Tess Hackworthy | 2018 Wisconsin State Women's Open

Tess Hackworthy | 2018 Wisconsin State Women's Open

JANESVILLE — Apparently, the only thing more formidable than Tess Hackworthy wearing the title of defending champion for the Wisconsin State Women's Open is the University of Wisconsin golfer wearing it coming off a redshirt year.

Champing at the bit to play competitive golf again, Hackworthy did something that none of the other 63 golfers in the field was able to do on the sloping fairways and fast greens at Janesville CC during Round 1: Break par.

The two-time defending champion birdied Nos. 15 and 16 en route to a 2-under-par 71 that left her with a two-stroke advantage over Mikayla Hauck, a soon-to-be-married Eastern Kentucky golfer from Cottage Grove, entering Wednesday's final round of the 36-hole event. Former Badgers golfer Becky Klongland of Stoughton, whose competitive golf days are numbered as she prepares to enter law school this fall, was alone in third after a 75 while UW recruit Emily Lauterbach of Hartland and Symetra Tour golfer Jenna Peters of Kohler completed the top five with matching 76s on a warm, overcast day.

"I think it was a little different because I was that more excited to compete," Hackworthy said. "I mean this is my second time competing since August. I was really excited to get back out there and really excited to see all of these girls, compete with them and play with them. I think it was just a different mindset where I wanted to get back out there in that competition mode."

And it didn't take long to move into her customary position at this event.

Birdies at Nos. 4 and 8 around bogeys at Nos. 5 and 7 helped Hackworthy make the turn in even-par. After a birdie at No. 10 and a bogey at No. 12, Hackworthy closed par-par-birdie-birdie-par-par for her 2-under total.

"I felt like I started off a little slow," Hackworthy said after emerging with a first-round lead in this event for the first time. "Finally, when I got to the back nine, I started to get into a little bit of a groove. I started to feel comfortable over the ball and I made a couple birdies coming home, which helped a lot.

"I think a lot of patience was important out there. Staying below the hole was something I tried to do most of the day. If you let the course get away from you, you can get in some trouble. Staying patient was very helpful and my dad (Dave) being on the bag and keeping a mellow attitude really helped."

A little distraction didn't hurt Hauck, either.

Set to marry Ben Groonwald on June 30 at Wild Rock GC in Wisconsin Dells, Hauck was up late Monday night and again early Tuesday morning tending to wedding plans. She works at The Oaks GC in Cottage Grove and he works at The Beloit Club, but they will make Richmond, Kentucky their home this fall.

"It's crazy, but it's been so good," Hauck said of her hectic schedule. "I've been able to balance everything really well. It's all coming together."

The same can be said of her golf game. After playing just five rounds in two events as a freshman, Hauck played 31 rounds in 11 events as a sophomore  and her 78.06 stroke average ranked fifth on the team during 2017-18.

"My freshman year, it was all in my head and, my mental game, I was so afraid over the ball," said Hauck, who finished last in this event at Mascoutin GC two years ago before tying for 15th a year ago at Racine CC. "Getting past that was huge. It's been going really well; I'm very excited."

Likewise, Klongland is excited to play in the final group after placing 10th a year ago. She will attend law school in the fall and isn't sure how much competitive golf will continue to be on her calendar going forward.

"This is probably my last summer," said Klongland, who tied for third two in this event years ago and, like Hackworthy has dominated the State Open of late, has won the Wisconsin Women's State Amateur each of the last four years. "I'll be moving on to a little bit of the real world then."

1Tess Hackworthy  Madison, WI-2F-271 71 
2Mikayla Hauck  Cottage Grove, WIEFE73 73 
3Rebecca Klongland  Stoughton, WI+2F+275 75 
T4Emily Lauterbach  Hartland, WI+3F+376 76 
T4Jenna Peters (p)  Kohler, WI+3F+376 76 
T6Mia Seeman  Milton, WI+4F+477 77 
T6Grace Dunn  Milwaukee, WI+4F+477 77 
8Aya Johnson  Madison, WI+5F+578 78 
T9Taylor McCorkle  Oregon, WI+6F+679 79 
T9Carly Werwie (p)  Kenosha, WI+6F+679 79 
T9Rachel Kauflin  Wauwatosa, WI+6F+679 79 
T9Julie Pyne Van Hoosen (p)  Green Bay, WI+6F+679 79 
T9Jo Baranczyk  Green Bay, WI+6F+679 79 
T14Ashley Kulka  Beaver Dam, WI+8F+881 81 
T14Margaret Leef  Pewaukee, WI+8F+881 81 
T16CheyAnn Knudsen  Milton, WI+9F+982 82 
T16Speedy Kent  Mequon, WI+9F+982 82 
T16Allison Schultz  Verona, WI+9F+982 82 
T19Aimee Gerschke  South Milwaukee, WI+10F+1083 83 
T19Sammi Grunder  Manitowoc, WI+10F+1083 83 
T19Alexis Thomas  Middleton, WI+10F+1083 83 
T22Melissa Biesmann  Fitchburg, WI+11F+1184 84 
T22Lindsay Koth  Madison, WI+11F+1184 84 
T22Taitum Beck  Waterford, WI+11F+1184 84 
T22Bobbi Stricker  Madison, WI+11F+1184 84 
T22Lorenza Martinez  Menomonee Falls, WI+11F+1184 84 
T22Brittany McNett-Emmerich (p)  Fitchburg, WI+11F+1184 84 
T22Taylor Hakala  Milton, WI+11F+1184 84 
T22Sydney Hubbard  Onalaska, WI+11F+1184 84 
T30Sarah Balding  Brookfield, WI+12F+1285 85 
T30Rachel Montaba (p)  Plymouth, WI+12F+1285 85 
T30Katie Warpinski  Green Bay, WI+12F+1285 85 
T30Payton Hodson  Middleton, WI+12F+1285 85 
T34Elise Hoven  Grafton, WI+13F+1386 86 
T34Ashley Hofmeister  New Berlin, WI+13F+1386 86 
T36Kate Engler  Beloit, WI+14F+1487 87 
T36Rebekah Donner  Neenah, WI+14F+1487 87 
T36Ashli Stolen  Stoughton, WI+14F+1487 87 
T36Anouska Siva  Brookfield, WI+14F+1487 87 
T40Pat Roisum  Deerfield, WI+15F+1588 88 
T40Emily Grunder  Pardeeville, WI+15F+1588 88 
T40Isabelle Maleki  Mequon, WI+15F+1588 88 
T40Mari Suokko  Sturtevant, WI+15F+1588 88 
T44Sarah DeKraay  Madison, WI+16F+1689 89 
T44Katie Gastrau  Wauwatosa, WI+16F+1689 89 
T44Courtney Matschke  Franklin, WI+16F+1689 89 
47Holly Murphy  Lake Geneva, WI+17F+1790 90 
T48Sabrina Schreck  New Berlin, WI+19F+1992 92 
T48Ellyn Subak  Janesville, WI+19F+1992 92 
T50Katie Falk  Milwaukee, WI+20F+2093 93 
T50Sophia Dooman  Janesville, WI+20F+2093 93 
T52Caylie Kotlowski  Stoughton, WI+21F+2194 94 
T52Sydney Brown  Eau Claire, WI+21F+2194 94 
T52Faith Krause  Franklin, WI+21F+2194 94 
T52Sydney Steinmetz  Oshkosh, WI+21F+2194 94 
T56Emily Balding  Brookfield, WI+22F+2295 95 
T56Kalynn Dolby (p)  Berlin, WI+22F+2295 95 
T58Margaret Warrner  Lakewood, WI+26F+2699 99 
T58Lauren Shorter  Fitchburg, WI+26F+2699 99 
60Samantha Soulier  Waunakee, WI+27F+27100 100 
T61Sydney Maule  Appleton, WI+28F+28101 101 
T61Markie Ash  Waupaca, WI+28F+28101 101 
T61Grace Welch  Madison, WI+28F+28101 101 
64Courtney Shorter  Fitchburg, WI+29F+29102 102


Rob started covering the Wisconsin golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison & has been the only reporter covering all levels of state golf. He joined Killarney Golf Media in Sept. 2015 & helped launch Wisconsin.Golf in Jan. 2016.