Welcome back, Jack: Schultz wins Fischer
JANESVILLE--If Jack Schultz was hoping to keep his return to competitive golf under the radar, he didn’t do a very good job this weekend.
Schultz, from Whitefish Bay, returned from a bit of a layoff to win one of the state’s top amateur tournaments.
During Sunday’s 36-hole finale at Riverside Golf Course, Schultz pulled ahead by shooting a 5-under 67 in the third round and held off Madison’s Peter Webb with a 71 in the final round of the Ray Fischer Amateur Championship. Schultz finished at 15-under 273, while Webb was a stroke back. Middleton’s Emmet Herb was third at 275.
Schultz made a short par putt on the par-four 18th, then watched as Webb missed his tap-in for par that would have sent the two into a sudden-death playoff.
“I know that feeling, because at the 2011 State Am, I had a par putt that was like four feet and I missed it,” Schultz said. “It’s not fun to deal with. We both played well.
“It’s nice. I’ve been playing a lot this year and trying to get back after taking a few years off after college. I hadn’t been putting too well, but I’ve been practicing a lot. It’s nice to win and nice to play well.”
Webb showed some frustration with his putter shortly after missing the putt on 18, but shortly after his round still maintained perspective about the week as a whole.
“I could look at holes 1-71 and find a shot here or there,” said Webb, a recent Valparaiso graduate who attended Madison Memorial High and intends to turn professional in the coming weeks. “It just happened to be that it was on the last hole.
“I happened to square it up after nine. ... And it was a little bit of a pillow fight on the back nine. There was some wind, so that was there, but there probably could’ve been a little more fireworks.”
Webb began the day trailing by just one stroke but shot 70 in his third round to fall four shots back of Schultz. But Webb birdied four of his last six holes on the front nine of his final round, including the par-four ninth where he grabbed a share of the lead.
“It was all friendly until 6, when he was kind of in the garbage but made about a 20-footer for birdie and I didn’t make birdie even though I had a 9 iron in,” Schultz said. “That was just like, OK, I need to concentrate now.”
Schultz and Webb matched each other hole-for-hole the rest of the way, until the critical 18th.
Herb, who played with them in the final group, joined the fray with back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th that got him within two strokes at 13-under.
But Schultz and Webb each birded the par-five 14th, and Herb never got closer.
Schultz got up and down for par on the long par-four 16th before some drama at the 17th, a driveable par four.
Webb’s tee shot found the trees on the right and came to rest with the trunk of a tree square in the middle of his backswing. He advanced the ball about 20 feet and got up and down for a par from there.
Meanwhile, Schultz’s drive was just off the right side of the green, but his attempt to play a flop shot came up short and his chip onto the green from there ran eight feet past the hole. Schultz’s putt back up the hill sat on the lip of the cup momentarily before falling in.
“I got lucky there, misread it and didn’t really hit it where I wanted,” Schultz said.
On the 18th, with a tricky side-hill pin placement, Schultz went long toward the back of the green and Webb’s pitch wound up left, leaving him with a bit of a sidewinder. Schultz nearly holed a tricky downhill putt but left himself a tap-in up the hill for par. Webb left his putt short, once again dealing with a bit of a left-to-right break, and his short putt started left and never made it back to the hole.
Schultz, who graduated from Michigan in 2013, had very little reaction, simply giving a few fist bumps to friends on his way to sign his card.
“I’d played here a few times more than a few years ago ... but I can’t remember (having much success),” Schultz said. “The state match play starts tomorrow (Monday), and then the State Am and the Midwest Cup ... and I think that’s all I have planned for now. But I have some time off, and I figure I’ll wait until fall to figure out what’s next. I might as well keep playing and see what I can do.”
Oconomowoc’s George Kneiser put together the most impressive Sunday, shooting 66-65 to go from simply making the cut by two strokes to finishing 8-under and in a tie for sixth place.
Garrett Jones, the 2007 Fischer winner, tied for eighth at 7-under. Matt Behm, the 2006 winner and five-time Janesville city men’s champ, finished at 6-under. And Janesville’s Kevin Riley shot a career-best 67 in his third round to finish 1-under and tied for 15th.
Tony Romo, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Burlington native, withdrew midway through his fourth round.
51st Annual WPLA Ray Fischer Amateur Championship
At Riverside Golf Course (72)
Jack Schultz, Whitefish Bay 70-65-67-71—273
Peter Webb, Madison 68-68-70-68—274
Emmet Herb, Middleton 67-70-68-70—275
Travis Engle, Kenosh 70-71-69-69—279
Kevin Van Rossum, Harland 71-69-70-69—279
George Kneiser, Oconomowoc 75-74-66-65—280
Christopher Colla,Fond du Lac 73-68-69-70—280
Charles Maleki, Mequon 72-72-67-70—281
Garrett Jones, Madison 73-67-70-71—281
Austin Kendziorski, Germantown 71-74-71-66—282
Aaron Gavin, South Milwaukee 69-69-71-73—282
Matt Behm, Valders 72-71-69-72—284
Owen Butler, Stoughton 68-72-73-71—284
Zach Hentrich, Lancaster 68-71-70-76—285
Bentley Glass, Fort Atkinson 72-75-71-69—287
Kevin Riley, Janesville 72-72-67-76—287
Matt Tolan, Eau Claire 69-72-71-75—287
Mike Mueller, Whitefish Bay 76-72-70-70—288
Michael Bielawski, Waukesha 73-69-72-74—288
Ben Skogen, Madison 77-73-69-69—288
Al Thompson, Watertown 67-78-70-74—289
Michael Oellerich, Brodhead 72-70-74-73—289
Grant Burish, Janesville 70-70-74-75—289
Ben Shafer, Brookfield 75-72-73-70—290
Brady Sarauer, Fond du Lac 73-74-69-74—290
RJ Schwalbach, Bolingbrook 75-73-72-71—291
Sam Van Galder, Janesville 73-70-71-77—291
Thomas Wettstein, Neenah 74-71-79-68—292
Geoff Pirkl, Oconomowoc 71-77-73-71—292
Brian Krupo, Pleasant Prairie 70-71-77-74—292
Aaron Coffey, Janesville 69-76-70-78—293
Nick Corban, Madison 77-71-69-76—293
Paul Zarek, Burlington 73-71-74-75—293
George Erik Botts, Janesville 67-73-75-78—293
Brian Morris, Shorewood 74-77-71-71—293
Jared Delveaux, Grafton 70-76-70-78—294
Tom Halla, Colgate 70-77-73-74—294
Brandon Wilson, Madison 76-69-79-70—294
Cory Aune, Lake Geneva 72-71-79-72—294
Matt Kempfer, Janesville 76-75-72-71—294
Ryonen Faris, Fond du Lac 73-73-74-75—295
Derek Pirkl, Madison 67-79-74-75—295
Ryan Coffey, Janesville 75-74-75-71—295
Adam Miller, Lodi 70-79-75-71—295
Daniel Ozga, Edgerton 71-71-76-77—295
Ramiro Romo, Burlington 75-71-73-77—296
Kenny Rucker, Madison 77-69-75-75—296
Bryce Burke, Fox Point 70-76-72-78—296
John Milner, Janesville 70-74-73-79—296
Jacob O’Loughlin, Madison 71-73-78-74—296
Bruce Henning, Brookfield 72-77-74-73—296
Nick Cocalis, Madison 73-70-79-74—296
Steve Johnson, Hilton Head 75-71-73-78—297
Jason Jochem, McFarland 73-75-72-77—297
Scott Erickson, Sparta 72-78-74-73—297
Andrew Hagen, Beloit 76-74-75-72—297
Todd Westrich, DePere 76-75-74-73—298
Andrew Morrison, Edgerton 71-75-74-79—299
Drew Zimmerman, Cuba City 73-75-77-74—299
Ryan Prickette, Greenville 75-75-73-76—299
Brad Finger, Waukesha 77-73-76-75—301
Paul Tahtinen, Madison 72-79-75-75—301
Tom Chambers, Union Grove 74-72-78-78—302
Jordan Lowery, Sheboygan 75-73-75-79—302
Mark Shulla, Madison 74-77-73-79—303
John Ziemer, Colgate 73-77-78-77—305
Taylor Ryman, Madison 74-75-81-76—306
Charlie Baumann, Monroe 79-72-76-79—306
John Haines, Meqoun 75-76-78-79—308
Brent Wileman, Edgerton 77-72-79-81—309
Nick Hagen, Beloit 72-79-84-74—309