WSGA sr match play — Mike Murphy.jpg

Mike Murphy | 2019 WSGA Senior Match Play

Mike Murphy took care of his business Monday at Minocqua Country Club and then retreated to one of the local lakes to go kayaking with his wife Lori.

By the time they returned to their campsite for dinner, the juxtaposition of the Fitchburg golfer's day could not have been more striking.

Away from the golf course, the Murphy's day was the epitome of alone time. Atop the leaderboard at the Wisconsin State Senior Amateur Championship, things could not have been much more crowded for Murphy and four other golfers who shot matching 2-under-par 70s and shared the first-round lead.

Murphy was nearing the end of his 90-minute kayak excursion when he wound up atop the leaderboard after Pewaukee's John Kestly, playing in the fourth-to-last group off the front nine, bogeyed No. 18. That dropped Kestly into a share of the lead with Murphy, Minocqua's Brian Drerup, 2019 WSGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Doing of Verona and 2018 WSGA Senior Player of the Year Rocky Sperka of New Berlin, none of whom have ever won this championship (though Sperka did come close in 2017 and '18, finishing second both years).

3 state am Rocky Sperka.jpg

Rocky Sperka | 2019 Wisconsin State Amateur

"(I) haven’t checked the leaderboard yet, but I’m sure I’ll have a late tee time (Tuesday)," Murphy wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf before finding out that he will join Drerup, Doing and Sperka in the final group off No. 1 at 2:15 p.m.  

Waukesha's Kevin Cahill, a three-time WSGA Senior Player of the Year, shot 1-under 71 and joined Neosho's John Lonergan in a tie for sixth place. Three other golfers, including two-time State Amateur champion Bob Gregorski of Menasha, shot even-par 72s and were tied for ninth as 27 golfers remained within five shots of the lead entering Tuesday's final round.

"Lots of good golfers and guys who know each other pretty well," Sperka wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf after getting a look at the leaderboard after first-round play finished. "(The) winner will play a real good round (Tuesday)."

The five guys at 2-under each had opportunities to go lower Monday.

Drerup, 56, who retired from the Rockford (Ill.) Fire Department as a division chief in 2018 after 31 years on the force, now calls Minocqua home and looked the part starting on the back nine Monday. He birdied two of his first three holes and added another birdie at No. 18 to make the turn in 3-under 33 before a bogey-birdie-bogey stretch starting at No. 5 left him at 2-under.

"The key for me (Monday) was solid iron play and good putting," Drerup wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf. "One of the keys to playing MCC is being able to keep the ball in play off the tee and understanding the undulating green complexes. It’s becoming easier as I gain more course knowledge.

"I’ve only been a member here for two years. However, I’ve played here for years with my wife’s family."

Jim Doing | 2020 am scorecard

Jim Doing of Verona hits out of the bunker on the 18th green during the final round of the 2020 State Amateur.

Doing, who played with defending champion John Uekert (79) and Cahill, also got off to a fast start, birdieing No. 1 and holing out for an eagle on the par-4 eighth hole to make the turn in 3-under 33. He made four bogeys and three birdies on the back nine, the last birdie coming at No. 18 to tie for the lead.

Murphy, meanwhile, started on the back nine and went par-birdie-bogey-birdie before making five straight pars to turn in 1-under 35. Three birdies — the last two coming back-to-back starting at No. 6 — and two bogeys on the front nine helped the 65-year-old earn his share of the lead before hitting the water.

"(The) best part of my game (Monday) was my driving," Murphy wrote. "(I) only missed one fairway (by a couple of feet) so I always had a clear shot at the green.  My putting was hot and cold (he had two three-putts) and I found myself in between clubs a bunch.

"But I’m happy with the results."

So, too, was Sperka, 58, who is in the middle of a solid summer.

Sperka, who played college golf in the 1980s at Ball State, won the WSGA Senior Four-Ball Championship with partner Brad Niswonger, made the cut at the Wisconsin State Amateur at Milwaukee CC and qualified for last week's Wisconsin State Open at Blue Mound G&CC in Wauwatosa, where he shot a pair of 76s and missed the 36-hole cut by just three shots. He owned a share of the lead after an opening 69 two years ago at Thornberry Creek at Oneida GC near Green Bay, only to shoot 75 the second day and finish second to Paul Zarek.

He started the slowest of any of the eventual leaders, playing the back nine first and making bogeys at Nos. 11 and 13 and turning in 2-over 38. The front nine was a different story, however, as he birdied No. 1 and — after going birdie-bogey at Nos. 4 and 5 — birdied three of his final four holes for his 70.

"I played pretty well in the State Am two years ago when it was at Minocqua CC," Sperka wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf, referring to the 2018 State Am where he shot 75-74-74-75 and tied for 36th. "Each of those three birdies in last four holes (Monday) was inside 3 feet. (I) hit driver really well and my short irons very aggressively into soft greens. ... (I) have been hitting ball well but have not putted well. Making a few putts (Monday) helps the confidence."

Meanwhile, Kestly did not seem the least bit rattled despite his bogey on No. 18, which cost him the outright lead. The 58-year-old vice president of Boehm-Madisen Lumber Co. in Pewaukee seemed right at home among Minocqua CC's tree-lined fairways most of the day, making four birdies, one bogey and 12 pars — including a "miraculous" save at No. 16 — before his bogey to finish.

"I putted well ... and kept my drives in the fairway," Kestly wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf. "I have been playing pretty good this year, but the 70 is my best so far. ... I was getting a little loose coming into 18, but hit a good drive and pushed my approach shot. It was a tough up and down and I missed my par putt. ... (I'm) not upset, it’s a very cool course and I am just happy to be playing it well."

T1-Brian Drerup  Minocqua, WI-22:15p70 70 
T1-Mike Murphy  Fitchburg, WI-22:15p70 70 
T1-Jim Doing  Verona, WI-22:15p70 70 
T1-Rocky Sperka  New Berlin, WI-22:15p70 70 
T1-John Kestly  Pewaukee, WI-22:05p70 70 
T6-John Lonergan  Neosho, WI-12:05p71 71 
T6-Kevin Cahill  Waukesha, WI-12:05p71 71 
T8-JT Johnson  Eden Prairie, MNE2:05p72 72 
T8-Robert Gregorski  Menasha, WIE1:55p72 72 
T8-Tom McClintock  Onalaska, WIE1:55p72 72 
T11-Mark Dalebroux  Madison, WI+11:55p73 73 
T11-Bob Zarter  Wrightstown, WI+11:55p73 73 
T11-Tom Zastrow  Greendale, WI+11:45p73 73 
T11-Ramiro Romo  Burlington, WI+11:45p73 73 
T11-Bill Crinzi  New Berlin, WI+11:45p73 73 
T16-Daniel Moore  Nekoosa, WI+21:45p74 74 
T16-John Hogan  Rhinelander, WI+21:35p74 74 
T16-Jim Frusher  DePere, WI+21:35p74 74 
T16-Todd Westrich  De Pere+21:35p74 74 
T16-Ron Stortz  Delafield, WI+21:35p74 74 
T21-Larry Searl  Weyauwega, WI+31:25p75 75 
T21-Robert Pyle  Green Bay, WI+31:25p75 75 
T21-Dick Ohme  Appleton, WI+31:25p75 75 
T21-Greg Moser  Madison, WI+31:25p75 75 
T21-Randy Warobick  North Lake, WI+31:15p75 75 
T21-Mitch Bowers  Mineral Point, WI+31:15p75 75 
T21-Michael Fischbach  Milwaukee, WI+31:15p75 75 
T28-Chuck Garbedian  Waukesha, WI+41:15p76 76 
T28-Dan Wubbels  Madison, Wi+41:05p76 76 
T28-Pat Boyle  Greendale, WI+41:05p76 76 
T28-Terry Flesch  Fond du Lac, WI+41:05p76 76 
T28-Ed Dzirbik  Brookfield, WI+41:05p76 76 
T28-Mike Smith  Pewaukee, WI+412:55p76 76 
T34-David Preboske  Eagle River, WI+512:55p77 77 
T34-Robert Lehninger  Wauwatosa, WI+512:55p77 77 
T34-Paul Zarek  Burlington, WI+512:55p77 77 
T34-Scott Skogen  Onalaska, WI+512:45p77 77 
T34-John Haines  Mequon, WI+512:45p77 77 
T34-John Aufderhaar  Watertown, WI+512:45p77 77 
T40-Bill Schneider  Appleton, WI+612:45p78 78 
T40-Charles Weber  Milwaukee, WI+612:45p *78 78 
T40-Brian Buss  Eau Claire, WI+612:45p *78 78 
T40-Bruce Hansen  Racine, WI+612:45p *78 78 
T40-Curt Lumpp  Cambridge, WI+612:45p *78 78 
T40-Bart Ott  Brookfield, WI+612:55p *78 78 
T40-Jamie Young  Kenosha, WI+612:55p *78 78 
T40-Brian Brugger  Franklin, WI+612:55p *78 78 
T40-Jim Scharnberg  Franklin, WI+612:55p *78 78 
T40-Dave Ullenberg  Brown Deer, WI+61:05p *78 78 
T40-Bruce Henning  Brookfield, WI+61:05p *78 78 
T40-Paul Bryant  Wauwatosa, WI+61:05p *78 78 
T40-Marv Nelson  Burlington, WI+61:05p *78 78 
T53-James Anderson  Abrams, WI+71:15p *79 79 
T53-Dave Massey  Cottage Grove. Wi.+71:15p *79 79 
T53-Richard Pfeil  Lake Geneva, WI+71:15p *79 79 
T53-Brad Houghton  Rice Lake, WI.+71:15p *79 79 
T53-Brian Maloney  Green Bay, WI+71:25p *79 79 
T53-Steve Babcock  Brodhead, WI+71:25p *79 79 
T53-Martin Cherney  Brookfield, WI+71:25p *79 79 
T53-Jeff Corcoran  Waukesha, WI+71:25p *79 79 
T53-Bill Cunningham  Madison, WI+71:35p *79 79 
T53-Mike Wemmert  West Bend, WI+71:35p *79 79 
T53-John Uekert  West Bend, WI+71:35p *79 79 
T53-Ed Stremlow  Germantown, WI+71:35p *79 79 
T53-David Freeborg  Green Bay, WI+71:45p *79 79 
T53-Joe Blommel  Muskego, WI+71:45p *75 75 
T67-Guy Roe  Minocqua, WI+81:45p *80 80 
T67-Martin Buehler  Hinsdale, IL+81:45p *80 80 
T67-Jim Barry  Waukesha, WI+81:55p *80 80 
T67-Ken Heffel  Racine,WI+81:55p *80 80 
T67-John Siebert  Madison, WI+81:55p *80 80 
T67-Robb Brodbeck  Waunakee, WI+81:55p *80 80 
T67-Steve Rottler  Hartland, WI+82:05p *80 80 
T67-Jim Rollefson  Franklin, WI+82:05p *80 80 
T67-Eric Peter  Elm Grove, WI+82:05p *80 80 
T67-Carl Anderson  Brookfield, WI+82:05p *80 80 
T67-Patrick Moynahan  Egg Harbor, WI+82:15p *80 80 
T78-James Ritchay  De Pere+92:15p *81 81 
T78-Steve Etrheim  Plover, WI+92:15p *81 81 
T78-Tracey Ahlborn  Minocqua, WI+92:15p *81 81 
T78-Paul Foegen  Marshfield, WI+92:25p *81 81 
T78-Ron Hyde  Waukesha, WI+92:25p *81 81 
T78-Scott Semingson  Strum, WI+92:25p *81 81 
T78-Dan Wucherer  Waupun, WI+92:25p *81 81 
T85-Tom Paulson  Longboat Key, FL+109:35a82 82 
T85-John Golden  Verona, WI+109:35a82 82 
T85-Kurt Hoppe  Wisconsin Rapids, WI+109:35a82 82 
T85-Dominic Carini  Greenfield, WI+109:35a82 82 
T85-Bill Kaether  McFarland, WI+109:25a82 82 
T85-Marc Casper  Okauchee, WI+109:25a82 82 
T85-Jim Covelli  Racine, WI+109:25a82 82 
T85-Pat Leahy  Hartland, WI+109:25a82 82 
T85-Terry Peterson  Green Bay, Wisconsin+109:15a82 82 
T85-Keith Wood  Milwaukee, WI+109:15a82 82 
T85-Thomas Hau  Kiel, WI+109:15a82 82 
T85-Mike Kehoe  South Milwaukee, WI+109:15a82 82 
T85-Chuck Silkey  Cedarburg, WI+109:05a82 82 
T85-Jim Hein  Pewaukee, WI+109:05a82 82 
T99-Joe Stangel  Green Bay, WI+119:05a83 83 
T99-Steve Nibbe  Madison, WI+119:05a83 83 
T99-Paul Schwarz  Appleton+118:55a83 83 
T99-Mark Asplund  Birnamwood, WI+118:55a83 83 
T99-Keith Luedtke  South Milwaukee, WI+118:55a83 83 
T99-Bob Rogowski  Muskego+118:55a83 83 
T105-Tom Thompson  DePere, WI+128:45a84 84 
T105-Joe Wirth  Mequon, WI+128:45a84 84 
T105-Dick Regenberg  Madison, WI+128:45a84 84 
T105-Steve Rajek  Mosinee, WI+128:45a84 84 
T105-Gary Gustavson  Green Lake, WI+128:35a84 84 
T105-Tom Krause  Waukesha, WI+128:35a84 84 
T105-Greg Johnson  Black River Falls, WI+128:35a84 84 
T105-Larry Henry  Lake Geneva, WI+128:35a84 84 
T105-Glen Reinke  Marinette, WI+128:25a84 84 
T105-James Lansing  West Allis, WI+128:25a84 84 
T115-Didier Ibar  New Berlin, WI+138:25a85 85 
T115-Bill Tensfeldt  Madison, WI+138:25a85 85 
T115-John Swanson  Brookfield, WI+138:15a85 85 
T115-Joe Sherwood  Green Bay, WI+138:15a85 85 
T115-Don Higgins  Madison, WI+138:15a85 85 
T115-Larry Anderson  Lindenhurst, IL+138:15a85 85 
T115-Bob Kohl  Pewaukee, WI+138:05a85 85 
T115-Brian Hale  Sherwood, WI+138:05a85 85 
T115-Jim Stangel  Algoma, WI+138:05a85 85 
T124-Fran Hewuse II  Tomah, WI+148:05a86 86 
T124-Preston Irwin  Bartlett, IL+147:55a86 86 
T124-Mark Olsen  Pleasant Prairie+147:55a86 86 
T124-Dan Rajek  Merrill, WI+147:55a86 86 
T124-Dan Jelinek  Iron Ridge, WI+147:55a86 86 
T124-Jim Socha  Onalaska, WI+147:45a86 86 
T124-Jerry Gitlewski  Sussex+147:45a86 86 
T124-Bill Feehan, Jr.  La Crosse+147:45a86 86 
T132-Bill Zuiker  Marshfield, WI+157:45a87 87 
T132-David Gursoy  Conover, WI+157:45a *87 87 
T132-Andrew Osowski  Germantown, WI+157:45a *87 87 
T132-Tim McKeough  Green Bay, WI+157:45a *87 87 
T132-Ron Long  Ripon, WI+157:55a *87 87 
T132-Mike Sorgi  Milwaukee, WI+157:55a *87 87 
T132-Dan Wick  Waukesha, WI+157:55a *87 87 
T132-Todd Cook  Beaver Dam, WI+157:55a *87 87 
T140-Tom Roy  Eleva, WI+168:05a *88 88 
T140-Mike Meyers  Minocqua, WI+168:05a *88 88 
T140-John Thorpe  Appleton, WI+168:05a *88 88 
T140-Patrick Hogan  Green Bay, WI+168:05a *88 88 
T140-Steve Jaeger  Brookfield, WI+168:15a *88 88 
T140-Bill Paul  Casco, WI+168:15a *88 88 
T140-Tom Felch  Ringle, WI+168:15a *88 88 
T140-Daniel Mueller  Kenosha, WI+168:15a *88 88 
T140-Brian Westcott  Hartland, WI+168:25a *88 88 
T140-Andrew Schuelke  Franklin, WI+168:25a *88 88 
150-Scott Smith  Oneida, WI+178:25a *89 89 
T151-Bob Thompson  Highland Park, IL+188:25a *90 90 
T151-Erik Johnson  Hazelhurst, WI+188:35a *90 90 
T151-Brian Spychalla  Waukesha, WI+188:35a *90 90 
T151-Rick Theiler  Grafton, WI+188:35a *90 90 
T151-Robert Becker  Madison, WI+188:35a *90 90 
T151-Mike Gerrits  Green Bay, WI+188:45a *90 90 
T157-David J. Butzen  Mequon, WI+198:45a *91 91 
T157-Steve Sevals  Rice Lake, WI+198:45a *91 91 
T157-Patrick Garvens  Milwaukee, WI+198:45a *91 91 
T157-Jeff Kjorlien  Hubertus, WI+198:55a *91 91 
T161-Seve Weiher  Hubertus, Wi.+208:55a *92 92 
T161-James Winistorfer  Mequon, WI+208:55a *92 92 
T163-Craig Peachy  Fond Du Lac, WI+218:55a *93 93 
T163-Mike Greenhalgh  Madison, WI+219:05a *93 93 
T163-Neal Weitermann  Germantown, WI+219:05a *93 93 
T166-Thomas Gordon  Plymouth, WI+229:05a *94 94 
T166-Terry Schilz  Cambridge, WI+229:05a *94 94 
T168-Jim Appelgren  Minocqua, WI+239:15a *95 95 
T168-Byron Olson  Menomonee Falls, WI+239:15a *95 95 
T168-James Dicks  Ottawa, WI+239:15a *95 95 
T168-Krys Komornicki  Elm Grove, WI+239:15a *95 95 
T172-Harry Markos  Shorewood, WI+249:25a *96 96 
T172-John Upson  Woodbury, MN+249:25a *96 96 
T172-Al Walschinski  Appleton, WI+249:25a *96 96 
T175-Tim Filtz  West Bend, WI+289:25a *100 100 
T175-Greg Moline  Mequon, WI+289:35a *100 100 
177-James Olson  Egg Harbor, WI+319:35a *103 103 
T178-Bob Warpinski  Green Bay, WI+339:35a *105 105 
T178-Doug Bader  Grafton, WI+339:35a *105 105 
WD-Eric Hjortness  Menasha+18  90 90 
WD-Mike Jr. O'Connor  West Bend, WI+31  103 103 
NS-Peter Grefsheim  Madison, WI       
JWD-Dennis Priest  Greenfield, WI       

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