Round of the day
Thomas Burton, Milwaukee: The assistant professional at the Wisconsin Club (formerly Brynwood CC) in Milwaukee began the day in a tie for 35th place after going 74-70 over the first two rounds. But nobody played better during Wednesday's 36-hole finale — not even eventual champion Dan Woltman of Beaver Dam (69-67) — than Burton, a native New Yorker who shot 65-70 on the strength of eight birdies, one bogey and a double-bogey. Burton was the low club pro in the field, tying for third at 1-under 279.
Shot of the day
Jack Schultz, Whitefish Bay. The former University of Michigan golfer used an 8-iron to make his first career hole-in-one on No. 4 Wednesday morning en route to a 1-under-par 69 that gave him the third-round lead. The scorecard yardage was 173 but the pin was 8 yards deep of center, so according to the WPGA the yardage was 181. "I don't think it was that long," Schultz said. "I wouldn't have hit 8-iron if it was 181. I think it was 172 or 173." Schultz bogeyed the hole in the afternoon round and struggled to a 75.
Spot on sir. It was absolutely awesome. Congrats again. You owe me a cold one🍺— Maxwell Hosking (@hosking_max) August 23, 2018
Shot of the day
John Langhoff, Pewaukee. The former Hartland Arrowhead golfer who has been playing Monday qualifiers on the Web.com Tour much of the summer, played bogey-free golf for his first 25 holes of the 36-hole finale. He shot a 5-under 65 during the morning round, parred his first seven holes during the afternoon session, when he made two bogeys and one birdie in a 1-under 71 to finish the 72-hole event in a tie for 10th place at 1-over 281.
Nick Nelson, Milwaukee. The former Marquette University golfer, who won the 2016 Wisconsin State Amateur at North Shore GC, played his final 16 holes in 2-under to shoot a closing 69 and rally to finish tied for third at 1-under 279. After starting par-bogey during the afternoon round, Nelson — coming off a morning 68 in which he played his final 11 holes in 3-under —birdied Nos. 3 and 8 and parred his final 10 holes of the championship.
Stat of the day
After making just seven pars in a 72 in a morning round that featured five birdies, five bogeys and one double-bogey, Craig Czerniejewski — the head professional at Washington County GC in Hartford — parred all 18 holes he played during an even-par 70 in the afternoon. He moved from a tie for 43rd to at tie for 25th at 8-over 288.
Tale of the tape
Hardest hole: Round 3 — No. 3, a 412-yard par-4 that played to a 4.43 average, edged out Nos. 2 (4.40) and 11 (4.39), two other long par-4s, for toughest-hole honors during the morning round of the 36-hole finale. Round 4 — No. 2, a par-4 that played 393 yards in the afternoon round, was the most difficult, playing to a 4.49 average. No. 11 (4.40), a 460-yard par-4, and No. 13 (4.38), a 426-yard par-4, weren't far behind.
Easiest hole: Round 3 — No. 5, a 519-yard, par-5, played to a 4.63 stroke average during the morning round with three of the third round's four eagles, 28 birdies and 27 pars (vs. just seven bogeys, no double-bogeys and one other). No. 15, a 580-yard, par-5, was next-easiest at 4.86. Round 4 — No. 5, which played five yards shorter in the afternoon, wasn't quite as easy but was still as easy as they came for the final round, playing to a 4.83 stroke average with two of the three final-round eagles, 19 birdies and 36 pars (vs. just five bogeys, two double-bogeys and one other).
Crossing the tees
Defending champion Max Hosking of Tucson, Arizona, was well aware that Steve Stricker was the last man to successfully defend the State Open title (1990-'91). "I did know that, actually," Hosking said. "I knew I had a good chance coming in. I was playing really well, but the ball-striking just wasn’t there the last two days. I had to work really hard for everything I got. I don’t know if I could have shot much lower the way I struck it." Hosking said he did not three-putt over the 72 holes and missed just one putt inside 10 feet. "It was one of the better grinding tournaments of my life," he said. "I worked really, really hard. It felt like a lot more than four rounds of golf. I’m exhausted." ... Hunter Eichhorn of Carney, Michigan, who tied for sixth, played out of his Marquette University golf bag. The name "Major Nicholas Ferencz III USMC" was embroidered on one of the pockets. "He was in our ROTC program a while back," said Eichhorn, a sophomore and the reigning Big East champion. "He graduated in 2003 or ’04 and made his way up the ranks. They were doing test flights and he died in a plane crash so we honored him by putting his name on our bag. We kind of split it up between the guys throughout the season but I had it last so I just left it on my bag." ... Eichhorn's former MU teammate, the recently graduated Garrett Loomis of River Falls, was runner-up in his second start as a pro and earned $7,000. Loomis said he would play in the Nebraska State Open next month and then, depending on his money situation, would try to qualify for either the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica or the Mackenzie Tour/PGA Tour-Canada. ... All nine former State Open champions in the field made the cut. Besides Hosking and now three-time champion Dan Woltman, they were: David Roesch (T-6), Jim Schuman (T-14), Jim Lemon (T-14), Kyle Henning (T-18), Andrew Steinhofer (T-25), Ryan Helminen (T-43) and Eddie Terasa (T-57). ... Former Illinois State golfer Zach Burry, who has turned professional and now plays out of Appleton where his father Matthew is the head pro at nearby Winagamie GC, had the low round in Wednesday's final round with a 4-under 66 that featured four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys. His 72-66 finish earned him a share of sixth place at even-par 280.