Day 1 at Wisconsin State Am

Golfers make their way up the fairway on the par-5 13th

GREEN LAKE — If the eclectic leader board proved anything as Round 1 of the 118th Wisconsin State Amateur Championship crawled to a finish at dusk Monday, it was that predicting a winner is just about impossible.

Just about every type of player was represented. There were bombers, fairway splitters, limber college players and not-so-limber mid-amateurs. Even 57-year-old Bob Gregorski, a member of the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame who won the most recent of his two State Amateur titles 21 years ago, was in the mix.

The Links Course at The Golf Courses of Lawsonia, relatively short at 6,715 yards but with a set of massive, bedeviling greens, definitely doesn’t play favorites.

“The thing about the State Amateur at a place like this, there’s so many ways to play links golf,” said Pete Kuhl, a member of the University of Wisconsin golf team. “You’re going to get some bombers that can hit it a mile up there and have wedges in. Maybe the senior ams that are playing well here plot their way around the golf course, hit drivers straight as an arrow, hit fairways and get it up there.

“It’s definitely a course where you can see anybody play well.”

The leader at the end of a hot, windy day on which pace of play became an issue in the afternoon – some threesomes took more than 6 hours to finish – was Stoughton’s Sam Anderson, a rising junior at Wisconsin.

Anderson shot a 4-under-par 68 on the 1930 William Langford-Theodore Moreau gem. He made seven birdies and three bogeys and moved into the solo lead with a birdie on the par-5 18th.

“It was pretty solid,” said Anderson, who moved to Florida for his junior and senior years of high school but did not play prep golf there. “My game plan today was to hit as many shots off the tee that would give me wedges or short irons into the greens from the fairway, so I could control the spin. I only hit drivers on the par-5s today.”

There was a four-way tie at 69: Kuhl, 41-year-old reinstated amateur Michael Harris of Brookfield, 38-year-old Jeremy Wesemann of Merton and Jacob Beckman of Middleton High School, ranked No. 1 in the state’s class of 2021 by

The group at 70 included former UW player Johnny Decker of Madison; Matthew Bachmann of Sheboygan Falls, a rising senior at Marquette University; Cal Meyers of Richfield, a Bentley University graduate; former University of Dayton golfer Phillip Johnson of Colgate; and reinstated amateur and former UW golfer Garrett Jones of Madison.

Gregorski was one of three players who shot 71 and they were followed by a large group of 11 at even-par 72, including recently crowned Western Junior champion Piercen Hunt of Hartland.

Thomas Longbella

Thomas Longbella, runner-up in the 2018 Wisconsin State Amateur, tees off on the par-3 10th.

It’s possible that someone could separate from the pack over the next three days, but the leader board after Day 1 was as bunched as the start of a marathon, with 32 players within five shots of the lead.

Anderson moved to Florida early in the college recruiting process because he wanted to work on his game in a warm-weather state. He played a heavy junior tournament schedule, though not in high school, and it paid off when UW coach Michael Burcin offered him a scholarship.

Anderson said the key to his round was a good par save from short-right of the green on the par-3 10th hole. Coming off a birdie on the par-5 ninth, he rolled in a 12-footer to avoid a momentum-killing bogey, then birdied Nos. 11 and 12.

“Overall, it was a really consistent day,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t get out of position, so I knew I needed to give myself opportunities from the fairways, which I did.”

If there were first-round surprises, they were probably the 69 posted by Wesemann and the 70 posted by Decker.

Wesemann, an IT manager for GE Healthcare, played basketball at Cardinal Stritch University and didn’t get serious about golf until he was about 30. He described himself as a “working man who loves to play golf on the weekends.”

He made five birdies and a rolled in a 40-foot bomb on No. 9 for eagle.

“Overall, I drove the ball really well and kept it in play,” he said. “I made some long putts and got up and down a couple times from some tough spots.”

Asked if he was comfortable being one stroke off the lead, Wesemann said, “I’m in it for the fun of it. I’m not worried about trying to win it. I’m just playing each hole and trying to execute my strategy. I’ve got two kids to go home to, anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.”

Decker, 23, works in the pharmaceutical department at UW Health and has barely touched his clubs this summer. Last year, he led the State Amateur with an opening 66 and finished in a tie for ninth.

Can he keep it going?

“I have no idea,” he said. “I hope so. I’m just ready for lunch. I’m not going to push anything. If I’ve learned anything over my years, it’s one shot at a time. There’s so much golf left. I could screw it up or win it.”

The same could be said for just about everyone else.

1Samuel Anderson  Stoughton, WI-4F-468   68 
T2Michael Harris  Brookfield, WI-3F-369   69 
T2Pete Kuhl  Madison, WI-3F-369   69 
T2Jeremy Wesemann  Merton, WI-3F-369   69 
T2Jacob Beckman  Middleton, WI-3F-369   69 
T6Johnny Decker  Madison, WI-2F-270   70 
T6Matthew Bachmann  Milwaukee, WI-2F-270   70 
T6Cal Meyers  Richfield, WI-2F-270   70 
T6Phillip Johnson  Colgate, WI-2F-270   70 
T6Garrett Jones  Madison, WI-2F-270   70 
T11Nicholas Bauer  Oshkosh, WI-1F-171   71 
T11Robert Gregorski  Menasha, WI-1F-171   71 
T11Nate Thomson  Greendale, WI-1F-171   71 
T14Zak Kulka  Beaver Dam, WIEFE72   72 
T14Jakob Garstecki  Germantown, WIEFE72   72 
T14Ben Gilles  Madison, WIEFE72   72 
T14Jimmy Albright  Scottsdale, AZEFE72   72 
T14Christopher Colla  Fond du Lac, WIEFE72   72 
T14Matthew Raab  Hartland, WIEFE72   72 
T14Grant Boyson  Neenah, WIEFE72   72 
T14P.J. Clemins  Cedarburg, WIEFE72   72 
T14Derrick Meier  Waunakee, WIEFE72   72 
T14Jason Jahnke  Kewaskum, WIEFE72   72 
T14Piercen Hunt  Hartland, WIEFE72   72 
T25Clayton Tribus  Madison, WI+1F+173   73 
T25Jamozzy Skenandore  De Pere, WI+1F+173   73 
T25Nick Satina  Portage, WI+1F+173   73 
T25Patrick Treichel  Fond du Lac, WI+1F+173   73 
T25Derek Hilmershausen  Wausau, WI+1F+173   73 
T25Cameron Huss  Kenosha, WI+1F+173   73 
T25Hunter Eichhorn  Carney, MI+1F+173   73 
T25Billy Peterson  Eau Claire, WI+1F+173   73 
T33Austin Gaby  Verona, WI+2F+274   74 
T33Noah Monty  Wauwatosa, WI+2F+274   74 
T33Zach Dybul  Big Bend, WI+2F+274   74 
T33George Kneiser  Oconomowoc, WI+2F+274   74 
T33Tyler Leach  Spring Valley, WI+2F+274   74 
T33Adam Miller  Adams, WI+2F+274   74 
T39Danny Sanicki  Menomonee Falls, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Jakob Schroeckenthaler  Cottage Grove, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Max Pasher  Mequon, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Emmet Herb  Middleton, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Mike McDonald  West Bend, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Jack Schultz  Whitefish Bay, WI+3F+375   75 
T39John Stravinski  Windsor, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Alex Brandt  Chilton, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Matt Tolan  Eau Claire, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Thomas Longbella  Chippewa Falls, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Jamie Young  Kenosha, WI+3F+375   75 
T39Drake Wilcox  Sheboygan, WI+3F+375   75 
T51Austin Resop  Berlin, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Craig Anderson  West Bend, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Steven Sanicki  Menomonee Falls, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Dylan Brown  Reedsburg, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Brock Hlinak  Kaukauna, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Joe DuChateau  Fond Du Lac, WI+4F+476   76 
T51John Kestly  Pewaukee, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Daniel Ozga  Edgerton, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Robert Hughes  Wauwatosa, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Gabe Dahl  Green Bay, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Adam Garski  Wauwatosa, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Ben Nichols  Waukesha, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Cory Aune  Lake Geneva, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Mark Laken  Kenosha, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Sam Van Galder  Janesville, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Joe Weber  Onalaska, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Jake Dunn  Trempealeau, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Russell Dettmering  Merrill, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Todd Samarzia  Stillwater, MN+4F+476   76 
T51Chris Wood  Mount Pleasant, WI+4F+476   76 
T51Kevin Cahill  Waukesha, WI+4F+476   76 
T72Joseph Ploch  Oconomowoc, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Matt Roadhouse  Germantown, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Alec Sheaffer  Pewaukee, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Samuel Nielsen  Fond Du Lac, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Peter Flory  Glencoe, IL+5F+577   77 
T72Nathan Joy  Franklin, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Ed Dzirbik Jr.  Brookfield, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Michael Jensen  Hartford, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Mike Mueller  Whitefish Bay, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Connor Brown  Racine, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Todd Westrich  De Pere+5F+577   77 
T72Jack Anderson  Brookfield, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Quinn Schultz  Chaseburg, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Garrett Gosh  Wauwatosa, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Nathan Daugherty  Lake Villa, IL+5F+577   77 
T72Paul Zarek  Burlington, WI+5F+577   77 
T72Jared Delveaux  Cedarburg, WI+5F+577   77 
T89Christopher Weinfurt  Milwaukee, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Daniel Benedum  Menomonee Falls, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Adam Fazio  Wauwatosa, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Alex Okray  Stevens Point, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Nathan Pronschinske  Neenah, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Marc Shanks  Madison, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Kenny Rucker  Madison, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Joel Preeshl  Onalaska, WI+6F+678   78 
T89Benjamin Shafer  Brookfield, WI+6F+678   78 
T98Jack Lutze  Brookfield, WI+7F+779   79 
T98Brady Sarauer  Fond du Lac, WI+7F+779   79 
T98Rocky Sperka  New Berlin, WI+7F+779   79 
T98James Gunsalus  Brookfield, WI+7F+779   79 
T98Adam Austreng  Cedarburg, WI+7F+779   79 
T98Matt Fladten  Eau Claire, WI+7F+779   79 
T104Jim Doing  Verona, WI+8F+880   80 
T104Cullen Maricque  Edgerton, WI+8F+880   80 
T104Ethan Geidel  Germantown, WI+8F+880   80 
T104Derek Michalski  Marshfield, WI+8F+880   80 
T104Aaron Gavin  South Milwaukee, WI+8F+880   80 
T104Ben Resnick  Rice Lake, WI+8F+880   80 
T104Logan Lillehaug  Frederic, WI+8F+880   80 
T104Eric Christensen  Clear Lake, WI+8F+880   80 
T112Addison Raimer  West bend, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Adam McDonald  Waukesha, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Brent Bartels  Pinehurst, NC+9F+981   81 
T112Nicholas Zellmer  Milwaukee, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Travis Engle  Kenosha, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Matt Polivka  Muskego, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Maxwell Schmidtke  Sheboygan, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Jeremy Banaszewski  New Richmond, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Kevin Van Rossum  Hartland, WI+9F+981   81 
T112Tyler Dove  Hudson, WI+9F+981   81 
T122Benjamin Monty  Wauwatosa, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Preston Cedergren  Green Bay, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Thomas Wettstein  Neenah, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Bryce Lindsley  Green Bay, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Brennan Fairbairn  De Pere, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Steven Young  Milwaukee, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Michael Sierakowski  Sheboygan Falls, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Matthew Davidson  Mcfarland, WI+10F+1082   82 
T122Charles Maleki  Mequon, WI+10F+1082   82 
T131Justin Rowe  Brookfield, WI+11F+1183   83 
T131George Botts  Madison, WI+11F+1183   83 
T131Bradley Hill  Menomonee Falls, WI+11F+1183   83 
T131Bryce Jacobson  Peshtigo, WI+11F+1183   83 
T131Pat Boyle  Greendale, WI+11F+1183   83 
T131James DeBoer  Onalaska, WI+11F+1183   83 
T131Jim Walkley  Onalaska, WI+11F+1183   83 
T138Jeff Budd  Waupun, WI+12F+1284   84 
T138Nathan Schwarz  Hutto, TX+12F+1284   84 
T138Bennett Gilsinger  Sussex, WI+12F+1284   84 
T138Jonathan Duggan, Jr.  Lake Geneva, WI+12F+1284   84 
T138Alexander Fons  Milwaukee, WI+12F+1284   84 
T143Sam Cianciola  Nekoosa, WI+13F+1385   85 
T143Jared Christensen  Sussex, WI+13F+1385   85 
T143Cody Dirks  Holmen, WI+13F+1385   85 
T143Shawn Maszk  Milwaukee, WI+13F+1385   85 
T147Chris Kleine  Middleton, WI+14F+1486   86 
T147Richie Burke  Milwaukee, WI+14F+1486   86 
T147Tyler DeMeuse  Waukesha, WI+14F+1486   86 
T147Mark Dalebroux  Madison, WI+14F+1486   86 
T147Mike Loftus  Grafton, WI+14F+1486   86 
T147Eric Van Tubbergen  Racine, WI+14F+1486   86 
153Wyatt Wilderman  Waukesha, WI+16F+1688   88 
154Matthew Phelan  Fitchburg, WI+19F+1991   91 
155Kevin Kuklinski  Waukesha, WI+22F+2294   94

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