Harrison Ott 2020 state open champ

2020 champion Harrison Ott watches his shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the Wisconsin State Open on Wednesday at Blue Mound G&CC.

WAUWATOSA – Harrison Ott figured he had the lead with six holes left in the final round of the 100th Wisconsin State Open, but he wasn’t certain so he asked his caddie, Dan Lenz, if anyone playing ahead of him was making a run.

“He just said, ‘We’re good,’ ” Ott said.

He was way, way better than good. Ott, a rising senior at Vanderbilt University, was on a different level than everyone else in what arguably was the strongest field in State Open history.

The Milwaukee Marquette High School graduate from Brookfield took a one-stroke lead into the final round at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club on Wednesday and won by six. Such was his mastery that he basically lapped playing partners Dan Woltman, the two-time defending State Open champion, and Thomas Longbella, who won the State Amateur by 10 shots last month.

Ott shot 68-68 in the 36-hole finale and was the only player in the field to break par in all four rounds (67-67-68-68). He needed just 10 putts over his final nine holes and, just for good measure, got up and down for birdie on the par-5 18th hole to finish the 72-hole tournament at 10-under 270.

“I wanted to get to 10-under,” said Ott, the first amateur to win the State Open since Jordan Niebrugge in 2011. “I really wanted to make that putt. I just wanted to finish it off the right way.”

Woltman, a Beaver Dam native with Korn Ferry Tour status, was trying to become the first golfer to win the State Open in three consecutive years. With four titles overall, he could have joined an illustrious list of five-time State Open champions: Francis Gallett, Manuel de la Torre, Bob Brue and Steve Stricker.

Instead, Woltman followed a 3-under 67 morning round with a 2-over 72 in the afternoon and finished in a tie for second at 276. As the low professional, he earned $11,750.

“It was just one of those days,” he said. “I had a couple bad breaks. I couldn’t get anything going. I had like four lip-outs in a stretch of six or seven holes. It wasn’t my day. Obviously, you need some things to go your way to win. (Ott) got a couple good breaks and he made some good saves. He played really well, and hat’s off to him. He deserves it.”

Christopher Colla of Fond du Lac, a fifth-year senior at Chico (Calif.) State, came from the other direction to tie Woltman for second place. He shot a final-round 67, finishing it off with a long eagle putt from off the green that found the bottom of the cup on No. 18.

“I struggled a little this morning (71),” Colla said. “I wasn’t super sharp with the golf swing, but I knew the putter was going to be there all day. It was just a matter of getting in the fairway, giving myself some looks, and I’d be able to shoot a decent number. I have no complaints.”

Fourth place went to University of Wisconsin golfer Sam Anderson of Stoughton, who closed 67-67 and finished at 277.

“I feel good,” Anderson said. “My game has felt good, I guess, really the whole summer. I didn’t play great at the State Amateur but my game felt good. So it was finally nice to get everything to click last week in the qualifier, where I shot 62 (a course record at The Oaks in Cottage Grove), and see it show up in the last 36 holes we played today.”

Longbella, trying to become the first golfer since Brue in 1959 to win the State Amateur and State Open in the same year, bogeyed the first three holes in the afternoon and never was a factor. He shot a 75 and finished fifth at 278.

Kaylor Steger, a minitour pro from Mount Pleasant, opened 66-66 and took a two-stroke lead into the 36-hole finale. He birdied three of his first five holes in the morning round to get to 11-under but struggled after that, finished 73-78 and tumbled into a tie for sixth.

Last week, Ott advanced to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. Two weeks before that, he made it to the Sweet 16 in the Western Amateur. If he wasn’t the favorite going in to the State Open, he was on everyone’s short list.

Minitour pro Neil Johnson of River Falls was paired with Ott for the first two rounds and raved about how well Ott was playing.

“He hit perfect shots,” Johnson said. “He’s amazing. And when he got out of position, his short game saved him. You can’t tell me he wasn’t playing the best this week and deserves to win. I saw it. I know Longbella has had a great summer and I know Woltman is Woltman. You can never rule him out. But what I saw those first two days, man, he was just hitting it so solid.”

After his morning 68, Ott held a tenuous one-stroke lead over Longbella – whom he beat in an epic eight-hole playoff to win the 2018 State Amateur – and was two ahead of Woltman. All three struggled a bit on the front nine, combining for 10 bogeys and a double against just five birdies.

But Ott finished the nine with three solid pars, rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on No. 10 and followed it with a 20-footer for birdie on No. 11, the latter after his tee shot hit a tree and caromed into the middle of the fairway.

“I kept saying I wanted to get to 10-under,” he said. “I told myself 9- to 12-under, depending on the conditions, I thought would get it done. That was my goal. I thought if I could put that out there, it would stack up good.”

Ott’s short game saved him time and again and with Woltman and Longbella faltering he padded his lead with six consecutive pars after the birdie on No. 11. He could have made a quadruple-bogey on the 18th and still won, but that wasn’t going to happen in a million years.

With a small gallery looking on – because of COVID restrictions, spectators were limited to Blue Mound club members and those who arrived and left with players – Ott’s deft 40-yard pitch from behind the green rolled to a stop 7 feet from the hole and he made the putt.

“I would have enjoyed the week regardless, just being out here,” Ott said. “It was really cool to win on this course. It’s only 10 minutes from my house.”

Blue Mound, an old-school Seth Raynor design, got rave reviews from just about every player in the field. The greens rolled smooth and true at a lightning-fast 14 feet on the Stimpmeter, and host PGA professional Barry Linhart said he’d never seen the course in better shape.

Ott joined a who’s who of winners at Blue Mound, including Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Cary Middlecoff. That was all well and good, but Ott was just as pleased to have won a second Wisconsin “major” and close the gap on his swing teacher, David Roesch, who won the 2014 State Open and back-to-back WSGA Match Play titles in 1996-’97.

“From when I was young, he’s always joked, ‘How many Wisconsin majors do you have?’” Ott said with a laugh. “It’s definitely cool to have one more now and get a little closer to him.”

Roesch had better start worrying. Young Mr. Ott is far from finished.

POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
R3
R4
STROKES
 
1-Harrison Ott (a)  Brookfield, WI-10F-267676868270 
T2
Arrow Up
 3
Christopher Colla (a)  Fond Du Lac, WI-4F-374647167276 
T2
Arrow Up
 1
Dan Woltman  Beaver Dam, WI-4F+266716772276 
4
Arrow Up
 3
Samuel Anderson (a)  Stoughton, WI-3F-372716767277 
5
Arrow Down
 3
Thomas Longbella (a)  Chippewa Falls, WI-2F+567686875278 
T6
Arrow Up
 6
John (Jack) Blair (a)  Wauwatosa, WI+1F *-276716668281 
T6
Arrow Up
 2
Mark Wilson  Elmhurst, IL+1FE69736970281 
T6
Arrow Down
 2
Kaylor Steger  Mount Pleasant, WI+1F+666667376281 
T9
Arrow Up
 2
John Langhoff  Pewaukee, WI+2FE71707170282 
T9
Arrow Down
 4
Austin Kendziorski  Germantown, WI+2F+368697273282 
11
Arrow Up
 4
Tyler Leach (a)  Spring Valley, WI+3F-169766969283 
12
Arrow Down
 4
CJ Swift  Naples, FL+4F+367707473284 
T13
Arrow Up
 2
Jim Schuman  Scottsdale, AZ+5F+170747071285 
T13
Arrow Down
 5
Peter Webb  Madison, WI+5F+468707374285 
T15
Arrow Up
 6
Jack Schultz (a)  Milwaukee, WI+6FE74687470286 
T15
Arrow Up
 16
Neil Johnson  River Falls, WI+6F *-276736968286 
T15
Arrow Up
 27
Hunter Eichhorn (a)  Carney, MI+6F *-571787265286 
T18
Arrow Up
 13
Kyle Kunash  Woodstock, IL+7F *-175717269287 
T18
Arrow Up
 7
Patrick Stolpe  Scottsdale, AZ+7FE72727370287 
T18-Mick Smith  Summit, WI+7F+273697372287 
T21
Arrow Down
 9
Timothy Cantwell Jr  Palm Beach Gardens, FL+8F+573726875288 
T21
Arrow Up
 32
Charles Delsman  Nekoosa, WI+8F *-575717765288 
T21
Arrow Up
 21
Piercen Hunt (a)  Hartland, WI+8F *-375727467288 
T21
Arrow Up
 4
Cody Strang  Sun Prairie, WI+8F+173717371288 
T21-Jeffrey Kaiser  Verona, WI+8F *+275726972288 
T21
Arrow Down
 9
Kraig Joy  Appleton, WI+8F+569747075288 
T21
Arrow Down
 3
Jordan Elsen  Wellington, FL+8F *+374756673288 
28
Arrow Down
 3
Kevin Van Rossum (a)  Hartland, WI+9F *+274737072289 
T29
Arrow Up
 19
Brent Quade  Madison, WI+10F *-273737668290 
T29
Arrow Down
 8
Cameron Huss (a)  Kenosha, WI+10F *+471766974290 
T29
Arrow Up
 2
Stuart Larus  Wisconsin Rapids, WI+10F *+272757172290 
T29
Arrow Up
 7
Chris Johnson  Wisconsin Rapids, WI+10F+170737671290 
T29
Arrow Up
 2
Samuel Weber  Hartland, WI+10F+271727572290 
T29
Arrow Up
 10
John Gullberg  Franksville, WI+10FE70737770290 
T35
Arrow Down
 10
Nate Thomson (a)  Greendale, WI+11F+473737174291 
T35
Arrow Down
 4
Michael Crowley  Fox Point, WI+11F+375717273291 
T35
Arrow Up
 7
Joe Leonard  Cambridge, WI+11FE71747670291 
T35
Arrow Down
 20
Skip Kendall  Windermere, FL+11F+769747177291 
T35
Arrow Up
 1
Sam Schlosser  West Bend, WI+11F *+273747272291 
T35
Arrow Up
 4
Owen Butler (a)  Stoughton, WI+11F+176677771291 
T35
Arrow Up
 7
Josh Grisa  Sheboygan, WI+11F *E73747470291 
42
Arrow Down
 24
Cory Aune (a)  Lake Geneva, WI+12F+772737077292 
T43
Arrow Down
 22
Brandon Cloete (a)  Madison, WI+13F *+773756877293 
T43
Arrow Down
 1
Jim Lemon (a)  Verona, WI+13F *+276737272293 
T45
Arrow Up
 3
Garrett Jones (a)  Madison, WI+14F *+271767572294 
T45
Arrow Down
 20
Hunter Pipik (a)  New Berlin, WI+14F+771717577294 
T47
Arrow Down
 11
Neal Grusczynski  Athens, OH+15F+676697476295 
T47
Arrow Down
 5
Thomas Burton  Fox Point, WI+15F *+470787374295 
T47
Arrow Up
 9
Kurt Mantyla  Wauwatosa, WI+15F *+175747571295 
T50
Arrow Down
 2
Tom Boockmeier (a.r.)  Oak Creek, WI+16F *+471757674296 
T50
Arrow Up
 3
Zach Burry  Appleton, WI+16F *+370777673296 
T50
Arrow Down
 11
Robbie Morway (a)  Mequon, WI+16F+670747676296 
T53
Arrow Down
 28
Andy Hansen  Germantown, WI+17F+1070757280297 
T53
Arrow Up
 5
Evan Wartgow  Fitchburg, WI+17F *+270777872297 
T53
Arrow Down
 5
Kyle Henning  Sussex, WI+17F *+573767375297 
56
Arrow Up
 4
Jamie Christianson  Egg Harbor, WI+19F *+273757972299 
T57
Arrow Up
 1
Zach Gaugert  Scottsdale, AZ+20F *+575727875300 
T57
Arrow Up
 3
Mark Voeller  Pewaukee, WI+20F *+373757973300 
T57
Arrow Down
 1
Kari Hannula Jr. (a)  De Pere, WI+20F *+673757676300 
60
Arrow Down
 12
Dylan Kline (a)  Neenah, WI+21F *+974757379301 
61
Arrow Down
 8
Max Hosking  Fitchburg, WI+22F *+974747579302 
62
Arrow Down
 2
Danny Behm (a)  Hubertus, WI+26F+968768379306 
MISSED THE CUT: +9
MC-Ryan Helminen  Menasha, WI+10  7773  150 
MC-John Freeman  Muskego, WI+10  7674  150 
MC-David Spengler  Verona, WI+10  7080  150 
MC-Keith Buntrock  Franklin, WI+10  7377  150 
MC-Jack Anderson (a)  Brookfield, WI+10  7377  150 
MC-Mike Johnston  Chandler, AZ+10  7575  150 
MC-Erik Stenseth  Madison, WI+10  7575  150 
MC-Adam Miller (a)  Nekoosa, WI+10  7377  150 
MC-Matthew Davidson (a)  McFarland, WI+10  7377  150 
MC-Matt Behm (a)  Valders, WI+10  7080  150 
MC-Tim McCormick  Madison, WI+11  7675  151 
MC-David Roesch  Menomonee Falls, WI+11  7873  151 
MC-Cole Stark (a)  Altoona, WI+11  7576  151 
MC-Dylan Brown (a)  Reedsburg, WI+11  7873  151 
MC-Eddie Terasa  Waukesha, WI+11  7576  151 
MC-David Bach  Cleveland, WI+11  7477  151 
MC-Andrew Knoll  New Berlin, WI+11  7576  151 
MC-Sam Cianciola (a)  Nekoosa, WI+11  8071  151 
MC-Dan Hastreiter  Sheboygan, WI+12  7775  152 
MC-Andy Buege  Palm Beach Gardens, FL+12  7379  152 
MC-Ricky Kuiper (a)  Racine, WI+12  7775  152 
MC-Paul Zarek (a)  Burlington, WI+12  7973  152 
MC-Max Pasher (a)  Mequon, WI+12  7676  152 
MC-Rocky Sperka (a)  New Berlin, WI+12  7676  152 
MC-Isaac Prefontaine (a)  New Franken, WI+12  7676  152 
MC-Ryan Isaacson  Eau Claire, WI+13  7677  153 
MC-Michael Bielawski (a)  Waukesha, WI+13  7677  153 
MC-Jason Rasmussen  Grafton, WI+13  7677  153 
MC-Bennett Swavely (a)  Hudson, WI+13  7776  153 
MC-Matt Taken  Franklin, WI+13  7875  153 
MC-Marty Swab (a)  Menomonee Falls, WI+13  7677  153 
MC-Matt Ellis (a.r.)  South Milwaukee, WI+13  7479  153 
MC-Kevin Cahill (a)  Waukesha, WI+13  7875  153 
MC-Andrew Steinhofer  Madison, WI+13  7677  153 
MC-Jacob Beckman (a)  Middleton, WI+13  7974  153 
MC-Kyle Bengtson (a)  Woodruff, WI+13  7380  153 
MC-Craig Czerniejewski  Hartford, WI+14  7579  154 
MC-Andrew Podolak  West Bend, WI+14  7975  154 
MC-Sam Osborne (a.r.)  Williams Bay, WI+14  7876  154 
MC-George Kneiser  Oconomowoc, WI+14  7777  154 
MC-Brian Morris (a)  Shorewood, WI+14  7579  154 
MC-Jed Baranczyk (a)  Green Bay, WI+14  7876  154 
MC-Matt Sabol  Sheboygan, WI+14  7678  154 
MC-Joe Du Chateau (a)  Fond du Lac, WI+15  7382  155 
MC-Tyler Cleaves (a)  Kaukauna, WI+15  8174  155 
MC-David Brock (a)  Mequon, WI+15  7778  155 
MC-Joe True (a)  Milwaukee, WI+16  7779  156 
MC-Aidan Lafferty (a)  Downers Grove, IL+16  7779  156 
MC-Michael Higgins  Madison, WI+16  7977  156 
MC-Eric Schroeckenthaler  Waukesha, WI+16  8076  156 
MC-Josh Teplin (a)  Mequon, WI+16  8175  156 
MC-Mitch Steiner  Argyle, WI+16  7086  156 
MC-Chad Sandee  Plymouth, WI+17  7879  157 
MC-Randall Hill (a)  Wisconsin Rapids, WI+17  7582  157 
MC-Nick Nelson (a)  Milwaukee, WI+17  7978  157 
MC-Joe DeRosa  Onalaska, WI+17  8077  157 
MC-Alex Okray (a)  Stevens Point, WI+17  7879  157 
MC-Phillip Johnson (a)  Colgate, WI+18  7781  158 
MC-Ryonen Faris (a)  Fond Du Lac, WI+18  7781  158 
MC-Nathan Joy (a)  Franklin, WI+18  7979  158 
MC-Robert Gregorski (a)  Menasha, WI+18  8078  158 
MC-Drew Sagrillo (a)  Mequon, WI+18  7979  158 
MC-Ryan Duffey (a)  Brookfield, WI+18  7682  158 
MC-Ben Shafer (a)  Brookfield, WI+19  7881  159 
MC-John Gaschke  Oregon, WI+19  7980  159 
MC-Joe Weber (a)  Onalaska, WI+19  7782  159 
MC-Aiden Cudney (a)  Appleton, WI+19  8079  159 
MC-Christopher Vendl  St. Germain, WI+20  8080  160 
MC-Sam Strachan  New Richmond, WI+20  8377  160 
MC-Charlie Brown  Sturtevant, WI+20  8278  160 
MC-Tyler Siech  Plymouth, WI+20  7684  160 
MC-Brian McCall (a)  Middleton, WI+20  7882  160 
MC-JT Johnson (a)  Eden Prairie, MN+20  7981  160 
MC-Robert Hughes (a)  Wauwatosa, WI+21  8081  161 
MC-Matt Goodson  Beaver Dam, WI+21  8279  161 
MC-Bryan Brotchie  Williams Bay, WI+21  7685  161 
MC-Joshua Haunty (a)  Middleton, WI+22  8181  162 
MC-Mason Schulz (a)  Mukwonago, WI+22  8082  162 
MC-Brad Munn  Cottage Grove, WI+22  7983  162 
MC-Ryan Franklin  Oconomowoc, WI+22  7785  162 
MC-Jim Gaugert  Lake Geneva, WI+24  8084  164 
MC-Jason Samuelian  Franklin, WI+24  8381  164 
MC-Scott LeMire  Appleton, WI+24  8183  164 
MC-Kyle Smith (a)  Grafton, WI+25  8283  165 
MC-Dave Kemnitz  Minocqua, WI+26  8779  166 
MC-J.T. Thompson  Wisconsin Rapids, WI+28  8187  168 
MC-Michael ONeil (a)  Muskego, WI+33  8687  173 
MC-Andrew Sharafinski (a)  Greendale, WI+33  8984  173 
MC-Peter Kaufmann (a)  Milwaukee, WI+34  8688  174 
MC-Gunnar Stapp  Jackson, WI+34  8490  174 
MC-Ryan Zonski  Sheboygan Falls, WI+36  8690  176 
MC-Shaun Finley  Sun Prairie, WI+39  8990  179 
MC-Kyle Figlmiller (a)  Appleton, WI+41  8596  181 
WD-Ryan Siegler (a)  Brookfield, WI+17  7745  122 

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