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!"
|1||Bobbi Stricker Cherokee CC||+3||F *||-4||66||76||142|
|2||Mikayla Hauck The Oaks GC||+2||F *||-2||69||75||144|
|3||Taylor McCorkle Blackhawk CC||E||F *||-1||72||73||145|
|T4||Mikayla Smith Maketewah CC||-2||F *||+1||76||71||147|
|T4||Aya Johnson University Ridge GC||+2||F *||+1||72||75||147|
|T6||Maggie Leef The Legends Club GC||-1||F *||+3||77||72||149|
|T6||Emily Lauterbach Legend GC||+3||F *||+3||73||76||149|
|8||Jessica Reinecke Brown Deer GC||-4||F *||+4||81||69||150|
|9||Amy Kucera Oak Brook GC||+1||F *||+6||78||74||152|
|10||Mia Seeman Oak Ridge GC||+5||F *||+7||75||78||153|
|11||Sarah Busey Racine CC||+3||F *||+9||79||76||155|
|12||Tess Hackworthy Maple Bluff CC||+6||F *||+10||77||79||156|
|13||Sarah McMichael Beaver Hills CC||+4||F *||+11||80||77||157|
|14||Ariadna Fonesca-Diaz Kansas U||+6||F *||+12||79||79||158|
|T15||Speedy Kent WI PGA Jr.||+3||F *||+14||84||76||160|
|T15||Aimee Gerschke WI PGA Jr.||+9||F *||+14||78||82||160|
|T17||Amy Gehrke Muskego Lakes GC||+8||F *||+15||79||80||159|
|T17||Alix Larson Washington County GC||+3||F *||+15||85||76||161|
|T17||Katie Warpinksi Shorewood GC||+7||F *||+15||81||80||161|
|20||Susan Lee Kolbe Brown Deer GC||+9||F *||+21||85||82||167|
|21||Vanessa Literman Silver Spring GC||+13||F *||+22||82||86||168|
|T22||Jill Trider Brown County GC||+15||F *||+24||81||87||168|
|T22||Taitum Beck Rivermoor CC||+9||F *||+24||88||82||170|
|24||Peg Carlson Odana Hills GC||+9||F *||+25||88||81||169|
|25||Sue Wassenberg Brown Deer GC||+21||F *||+30||81||93||174|
|T26||Karen L Schmid Legend GC||+9||F *||+31||94||81||175|
|T26||Analise Pansa Brown Deer GC||+12||F *||+31||92||85||177|
|T28||Katie Falk Milwaukee CC||+17||F *||+35||91||90||181|
|T28||Leah Hansen Twin Oaks CC||+19||F *||+35||89||92||181|
|T28||Cindy Konieczki Grant GC||+14||F||+35||93||86||179|
|T28||Lori Clark Nagawaukee GC||+17||F||+35||90||89||179|
|T32||Connie Hillmann Brown Deer GC||+14||F *||+37||95||86||181|
|T32||Leanna Wisnefske Odana Hills GC||+17||F *||+37||92||89||181|
|T32||Amy Moritz Brown Deer GC||+19||F *||+37||90||91||181|
|35||Carla Konet Deertrak GC||+20||F||+40||92||92||184|
|36||Rita Cooney Songbird Hills GC||+20||F||+41||93||92||185|
|37||Lina Cicero Wisconsin Club CC||+17||F *||+42||97||89||186|
|T38||Jordan Osowski Brown Deer GC||+20||F *||+43||95||92||187|
|T38||Judy Shirley Brown Deer GC||+18||F||+43||97||90||187|
|T38||Teckla Kubiak Oakwood GC||+22||F||+43||93||94||187|
|T41||Kristin Smith Brown Deer GC||+24||F||+44||92||96||188|
|T41||Jeanie Wagner Nagawaukee GC||+22||F||+44||94||94||188|
|43||Tammy St. John Brown Deer GC||+26||F||+45||91||98||189|
|T44||Mary Beth Buechel EWGA||+16||F||+46||102||88||190|
|T44||Lynn Raml Grant GC||+23||F||+46||95||95||190|
|T44||Carol Koopman Nagawaukee GC||+23||F||+46||95||95||190|
|47||D.J. McFarlane Wanaki GC||+24||F||+47||95||96||191|
|48||Karen Gazzana Brown Deer GC||+23||F||+48||97||95||192|
|T49||Judy Tallmadge Brown Deer GC||+23||F||+49||98||95||193|
|T49||Linda Sierzchulski Brown Deer GC||+23||F||+49||98||95||193|
|T49||Julie O'Connor Morningstar GC||+22||F||+49||99||94||193|
|52||Jean Ziller EWGA||+24||F||+50||98||96||194|
|T53||Jeanne Whitish The Meadows of Six Mile Creek GC||+23||F *||+52||101||95||196|
|T53||Barb Hussin Brown Deer GC||+23||F||+52||101||95||196|
|T53||Holly Rehberg Nagawaukee GC||+19||F||+52||105||91||196|
|56||Wendy Proctor Brown Deer GC||+18||F||+53||107||90||197|
|57||Deanna Fulton Nagawaukee GC||+28||F||+55||99||100||199|
|T58||Donna Lanagan Brown Deer GC||+24||F||+56||104||96||200|
|T58||Holly Haskin Oakwood GC||+28||F||+56||100||100||200|
|T60||Pat Kraft Chenequa CC||+21||F *||+57||108||93||201|
|T60||Elaine Ruzon Oakwood GC||+32||F||+57||97||104||201|
|62||Peggy Mead Brown Deer GC||+27||F||+59||104||99||203|
|63||Judy Beattie Dretzka GC||+29||F||+61||104||101||205|
|64||Linda Cross Brown Deer GC||+31||F||+62||103||103||206|
|65||Christine Mortensen Brown Deer GC||+29||F||+64||107||101||208|
|66||Susan Burdett Brown Deer GC||+30||F||+65||107||102||209|
|T67||Charlene Lynch Brown Deer GC||+30||F||+66||108||102||210|
|T67||Dinah Polzin Nagawaukee GC||+28||F||+66||110||100||210|
|T67||Karen A Schmid Nagawaukee GC||+34||F||+66||104||106||210|
|70||Carol Holley Brown Deer GC||+30||F||+67||109||102||211|
|T71||Mary Beth Siaggas Nagawaukee GC||+39||F||+68||101||111||212|
|T71||Claudia Standorf Odana Hills GC||+31||F||+68||109||103||212|
|T71||Diane Byrne Nagawaukee GC||+34||F||+68||106||106||212|
|T74||Patti Ohme Fox Valley GC||+32||F||+71||111||104||215|
|T74||Angie Brindowski Oakwood GC||+33||F||+71||110||105||215|
|76||Anne Klisurich Brown Deer GC||+32||F||+78||118||104||222|
|77||Bonnie Jerow Blackstone Creek GC||+43||F *||+79||108||115||223|
|78||Sally Blommer Brown Deer GC||+32||F||+80||120||104||224|
|79||Donna Mae Dudor Oakwood GC||+45||F||+83||110||117||227|
|80||Marilyn Glowacki Dretzka GC||+49||F||+89||112||121||233|
|81||Gretchen Styles Brown Deer GC||+45||F||+91||118||117||235|
|82||Ann Devine Meekwon GC||+50||F||+98||120||122||242|
|83||Karen Peters Meekwon GC||+52||F||+100||120||124||244|
|84||Lynn Doyle Brown Deer GC||+47||F||+101||126||119||245|