State Am 2 Piercen Hunt putt

Hartland’s Piercen Hunt lines up this putt during second-round action at the Wisconsin State Am on Tuesday. Hunt has a one-stroke lead heading into Wednesday’s third round.

BROOKFIELD – Most would agree that the Wisconsin State Amateur Championship should be an examination of every part of a golfer’s game. For that to happen, the venue must be exceedingly difficult but eminently fair.

From the opening tee shot to the 18th green, Westmoor Country Club fits the description. It is Wisconsin’s Oakmont or Winged Foot, a place where the difference between a good shot and a mediocre one is thinner than a razor’s edge.

“I think it’s set up fair,” said Ed Dzirbik Jr. of Brookfield, a 22-time Westmoor club champion. “It’s just, you’re grinding on every single shot. I’ve always said it’s one of the best courses in the state. I’d like to know which ones stand above it significantly, put it that way.”

The leader Tuesday at the halfway point of the 120th State Amateur was Piercen Hunt of Hartland, a rising sophomore at the University of Illinois. He added a 2-over 72 to his first-round 68 and was at even-par 140 through 36 holes.

“It’s really tough out here,” Hunt said. “It’s like a strategic aggressive. It borders on defensive, but if you do it the right way, you definitely get rewarded with uphill birdie looks and makeable putts.”

Only two players broke par in the second round: Jed Baranczyk of Green Bay and Cameron Huss of Kenosha both shot 1-under 69s. Baranczyk, a North Dakota State golfer, was in second place alone at 141 and Huss, a rising sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, was in a three-way tie for third at 143 with Dylan Brown of Reedsburg and Zak Kulka of Beaver Dam.

Kulka, a rising sophomore at UW-Green Bay, shot a ridiculously good bogey-free 64 in the first round and held a four-stroke lead over Hunt. On Tuesday he struggled to a 79 on a day that started sunny and warm but turned hazy and cool after the wind shifted mid-round. Still, he was just three shots back.

“I knew it was going to be hard,” he said. “I missed a lot of greens in the middle of the round. That didn’t help. I couldn’t get up and down. Overall, I’m not too upset. It’s not a great round, but I’m still kind of close to (the lead). Two more rounds. A lot of golf left.”

The second round might have set a State Amateur record for balls that trickled off greens, chip shots from the rough that didn’t reach the putting surface and bewildered looks on the faces of golfers whose patience and ability to grind were put to the ultimate test.

“The greens are so fast when you get above the hole, but they’re not terrible if you’ve got yourself in the right position,” said Bob Gregorski, a two-time State Amateur champion. “But as soon as you get out of position, you’re 100 percent defensive.”

Said Brown, a rising senior at Winona State, “If you miss the green into one of the runoffs, the only thing I’m thinking is how can I not make double-bogey. It’s like a major championship – the bogeys aren’t really going to hurt you but the doubles will eat you away.”

Westmoor has a history of producing both great champions and over-par winning scores. Among the golfers who have won State Open or State Amateur titles on the course bordering Moorland Road are Wisconsin Golf Hall of Famers Tommy Veech, Andy North, Johnny Revolta, Steve Stricker and David Roesch. But no champion in the modern era has shot better than 288 for 72 holes.

The scoring average Tuesday was a robust 80.09 and only 11 players in the field of 154 broke 75, a staggering statistic. The field combined for 1,109 bogeys and 491 double-bogeys, and the 36-hole cut fell at 16-over par.

“I would not be surprised if the winner was over par,” said Ryonen Faris of Fond du Lac, who shot a 72 and was T-19.

Will it be the left-handed Hunt, a former Western Junior Amateur champion? He was 4-over through 15 holes Tuesday but birdied two of his last three holes to take the lead.

“The closing three holes are pretty tough,” he said. “I probably picked up four or five shots on the field. That’s big for me going into tomorrow in a better position, with some momentum. And it was nice to finally make a birdie today.”

Will it be Baranczyk, who was paired with Dzirbik and impressed the veteran with his steady play?

“He is amazing,” Dzirbik said. “He hit it in the rough a few times but his swing is very steep and he has no problem hitting it out. He flag-hunts everything.”

Will it be Huss, who shot 20-under at Janesville Riverside in the Ray Fischer Amateur Championship last month and lost to Dustin Schwab on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff?

“It’s huge just knowing that I’ve been there before,” Huss said. “I haven’t really been in contention, before the Fischer, to win something like that. So just being in that pressure coming down the stretch and having to step up and hit golf shots and make putts, it’s huge going into these next two days.”

Then again, with 36 holes left, any one of a dozen golfers within seven strokes of the lead could put together two great rounds and come from behind to win.

Among those to watch is defending champion Thomas Longbella of Chippewa Falls, a former University of Minnesota golfer who plans to turn pro for the State Open next month. Longbella won by 10 shots last year at Milwaukee Country Club and, after a pair of 73s at Westmoor, is six strokes off the pace.

The player who does go on to win is going to manage his emotions and keep mistakes to a minimum.

“It’s a grind,” Kulka said. “You’ve got to stay in every shot.”

Overall leaderboard

1-Piercen Hunt  Hartland, WIE11:50a6872  140 
2-Jed Baranczyk  Green Bay, WI+111:50a7269  141 
T3-Cameron Huss  Kenosha, WI+311:50a7469  143 
T3-Dylan Brown  Reedsburg, WI+311:40a7271  143 
T3-Zak Kulka  Beaver Dam, WI+311:40a6479  143 
6-Adam Garski  Wauwatosa, WI+411:40a7173  144 
7-Jon Sauer  Appleton, WI+511:30a7075  145 
T8-Thomas Longbella  Chippewa Falls, WI+611:30a7373  146 
T8-Adam Miller  Nekoosa, WI+611:30a7472  146 
T8-Matt Tolan  Eau Claire, WI+611:20a6977  146 
T11-Gabe Dahl  Green Bay, WI+711:20a7275  147 
T11-Kevin Van Rossum  Hartland, WI+711:20a7275  147 
T11-Tom Boockmeier  Oak Creek, WI+711:10a7275  147 
T14-Hunter Eichhorn  Carney, MI+811:10a7276  148 
T14-Daniel Ozga  Edgerton, WI+811:10a6979  148 
T14-Matthew Raab  Hartland, WI+811:00a7573  148 
T17-Joe Weber  West Salem, WI+911:00a7673  149 
T17-Ethan Wilkins  Sussex, WI+911:00a7475  149 
T19-Ryonen Faris  Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin+1010:50a7872  150 
T19-Drake Wilcox  Sheboygan, WI+1010:50a7377  150 
T19-Joe Forsting  Edgerton, WI+1010:50a7377  150 
T19-Jack Schultz  Milwaukee, WI+1010:40a6981  150 
T23-Michael Harris  Brookfield, WI+1110:40a7477  151 
T23-Christopher Colla  Fond Du Lac, WI+1110:40a7378  151 
T23-Eli Myers  Northbrook, IL+1110:30a7378  151 
T23-Zach Place  Roselle, IL+1110:30a7477  151 
T23-John Blair  Wauwatosa, WI+1110:30a7576  151 
T23-Sam Van Galder  Janesville, WI+1110:20a7576  151 
T29-David Brock  Mequon, WI+1210:20a7775  152 
T29-Michael Bielawski  Waukesha, WI+1210:20a7577  152 
T29-Aidan Lafferty  Downers Grove, Illinois+1210:10a7676  152 
T29-Ryan Smith  Eatonton, GA+1210:10a7577  152 
T29-Mason Schmidtke  Sheboygan, WI+1210:10a7577  152 
T34-Bob Tierney  Lake Geneva, WI+1310:00a7281  153 
T34-Robert Gregorski  Menasha, WI+1310:00a7677  153 
T34-Grant Boyson  Neenah, WI+1310:00a7380  153 
T34-Trent Meyer  Lake Nebagamon, WI+139:50a7776  153 
T34-Billy McKay  Milwaukee, WI+139:50a7875  153 
T34-Carl Christiansen  Naperville, IL+139:50a7479  153 
T34-Steven Sanicki  Menomonee Falls, WI+139:40a7677  153 
T34-Nick Nelson  Milwaukee, WI+139:40a7875  153 
T34-Jason Jahnke  Kewaskum, WI+139:40a7479  153 
T34-Nate Thomson  Greendale, WI+139:30a7677  153 
T44-Jeff Anderson  LaCrosse, WI+149:30a7678  154 
T44-Logan Haight  Hartland, WI+149:30a7777  154 
T44-Matt Werner  Appleton, WI+149:20a7480  154 
T44-Ryan Zikeli  Hartland, WI+149:20a7777  154 
T44-Matthew Davidson  Mcfarland, WI+149:20a7975  154 
T44-George Botts  Madison, WI+149:10a7579  154 
T44-Matt Polivka  Muskego, WI+149:10a7876  154 
T44-Jarrett Simonson  Kenosha, WI+149:10a7876  154 
T52-Travis Meyer  River Falls, WI+159:00a7481  155 
T52-Evan Myers  Northbrook, IL+159:00a7877  155 
T52-Bennett Swavely  Hudson, WI+159:00a7580  155 
T52-Sam Cianciola  Nekoosa, WI+158:50a7679  155 
T52-Derek Hilmershausen  Wausau, WI+158:50a7283  155 
T52-Ed Dzirbik  Brookfield, WI+158:50a7679  155 
T52-Tyler Church  Holmen, WI+158:40a7877  155 
T52-Nathan Daugherty  Lake Villa, IL+158:40a7184  155 
T52-Maxwell Schmidtke  Sheboygan, WI+158:40a7481  155 
T61-Garrett Gosh  Hartland, WI+168:30a7581  156 
T61-Tyler Leach  Spring Valley, WI+168:30a7977  156 
T61-Austin Resop  Fitchburg, WI+168:30a7680  156 
T61-Daniel Benedum  Colgate, WI+168:20a7779  156 
T61-Rocky Sperka  New Berlin, WI+168:20a7779  156 
T61-Austin Gaby  Verona, WI+168:20a7680  156 
T61-Kevin Cahill  Waukesha, WI+168:10a7878  156 
T61-Joe DuChateau  Fond Du Lac, WI+168:10a8373  156 
T61-Tom Schoewe  Sun Prairie, WI+168:10a7878  156 
T61-Alex Yost  Hartland, WI+168:00a7878  156 
T61-Jim Doing  Verona, WI+168:00a7878  156 
T61-Sebastian Kasun  Elm Grove, Wisconsin+168:00a7482  156 
MC-Sam Sonsalla  Brookfield, WI+17  7978  157 
MC-John Kestly  Pewaukee, WI+17  7978  157 
MC-Cory Aune  Lake Geneva, WI+17  7978  157 
MC-Mike McDonald  West Bend, WI+17  8077  157 
MC-Elliott Nielsen  Fond du lac, WI+17  8077  157 
MC-R.J. Schwalbach  Downers Grove, IL+18  7781  158 
MC-Eric Dyreson  Mazomanie, WI+18  7385  158 
MC-Robert Hughes  Wauwatosa, WI+18  7484  158 
MC-Cal Meyers  Milwaukee, WI+18  8078  158 
MC-Nick Satina  Madison, WI+19  8178  159 
MC-James Gilmore  Middleton, WI+19  8376  159 
MC-Ben Skogen  Franklin, WI+19  8178  159 
MC-Brett Tautges  Germantown, WI+19  8178  159 
MC-Adam Lofy  Richfield, WI+19  8079  159 
MC-Scott Erickson  Sparta, WI+20  7981  160 
MC-Ben Resnick  Rice Lake, WI+20  8080  160 
MC-Jakob Schroeckenthaler  Cottage Grove, WI+20  8080  160 
MC-Tom Halla  Colgate, WI+20  8278  160 
MC-Paul Zarek  Burlington, WI+20  7783  160 
MC-Brad Finger  Waukesha, WI+20  7783  160 
MC-Max Reis  De Pere, WI+20  7684  160 
MC-Kasey Casper  Coleman, WI+21  7685  161 
MC-Michael Kerns  Milwaukee, WI+21  8279  161 
MC-Jason Zahradka  New Richmond, WI+21  7883  161 
MC-Drew Sagrillo  Mequon, WI+21  7784  161 
MC-Collin Schroeder  Appleton, WI+21  8180  161 
MC-Daniel Viera  Menomonee Falls, WI+21  7487  161 
MC-Michael Fischbach  Milwaukee, WI+21  8081  161 
MC-Eric Christensen  Clear Lake, WI+22  8577  162 
MC-Zach Dybul  Big Bend, Wisconsin+22  8082  162 
MC-Kaeden Nomm  Minocqua, WI+22  7983  162 
MC-Nicholas Amtmann  Nashotah, WI+22  8082  162 
MC-Travis Pronschinske  Oconomowoc, WI+22  8082  162 
MC-Matt Elstad  Oconomowoc, WI+22  7785  162 
MC-Shaun Borre  La Crosse, WI+22  7686  162 
MC-Griffin Pohl  Western Springs, IL+22  7884  162 
MC-Jack Doherty  Pewaukee, WI+23  8479  163 
MC-Nick Kulig  Arcadia, WI+23  7984  163 
MC-Ramiro Romo  Burlington, WI+23  8182  163 
MC-Jacob Werlein  Waunakee, WI+23  8083  163 
MC-Ricky Kuiper  Racine, WI+24  8480  164 
MC-Dylan Karvala  New Berlin, WI+24  7886  164 
MC-Dan Wells  Mt Horeb, Wisconsin+24  8282  164 
MC-Austin Erickson  Sparta, WI+24  8381  164 
MC-Zachary Walsh  Elm Grove, WI+24  8579  164 
MC-Dawson Hinz  Baraboo, WI+24  7886  164 
MC-Luke Karakas  Green BAy, WI+25  8382  165 
MC-William Schlitz  Eau Claire, WI+25  8085  165 
MC-Kody Koehn  Mukwonago, WI+25  7887  165 
MC-Charles Maleki  Mequon, WI+25  8184  165 
MC-Jonathan Fall  Cedarburg, WI+25  8085  165 
MC-John Bauer  Reedsburg, WI+25  8382  165 
MC-Pat Boyle  Greendale, WI+26  8086  166 
MC-Michael Grossman  South Milwaukee, WI+26  8383  166 
MC-Matthew Mattioli  Waukesha, WI+26  8482  166 
MC-Timothy Johnson  Beloit, WI+27  8285  167 
MC-Sam Hershoff  Lake Barrington, IL+27  8483  167 
MC-Brady Strangstalien  Sun Prairie, WI+27  8582  167 
MC-Lucas Ladd  Mequon, WI+27  8483  167 
MC-Bradley Hill  Menomonee Falls, WI+27  8780  167 
MC-Mike Murphy  Minocqua, WI+28  8682  168 
MC-Robert Kohl  Pewaukee, WI+28  8385  168 
MC-Jack McKinney  Sussex, WI+28  8385  168 
MC-Cristian McDonald  Verona, WI+29  8188  169 
MC-Ross Mickelson  Rice Lake, WI+29  8386  169 
MC-Jack Summers  Richfield, WI+29  7693  169 
MC-Peter Hoeppner  Waukesha, WI+30  8783  170 
MC-Jack Rubo  Minocqua, WI+30  8783  170 
MC-Mason Gardner  Waupaca, WI+30  8585  170 
MC-Parker Griffin  Amery, WI+30  8288  170 
MC-Jory Tess  East Troy, WI+30  8585  170 
MC-Kyler Royston  Wisconsin Dells, WI+31  8289  171 
MC-Jack Weisenberger  De Pere, WI+31  8784  171 
MC-Richie Burke  Milwaukee, WI+31  8982  171 
MC-Corey Verseman  McFarland, WI+32  8884  172 
MC-Adam Rosploch  Milwaukee, WI+33  8588  173 
MC-Sam Evenson  Holmen, WI+34  8589  174 
MC-Cole Fisher  Eau Claire, WI+34  8589  174 
MC-Brian Richards  Amherst Junction, WI+35  8986  175 
MC-Dave Ullenberg  Brown Deer, WI+36  8690  176 
MC-Riley Eck  Wisconsin Dells, WI+38  9187  178 
MC-Caleb Virnig  Hubertus, WI+44  9193  184 
WD-Eric Dankle  Franklin, WI+18        
WD-Jeffery Lister  Greendale+20        

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