State Am Hunter Eichhorn.jpg

Hunter Eichhorn hits out of a bunker during second-round action at the Wisconsin State Amateur on Tuesday.

GREEN LAKE — Hunter Eichhorn had been playing so poorly in the weeks leading up to the 118th Wisconsin State Amateur Championship that he gave serious consideration to withdrawing from the state’s signature event for amateurs.

A wunderkind who’d dominated the junior ranks in the Upper Peninsula and won the Big East title as a freshman at Marquette University, Eichhorn had never struggled so badly for so long. Family members had to talk him into teeing it up on the Links Course at The Golf Courses of Lawsonia.

It’s a good thing he decided to play, after all.

Eichhorn, a rising junior at MU from Carney, Michigan, followed his opening 73 with a course-record 7-under 65 in the second round Tuesday to vault into contention. He made eight birdies and a lone bogey, on the par-4 17th.

He goes into the third round Wednesday trailing leader Phillip Johnson of Colgate by one shot. Johnson, who played at the University of Dayton, added a 67 to his first-round 70 and was at 7-under 137 at the tournament’s halfway point.

Eichhorn was tied for second at 138 with Stoughton’s Sam Anderson (70), a rising junior at Wisconsin.

State am Phillip Johnson.jpg

Second-round leader Phillip Johnson chips to the ninth green during play Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Amateur.

“I’ve been playing terrible for a few months now,” Eichhorn said. “My ball-striking has been pretty bad. I’ve just been trying to figure that out and get it together. I’ve just been struggling and I was just kind of wore out. I thought about withdrawing. I took five days off before (the first round) and the first ball I hit was about 20 minutes before my tee time yesterday.”

Eichhorn got off to a red-hot start Tuesday, rolling in a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 1, a 10-footer on No. 2 and a 30-footer on No. 3.

“It was kind of a crazy start, and from there it was pretty solid,” he said.

He was 7-under after 13 holes and didn’t miss a green until No. 17, then failed to get up and down. It was his only 5 on a scorecard that included eight 3s and nine 4s. He birdied all five par-5s, including the 18th, which gave him the course record.

Jim Schuman shot a 63 on the Links Course in the 2001 Wisconsin PGA Stroke Play Championship, but several new tees have been built since and Lawsonia is calling Eichhorn’s round the “modern” course record.

“Pretty cool,” he said. “It’s never a bad thing to have a course record.”

He shot a 66 on the Links Course in a WPGA junior event several years ago, but from different tees.

Johnson played a bogey-free second round, made three birdies and eagled the par-5 fifth hole. He has hit 30 of 36 greens in regulation and has saved par each time he has missed a green. His two bogeys in the first round were the result of three-putts.

“There were a couple stressful moments on the back nine but the first 11 holes was pretty smooth sailing,” he said. “I was 5-under at that point, but it wasn’t like I was firing at flags. I was pretty conservative. I didn’t miss a green until No. 15.”

Anderson, the first-round leader with a 68, played with Eichhorn and 2018 State Amateur runner-up Thomas Longbella. The trio combined to shoot 13-under, with Longbella playing the back nine in 32 and posting a 68.

“Yeah, I had the worst score in my group,” Anderson said of his 70. “Absolutely, you feed off each other. I guess we proved it today. We got some juices flowing there on the back nine. We kind of fed off each other and had some good momentum going.”

Jacob Beckman of Middleton, ranked No. 1 in the 2021 boys’ high school class by, shot a 70 and was in fourth place alone at 139. Matthew Bachmann of Sheboygan Falls, a rising senior at Marquette, shot a second consecutive 70 and was alone in fifth at 140.

Anderson said he anticipated a slightly easier course set-up for the third round and would adjust his game plan accordingly.

“I assume they’re going to set the course up a little shorter tomorrow,” he said. “That’s kind of how they’ve done it in the past – give some guys the opportunity to go low. On a couple holes, I may change up the game plan and play them a little more aggressively. But if I stick to my game plan and play the same way I did the past two days and make a few more putts I shouldn’t have any issues.”

1Phillip Johnson  Colgate, WI-7F-57067  137 
T2Samuel Anderson  Stoughton, WI-6F-26870  138 
T2Hunter Eichhorn  Carney, MI-6F-77365  138 
4Jacob Beckman  Middleton, WI-5F-26970  139 
5Matthew Bachmann  Milwaukee, WI-4F-27070  140 
6Pete Kuhl  Madison, WI-3FE6972  141 
7Michael Harris  Brookfield, WI-2F+16973  142 
T8Jeremy Wesemann  Merton, WI-1F+26974  143 
T8Matt Tolan  Eau Claire, WI-1F-47568  143 
T8Thomas Longbella  Chippewa Falls, WI-1F-47568  143 
T11Piercen Hunt  Hartland, WIEFE7272  144 
T11Garrett Jones  Madison, WIEF+27074  144 
T11Tyler Leach  Spring Valley, WIEF-27470  144 
T14Cameron Huss  Kenosha, WI+1FE7372  145 
T14Jamozzy Skenandore  De Pere, WI+1FE7372  145 
T14Cal Meyers  Richfield, WI+1F+37075  145 
T14Jason Jahnke  Kewaskum, WI+1F+17273  145 
T18Zak Kulka  Beaver Dam, WI+2F+27274  146 
T18Danny Sanicki  Menomonee Falls, WI+2F-17571  146 
T18George Kneiser  Oconomowoc, WI+2FE7472  146 
T18Derrick Meier  Waunakee, WI+2F+27274  146 
T22Adam Garski  Wauwatosa, WI+3F-17671  147 
T22Austin Resop  Berlin, WI+3F-17671  147 
T22Nicholas Bauer  Oshkosh, WI+3F+47176  147 
T22Dylan Brown  Reedsburg, WI+3F-17671  147 
T22Jakob Garstecki  Germantown, WI+3F+37275  147 
T22Christopher Colla  Fond du Lac, WI+3F+37275  147 
T22Jack Schultz  Whitefish Bay, WI+3FE7572  147 
T22Nate Thomson  Greendale, WI+3F+47176  147 
T30Cory Aune  Lake Geneva, WI+4FE7672  148 
T30Johnny Decker  Madison, WI+4F+67078  148 
T30Peter Flory  Glencoe, IL+4F-17771  148 
T33Max Pasher  Mequon, WI+5F+27574  149 
T33Daniel Ozga  Edgerton, WI+5F+17673  149 
T33Grant Boyson  Neenah, WI+5F+57277  149 
T33John Stravinski  Windsor, WI+5F+27574  149 
T37Drake Wilcox  Sheboygan, WI+6F+37575  150 
T37Chris Wood  Mount Pleasant, WI+6F+27674  150 
T37Emmet Herb  Middleton, WI+6F+37575  150 
T40Derek Hilmershausen  Wausau, WI+7F+67378  151 
T40Todd Westrich  De Pere+7F+27774  151 
T40Sam Van Galder  Janesville, WI+7F+37675  151 
T40Zach Dybul  Big Bend, WI+7F+57477  151 
T40Mike McDonald  West Bend, WI+7F+47576  151 
T40Joe DuChateau  Fond Du Lac, WI+7F+37675  151 
T40Brady Sarauer  Fond du Lac, WI+7FE7972  151 
T40Robert Gregorski  Menasha, WI+7F+87180  151 
T40Matthew Raab  Hartland, WI+7F+77279  151 
T40P.J. Clemins  Cedarburg, WI+7F+77279  151 
T50Gabe Dahl  Green Bay, WI+8F+47676  152 
T50Joe Weber  Onalaska, WI+8F+47676  152 
T50Matt Polivka  Muskego, WI+8F-18171  152 
T50Russell Dettmering  Merrill, WI+8F+47676  152 
T50Adam Miller  Adams, WI+8F+67478  152 
T50Steven Sanicki  Menomonee Falls, WI+8F+47676  152 
T50Joseph Ploch  Oconomowoc, WI+8F+37775  152 
T50Ben Gilles  Madison, WI+8F+87280  152 
T58Connor Brown  Racine, WI+9F+47776  153 
T58Ben Nichols  Waukesha, WI+9F+57677  153 
T58Mark Laken  Kenosha, WI+9F+57677  153 
T58James Gunsalus  Brookfield, WI+9F+27974  153 
T58Garrett Gosh  Wauwatosa, WI+9F+47776  153 
T58Jake Dunn  Trempealeau, WI+9F+57677  153 
T58Nathan Daugherty  Lake Villa, IL+9F+47776  153 
T58Christopher Weinfurt  Milwaukee, WI+9F+37875  153 
T58Austin Gaby  Verona, WI+9F+77479  153 
T58Clayton Tribus  Madison, WI+9F+87380  153 
T58Robert Hughes  Wauwatosa, WI+9F+57677  153 
T69Kenny Rucker  Madison, WI+10F+47876  154 
T69Jack Anderson  Brookfield, WI+10F+57777  154 
T69Matt Fladten  Eau Claire, WI+10F+37975  154 
T69Benjamin Shafer  Brookfield, WI+10F+47876  154 
T69Jimmy Albright  Scottsdale, AZ+10F+107282  154 
T69Rocky Sperka  New Berlin, WI+10F+37975  154 
T69Daniel Benedum  Menomonee Falls, WI+10F+47876  154 
T69Brent Bartels  Pinehurst, NC+10F+18173  154 
MCJamie Young  Kenosha, WI+11F+87580  155 
MCBilly Peterson  Eau Claire, WI+11F+107382  155 
MCEric Christensen  Clear Lake, WI+11F+38075  155 
MCKevin Cahill  Waukesha, WI+11F+77679  155 
MCNick Satina  Portage, WI+12F+117383  156 
MCCharles Maleki  Mequon, WI+12F+28274  156 
MCPaul Zarek  Burlington, WI+12F+77779  156 
MCCraig Anderson  West Bend, WI+12F+87680  156 
MCBenjamin Monty  Wauwatosa, WI+12F+28274  156 
MCAddison Raimer  West bend, WI+12F+38175  156 
MCAlec Sheaffer  Pewaukee, WI+12F+77779  156 
MCNathan Schwarz  Hutto, TX+12FE8472  156 
MCSamuel Nielsen  Fond Du Lac, WI+12F+77779  156 
MCJakob Schroeckenthaler  Cottage Grove, WI+12F+97581  156 
MCJohn Kestly  Pewaukee, WI+12F+87680  156 
MCSteven Young  Milwaukee, WI+12F+28274  156 
MCMike Mueller  Whitefish Bay, WI+13F+87780  157 
MCJonathan Duggan, Jr.  Lake Geneva, WI+13F+18473  157 
MCAaron Gavin  South Milwaukee, WI+13F+58077  157 
MCBen Resnick  Rice Lake, WI+13F+58077  157 
MCJim Walkley  Onalaska, WI+13F+28374  157 
MCJim Doing  Verona, WI+13F+58077  157 
MCNoah Monty  Wauwatosa, WI+13F+117483  157 
MCGeorge Botts  Madison, WI+13F+28374  157 
MCJack Lutze  Brookfield, WI+13F+67978  157 
MCThomas Wettstein  Neenah, WI+13F+38275  157 
MCBrennan Fairbairn  De Pere, WI+13F+38275  157 
MCMichael Jensen  Hartford, WI+13F+87780  157 
MCMarc Shanks  Madison, WI+14F+87880  158 
MCJoel Preeshl  Onalaska, WI+14F+87880  158 
MCJared Delveaux  Cedarburg, WI+14F+97781  158 
MCAdam Fazio  Wauwatosa, WI+14F+87880  158 
MCNathan Joy  Franklin, WI+14F+97781  158 
MCEd Dzirbik Jr.  Brookfield, WI+14F+97781  158 
MCAlex Brandt  Chilton, WI+15F+127584  159 
MCMatthew Davidson  Mcfarland, WI+15F+58277  159 
MCAdam Austreng  Cedarburg, WI+16F+97981  160 
MCLogan Lillehaug  Frederic, WI+16F+88080  160 
MCMatt Roadhouse  Germantown, WI+16F+117783  160 
MCNicholas Zellmer  Milwaukee, WI+16F+78179  160 
MCTravis Engle  Kenosha, WI+17F+88180  161 
MCQuinn Schultz  Chaseburg, WI+17F+127784  161 
MCJeff Budd  Waupun, WI+17F+58477  161 
MCAdam McDonald  Waukesha, WI+17F+88180  161 
MCAlex Okray  Stevens Point, WI+17F+117883  161 
MCBryce Lindsley  Green Bay, WI+17F+78279  161 
MCNathan Pronschinske  Neenah, WI+17F+117883  161 
MCAlexander Fons  Milwaukee, WI+18F+68478  162 
MCBradley Hill  Menomonee Falls, WI+18F+78379  162 
MCJared Christensen  Sussex, WI+19F+68578  163 
MCJames DeBoer  Onalaska, WI+19F+88380  163 
MCTyler Dove  Hudson, WI+19F+108182  163 
MCMike Loftus  Grafton, WI+20F+68678  164 
MCBryce Jacobson  Peshtigo, WI+20F+98381  164 
MCMaxwell Schmidtke  Sheboygan, WI+20F+118183  164 
MCShawn Maszk  Milwaukee, WI+20F+78579  164 
MCPreston Cedergren  Green Bay, WI+20F+108282  164 
MCPat Boyle  Greendale, WI+21F+108382  165 
MCBennett Gilsinger  Sussex, WI+22F+108482  166 
MCMark Dalebroux  Madison, WI+22F+88680  166 
MCEric Van Tubbergen  Racine, WI+22F+88680  166 
MCCullen Maricque  Edgerton, WI+22F+148086  166 
MCWyatt Wilderman  Waukesha, WI+22F+68878  166 
MCCody Dirks  Holmen, WI+23F+108582  167 
MCJeremy Banaszewski  New Richmond, WI+24F+158187  168 
MCJustin Rowe  Brookfield, WI+24F+138385  168 
MCChris Kleine  Middleton, WI+24F+108682  168 
MCEthan Geidel  Germantown, WI+24F+168088  168 
MCMichael Sierakowski  Sheboygan Falls, WI+25F+158287  169 
MCRichie Burke  Milwaukee, WI+25F+118683  169 
MCTyler DeMeuse  Waukesha, WI+26F+128684  170 
MCKevin Kuklinski  Waukesha, WI+35F+139485  179 
MCMatthew Phelan  Fitchburg, WI+35F+169188  179 
WDKari Hannula Jr  De Pere, WI+4        
WDBrock Hlinak  Kaukauna, WI+5        
WDTodd Samarzia  Stillwater, MN+8        
WDKevin Van Rossum  Hartland, WI+9        
WDDerek Michalski  Marshfield, WI+11        
WDSam Cianciola  Nekoosa, WI+13        
WDTom Halla  Colgate, WI         
DQPatrick Treichel  Fond du Lac, WI+3        
JWDOliver Maleki  Mequon, WI 

Gary has covered golf in Wisconsin since 1980 and is a multiple award winner in the GWAA writing contest. He was inducted into the WSGA Hall of Fame in 2017 and joined Wisconsin.Golf in 2018 after a distinguished career at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.