T12Chad Sandee  The Bull+4F+37274146$623 
T12Kraig Joy  Ridgeway CC+4F+57076146$623 
T15Joe Leonard  The Oaks GC+5F+27473147$498 
T15David Bach  Whistling Straits GC+5F+47275147$498 
17Joe DeRosa  La Crosse CC+6F+27573148$440 
T18Craig Czerniejewski  Washington County GC+7F *+27673149$410 
T18Tyler Siech  Ozaukee CC+7F+37574149$410 
T20Brad Munn  First Tee of S.Central WI+8F+47575150$370 
T20Kurt Mantyla  Naga-Waukee GC+8F+77278150$370 
T22Jason Tipton  Chenequa CC+9F+57576151$311 
T22Alex Jimenez  Grand Geneva+9F *+27873151$311 
T22Scott Mowatt  Lake Windsor+9F+77378151$311 
T22John Freeman  Edgewood GC+9F+87279151$311 
T26Charlie Brown  Geneva National GC+10F *+57676152$195 
T26Mark Becker  Irish Waters GC+10F+77478152$195 
T26Brett Weber  Delbrook GC+10F+77478152$195 
T26Jake Wisniewski  Ozaukee CC+10F+87379152$195 
30Tim Grogan  Fore Milwaukee+11F+87479153$0 
31Brian Brodell  X Golf Mequon+12F+97480154$0 
T32Jeff Ellingson  Edelweiss Chalet CC+13F *+67877155$0 
T32Mark Krause  Muskego Lakes CC+13F *+57976155$0 
T34Andrew Troyanek  Rivermoor GC+14F *+87779156$0 
T34Jason Samuelian  Meadowbrook CC+14F *+77878156$0 
T34Keith Buntrock  Tuckaway CC+14F *+67977156$0 
T34Ryan Wieme  University Ridge GC+14F *+67977156$0 
T34Dave Kemnitz  Minocqua CC+14F *+67977156$0 
T39Jon Zellmer  Lake Ripley CC+15F *+97780157$0 
T39Andrew Barrett  Brown Deer Park GC+15F *+58176157$0 
41Chad Behrends  Western Lakes GC+16F *+58276158$0 
42Austin Schloesser  University Club+17F *+97980159$0 
T43Matthew Reel  Koshkonong Mounds CC+18F *+127783160$0 
T43Peter Krause  Wisconsin Club+18F *+107981160$0 
T43Jason Rasmussen  Ozaukee CC+18F *+68377160$0 
46Matt Taken  Tuckaway CC+19F *+98180161$0 
47Daniel Hoffman  Tour Edge+20F *+88379162$0 
T48Dylan Hills  University Club+21F+177588163$0 
T48Victor Jacinto  Tuckaway CC+21F *+137984163$0 
T48Nick Tarasoff  Kettle Hills GC+21F *+128083163$0 
T51Jim Gaugert  Harris Golf Cars+22F *+147985164$0 
T51Robert Elliott  Rob Elliott Golf+22F *+138084164$0 
53Michael Miezin  X Golf Brookfield+24F *+177888166$0 
54Matt Kersten  Glen Erin GC+25F *+148285167$0 
55Gunnar Stapp  North Shore CC+26F *+148385168$0 
WDNathan Gray  Fire Ridge GC+7  42 42$0 
WDJerry Collins  Timber Ridge GC      $0 
WDAustin Gaugert  ABG Ventures      $0 

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