Bobbi Stricker

Bobbi Stricker checks out a green during the 2018 Wisconsin Women's State Open at Janesville CC.

Bobbi Stricker wasn't born at Brown Deer Park in Milwaukee, but she found out this week that she did spend part of her first week on this planet there.

"I was actually born the Monday of the GMO and my mom and grandma took me out there on the weekend because my dad was in contention," Stricker recalled Tuesday, referring to the 1998 Greater Milwaukee Open when father Steve shot 68-63-67-68 and finished second to Jeff Sluman. "I didn't know this story until my mom told me when we were walking around (Monday)."

That was just one of the special moments that Bobbi Stricker enjoyed on the same Milwaukee County course this week at the Badger Mutual Insurance Women's Amateur. The other? Winning her first major amateur tournament.

The University of Wisconsin golfer, playing with a lead for the first time in her young career after a dazzling 7-under-par 66 in the opening round, followed it up with a 3-over 76 in the second round. Her 36-hole total of 4-under 142 was good enough for a two-stroke victory over Eastern Kentucky golfer Mikayla Hauck of Cottage Grove, who fired a 75 to place second at 2-under 144.

"It was obviously a new experience playing with the lead and something I was nervous about coming into (Tuesday)," Bobbi Stricker wrote in a Twitter message to Wisconsin.Golf. "I tried to get some advice from my family that had been there and I really tried to use it  (Tuesday) ... focusing on one shot at a time and making sure my mind didn't start to wander. I definitely had (a) ... hard time within my round where I wasn't doing those things, but my mom (and caddie Nicki) really helped me stay level headed and foot on the gas."

Playing alongside Hauck and former Badgers teammate Aya Johnson, Stricker did just that. She hit her approach shot on the par-5 10th hole starting out her final round to 15 feet and made the putt for eagle to get to 9-under.

"I've played with her a couple times this summer and I've seen so much improvement in her game as a whole," Johnson wrote in a Twitter message of Stricker, who will be a redshirt sophomore at UW this fall. "She's always been so solid around the greens so it's awesome to see her put everything together!"

Stricker had a few more bumps in the road Tuesday than she did Monday, but so did a lot of golfers in the top 10 going into the final round.

In fact, only three golfers broke par in the second round — UW golfer Jessica Reinecke of Verona (69), Xavier University golfer Mikayla Smith of Appleton (71) and Merton veteran Maggie Leef (72). Nonetheless, Stricker picked up three shots on Hauck after nine holes and was able to breathe a little easier coming home.

"Making the turn at even par was a big deal in my mind," Stricker wrote. "I had a little bit of a hiccup on a short par 4 (No. 16) where maybe I let my mind wander a bit, but I felt good with making the turn even par. When it came to the back side I was feeling the pressure a bit towards the end."

Hauck put on a charge late, bouncing back from a bogey on No. 1 with birdies at Nos. 2 and 6 to cut an eight-stroke deficit to four before Stricker birdied No. 7 to regain a five-shot lead. That helped her withstand a two-shot swing on the final hole and walk away with her first tournament victory over any kind since sharing first place in her age group with Reinecke at a Wisconsin PGA Futures Tour event in 2008 at Vitense Golfland in Madison and an exemption in the upcoming Symetra Tour PHC Classic at Brown Deer Park.

"Bobbi’s game is awesome!" Hauck wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "She’s steady and plays really smart, and plus she’s super nice."

For Hauck, it marked her third runner-up finish in three major state events this summer in addition to ones she recorded at the Wisconsin State Women's Open and Wisconsin State Women's Amateur. Always the bridesmaid but never the bride inside the ropes, Hauck can't complain about the state of her game or the one time when she was the bride — at the end of June when she married Beloit Club assistant pro Ben Groonwald at Wild Rock GC in Wisconsin Dells.

"I’m really proud of where my game is," Hauck wrote. "And you’re right, the thing that really counted this summer, though, was my marriage. I consider my wedding to be my first place finish this summer!"

Meanwhile, Bobbi Stricker wasn't the only member of the Stricker family making her mark on the golf course Tuesday. Younger sister Izzy made her junior golf debut at Glen Erin GC in Janesville, shooting an 88 to finish second in her age group and seventh overall.

"She had the best time and says she can't wait to compete again," Bobbi said. "I am so proud of her. She has really stepped up her game this past year and has really grown to love playing. She is such a good little player and has the best hands, touch, feel around the greens. I am really excited to see how she grows."

One thing is for sure. It made for a proud father.

"Pretty special day to have both kids competing and Bobbi winning at a place where I’ve contended but never won!" Steve Stricker wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "(I'm) so happy to see them both improving so much!"

1Bobbi Stricker  Cherokee CC+3F *-46676142 
2Mikayla Hauck  The Oaks GC+2F *-26975144 
3Taylor McCorkle  Blackhawk CCEF *-17273145 
T4Mikayla Smith  Maketewah CC-2F *+17671147 
T4Aya Johnson  University Ridge GC+2F *+17275147 
T6Maggie Leef  The Legends Club GC-1F *+37772149 
T6Emily Lauterbach  Legend GC+3F *+37376149 
8Jessica Reinecke  Brown Deer GC-4F *+48169150 
9Amy Kucera  Oak Brook GC+1F *+67874152 
10Mia Seeman  Oak Ridge GC+5F *+77578153 
11Sarah Busey  Racine CC+3F *+97976155 
12Tess Hackworthy  Maple Bluff CC+6F *+107779156 
13Sarah McMichael  Beaver Hills CC+4F *+118077157 
14Ariadna Fonesca-Diaz  Kansas U+6F *+127979158 
T15Speedy Kent  WI PGA Jr.+3F *+148476160 
T15Aimee Gerschke  WI PGA Jr.+9F *+147882160 
T17Amy Gehrke  Muskego Lakes GC+8F *+157980159 
T17Alix Larson  Washington County GC+3F *+158576161 
T17Katie Warpinksi  Shorewood GC+7F *+158180161 
20Susan Lee Kolbe  Brown Deer GC+9F *+218582167 
21Vanessa Literman  Silver Spring GC+13F *+228286168 
T22Jill Trider  Brown County GC+15F *+248187168 
T22Taitum Beck  Rivermoor CC+9F *+248882170 
24Peg Carlson  Odana Hills GC+9F *+258881169 
25Sue Wassenberg  Brown Deer GC+21F *+308193174 
T26Karen L Schmid  Legend GC+9F *+319481175 
T26Analise Pansa  Brown Deer GC+12F *+319285177 
T28Katie Falk  Milwaukee CC+17F *+359190181 
T28Leah Hansen  Twin Oaks CC+19F *+358992181 
T28Cindy Konieczki  Grant GC+14F+359386179 
T28Lori Clark  Nagawaukee GC+17F+359089179 
T32Connie Hillmann  Brown Deer GC+14F *+379586181 
T32Leanna Wisnefske  Odana Hills GC+17F *+379289181 
T32Amy Moritz  Brown Deer GC+19F *+379091181 
35Carla Konet  Deertrak GC+20F+409292184 
36Rita Cooney  Songbird Hills GC+20F+419392185 
37Lina Cicero  Wisconsin Club CC+17F *+429789186 
T38Jordan Osowski  Brown Deer GC+20F *+439592187 
T38Judy Shirley  Brown Deer GC+18F+439790187 
T38Teckla Kubiak  Oakwood GC+22F+439394187 
T41Kristin Smith  Brown Deer GC+24F+449296188 
T41Jeanie Wagner  Nagawaukee GC+22F+449494188 
43Tammy St. John  Brown Deer GC+26F+459198189 
T44Mary Beth Buechel  EWGA+16F+4610288190 
T44Lynn Raml  Grant GC+23F+469595190 
T44Carol Koopman  Nagawaukee GC+23F+469595190 
47D.J. McFarlane  Wanaki GC+24F+479596191 
48Karen Gazzana  Brown Deer GC+23F+489795192 
T49Judy Tallmadge  Brown Deer GC+23F+499895193 
T49Linda Sierzchulski  Brown Deer GC+23F+499895193 
T49Julie O'Connor  Morningstar GC+22F+499994193 
52Jean Ziller  EWGA+24F+509896194 
T53Jeanne Whitish  The Meadows of Six Mile Creek GC+23F *+5210195196 
T53Barb Hussin  Brown Deer GC+23F+5210195196 
T53Holly Rehberg  Nagawaukee GC+19F+5210591196 
56Wendy Proctor  Brown Deer GC+18F+5310790197 
57Deanna Fulton  Nagawaukee GC+28F+5599100199 
T58Donna Lanagan  Brown Deer GC+24F+5610496200 
T58Holly Haskin  Oakwood GC+28F+56100100200 
T60Pat Kraft  Chenequa CC+21F *+5710893201 
T60Elaine Ruzon  Oakwood GC+32F+5797104201 
62Peggy Mead  Brown Deer GC+27F+5910499203 
63Judy Beattie  Dretzka GC+29F+61104101205 
64Linda Cross  Brown Deer GC+31F+62103103206 
65Christine Mortensen  Brown Deer GC+29F+64107101208 
66Susan Burdett  Brown Deer GC+30F+65107102209 
T67Charlene Lynch  Brown Deer GC+30F+66108102210 
T67Dinah Polzin  Nagawaukee GC+28F+66110100210 
T67Karen A Schmid  Nagawaukee GC+34F+66104106210 
70Carol Holley  Brown Deer GC+30F+67109102211 
T71Mary Beth Siaggas  Nagawaukee GC+39F+68101111212 
T71Claudia Standorf  Odana Hills GC+31F+68109103212 
T71Diane Byrne  Nagawaukee GC+34F+68106106212 
T74Patti Ohme  Fox Valley GC+32F+71111104215 
T74Angie Brindowski  Oakwood GC+33F+71110105215 
76Anne Klisurich  Brown Deer GC+32F+78118104222 
77Bonnie Jerow  Blackstone Creek GC+43F *+79108115223 
78Sally Blommer  Brown Deer GC+32F+80120104224 
79Donna Mae Dudor  Oakwood GC+45F+83110117227 
80Marilyn Glowacki  Dretzka GC+49F+89112121233 
81Gretchen Styles  Brown Deer GC+45F+91118117235 
82Ann Devine  Meekwon GC+50F+98120122242 
83Karen Peters  Meekwon GC+52F+100120124244 
84Lynn Doyle  Brown Deer GC+47F+101126119245

Rob started covering the state's golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison. He joined Killarney Golf Media in 2015 and helped develop Wisconsin.Golf's extensive coverage of junior, high school, college, amateur and pro golf.

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