Last-minute work gets Riverside ready for Ray Fischer
JANESVILLE Steve Loomis cruises out to the 11th tee at Riverside Golf Course, the wire basket of his golf cart filled with several cans of spray paint and his clipboard carrying pin-placement information.
The course general manager stops at the tee box and grabs cans of white and orange spray paint, using them to diagram where the tee markers will be placed for the first and second rounds of the 46th Annual Ray Fischer State Medal Play Championship, which begins today.
Loomis then moves on to the 10th green and sprays dots to indicate where pins will be placed for the first two days. The markings make it easier for the staff of course superintendent Joe Schneider to quickly get their work done prior to the start of play.
Back near Riverside's clubhouse, Schneider drops off a load of mulch, sprucing up the course's landscaping.
"You think you're making progress, and then you notice you missed something," Schneider says with a smile.
It's 2 p.m. on Thursday and he's already put in 11 hours at the course as the staff prepares to host one of the state's top amateur tournaments for the 31st consecutive year. For Schneider and his staff of about a dozen employees, this weekend will be the culmination of a month's worth of work.
"It's more of a timing thing," said Schneider, who's held his post at Riverside since 1999. "I want everything to come together for this tournament, so you start about a month in advance and just try to chip away at it.
"We try to get the big projects out of the way. This week I like to have everything done, and then we can just do the details and maintain."
It's a good plan, in theory, and the late-June tournament gives the crew a goal to work toward every summer.
But as Schneider says, a surprise usually creeps up during the week of the Fischer "to get everybody's attention."
This year, that surprise came in the form of heavy rain. The course received more than seven inches between Friday and Wednesday, leaving crews to pump out and then repair bunkers not once but twice.
"All the timing and prep work to get here, and now the last four or five days just wreaks havoc with that whole schedule," Loomis said.
On top of repairing sand traps, the weather forced the staff to mow the rough on Wednesday, later in the game than usual.
It'll mean a shorter cut to start the tournament, and Schneider will have his work cut out for him when it comes to speeding up the greens—cutting them twice and rolling them before today's first tee time.
Rounds in the low 60s are not uncommon in the Fischer as it is, but golfers could find very favorable scoring conditions for today's first round.
"It's challenging enough to where you have to keep the ball in play, but it certainly has a lot of holes that you can score on or go low," Loomis said. "We haven't been here trying to trick up the fairways or make the rough longer, because we know this is what (the players) like. It's one of the exciting parts of the tournament, that guys can really make moves."
With the golfers playing 72 holes over three days, the work of Loomis, Schneider and the Riverside staff is hardly done once the first ball is hit.
The full grounds staff will mow and prepare the course each morning, with about half of the group returning at night to mow fairways and tee boxes. With 36 holes on tap for Sunday, everyone will be on their toes when it comes to moving tees and pins between rounds.
"We're always trying to keep it somewhat consistent, so that (course conditions are) not a big dropoff the week before or three weeks later," Loomis said. "But you want to have it the best that you can have it for this weekend.
"You want the top golfers in the state to come out and walk away having a good experience. Golf-course conditions lead the way, and luckily we've had that over the years, so guys keep coming back."
RAY FISCHER STATE MEDAL CHAMPIONSHIP TEE TIMES
7 a.m.—Jason An, Verona; Jonathan Fall, Milwaukee; Nathan Kollath, Green Bay; Tony Reese, Pewaukee.
7:10—Eric Anderson, Brookfield; Matt Feller, Verona; Alexander Rendon, Greendale; Mike Masik, Racine.
7:20—Ben Anderson, Edgerton; Mitchell Feller, Verona; Mitch Kowaleski, McFarland; Jeff Thomas, Racine.
7:30—John Anderson, La Crosse; Jacob Feuerstein, Madison; Logan Kranz, McFarland; Kevin Riley, Janesville.
7:40—Edwin Armstrong, Beloit; Michael Flynn, Middleton; Tyler Krischan, Oconomowoc; Jim Rollefson, Franklin.
7:50—Cory Aune, Lake Geneva; Shawn Foley, Pewaukee; John Lorge, Verona; Tom Schwister, Mendota Heights.
8:00—Jacob Bandi, Janesville; Sam Frank, Oconomowoc; Jacob LaConte, Waukesha; K.R. Rucker, Madison.
8:10—Eric Bartz, Burlington; Jay Halverson, Viroqua; Geoff LaFleur, New Berlin; Sean Sanguansap, Milwaukee.
8:20—Troy Bilderback, Waunakee; Ryan Gannon, Oregon; Steffen Lake, Madison; Jake Simms, Waukesha.
8:30—Joe Blagoue, Fond du Lac; Austin Gaugert, Lake Geneva; Curt Langille, Lake Geneva; Alan Thompson, Watertown.
8:40—Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago; Zach Gaugert, Waunakee; Joe Leibman, Fort Atkinson; Mike Schilling, Madison.
12 p.m.—Austin Benz, West Bend; Robert Kuster, Milwaukee; Brad Schlosser, North Prairie; Aaron Gavin, South Milwaukee.
12:10—Michael Bastian, Milwaukee; Tyler Glass, Fort Atkinson; Mike Lund, Stoughton; Tyler Schmidt, Jefferson.
12:20—Matt Behm, Janesville; Payton Graham, Janesville; Tim McCormick. Madison; R.J. Schwalbach, New Berlin.
12:30—Patrick Bohrer, Mukwonago; Robert Gregorski, Menasha; Eric Madlung, New Berlin; Ramiro Romo, Burlington.
12:40—Chad Bonis, New Berlin; John Gullberg, Franksville; Jared Magoline, Fond du Lac; Ben Shafer, Brookfield.
12:50—Tom Bookmeier, Green Bay; Andy Hagen, Janesville; Kyle Malinger, West Allis; Todd Schaap, Kenosha.
1:00—Michael Brusberg, Brooklyn; John Haines, Mequon; Daniel Mandel, Milwaukee; John Staehler, Caledonia.
1:10—Pat Boyle, Greendale; Thomas Halla, Colgate; Noah Mandel, Milwaukee; Ian Statz, Beaver Dam.
1:20—Tanner Brandsma, Beaver Dam; Jeff Fromstein, Menomonee Falls; Tom Komassa, South Milwaukee; Corey Sweeney, Waukesha.
1:30—Taylor Braun, Janesville; Bruce Hansen, Racine; Michael Mathwick, Greenfield; Dustin Richards, Janesville.
1:40—Kyle Bruce, Monroe; Alex Hansen, Madison; Adam McCarthy, Waukesha; Jim Scharnberg, Greendale.
1:50—Mitch Bowers, Mineral Point; Bruce Henning, Brookfield; Alex Ly, Appleton; Geoff Pirkl, Waukesha.
7 a.m.—Bill Crinzi, New Berlin; Michael Kletzien, Janesville; Sean McFeeley, Waukesha.
7:10—Charles Buhrow, Wauwatosa; Chad Henry, Lake Geneva; Jack McKinney, Big Bend.
7:20—Matt Elstad, Madison; Eric Hertel, Franklin; Kyle Mirehouse; Milwaukee. Ryan Garske, Lake Gneva.
7:30—Eric Busalacchi, Waukesha; Derek Hilmershausen, Wausau; Andrew Morrison, Edgerton; Joshua Udelhofen, Platteville.
7:40—Owen Butler, Fitchburg; Ryan Hilton, Burlington; Tim Mostowik, Waukesha; Erik Thulien, Appleton.
7:50—Michael Cabush, Waukesha; Kevin Hough, New Berlin; Max Murphy, Middleton; Mike Tiefenthaler, Eagle.
8:00—Patrick Cahill, Madison; Kyle Hubertz, Elkhorn; Michael Murphy, Madison; Joshua Thulien, Appleton.
8:10—Kevin Cahill, Waukesha; Rob Jacobsen, Racine; Jason Zahradka, New Richmond; Brian Murphy, Madison.
8:20—Mark Chullino, Madison; John Johannes, Delafield; Jeb Vachuska, Brookfield; Zachary Nash, Waterford.
8:30—Ryne Clatworthy, Janesville; Mitch Johnson, Middleton; Rob Peters, Middleton; Sam Van Galder, Janesville.
8:40—Tyler Cobb, Madison; Steve Johnson, Mequon; Sam Weber, Hartland; Michael Oellerich, Brodhead.
12 p.m.—Andrew Cobb, Madison; Brooks Johnson, Edgerton; Richard Pfeil, Lake Geneva; Christopher Vendl, St. Germain.
12:10—Joe De Chateau, Fond du Lac; Will Joiner, Milwaukee; Eric Olson, New Berlin; Craig Vinge, Waunakee.
12:20—Jim Covelli, Racine; Mike O'Neil, Wauwatosa; Landon Vinger, Viola; Jeff Kaether, McFarland.
12:30—Keith Buntrock, Franklin; Peter Kaufmann, Davenport; Evan Owens, Dousman; Kevin Van Rossum, Hartland.
12:40—Mark Disrud, Fitchburg; Matt Kempfer, Janesville; Daniel Ozga, Edgerton; Todd Westrich, De Pere.
12:50—Jake Downing, Janesville; John Kestley, Pewaukee; John Pallin, Kenosha; Brent Wileman, Edgerton.
1:00—Kyle Driscoll, Pewaukee; Brandon Wilson, Monroe; Tim O'Brien, Mequon; Gene Kiella III, Plymouth.
1:10—Keegan Drugan, Holmen; Benjamin Wiora, Mauston; Jonathan Klem, Thiensville; Steve Peterson, Oconto.
1:20—Ryan Coffey, Janesville; T.J. Klement, McFarland; Duaine Olson, Luck; Brent Wong, Franklin.
1:30—Ed Dzirbik Jr., Brookfield; Kyle Henning, Brookfield; Dave Preboske, Monroe; Dave Ullenberg, Menomonee Falls.
1:40—Mark Busalacchi, New Berlin; Bob Kohl, Waukesha; Thomas Thompson, North Prairie; Paul Zarek, Burlington.
Ray Fischer champions
AT RIVERSIDE GOLF COURSE
(Year, champion, score)
2012—Max Hosking, 272; 2011—Miles McDonnell, 269; 2010—Taylor Johnson, 271.
2009—Andrew Steinhofer, 276; 2008—Bendt Bendtsen, 270; 2007—Garrett Jones, 266; 2006—Matt Behm, 194 (54 holes); 2005—Charlie Delsman, 271; 2004—Neal Grusczynski, 272; 2003—Charlie Delsman, 267; 2002—Mark Bemowski, 273; 2001—Gary Menzel, 275.
2000—Pat Boyle, 272; 1999—Mark Bemowski, 276; 1998—Bob Gregorski, 272; 1997—David Roesch, 277; 1996—Bob Gregorski, 274; 1995—Tom Strong, 270; 1994—Kirk Wieland, 276; 1993—Ben Walter, 280; 1992—Jim Pejka, 277; 1991—John Pallin, 274.
1990—John Pallin, 280; 1989—Steve Stricker, 275; 1988—Jeff Radder, 283; 1987—Mark Bemowski, 280; 1986—Brent Wong, 280; 1985—Skip Kendall, 273; 1984—Brad Hauer, 279; 1983—Bruce Hansen, 286; 1982—Archie Dadian, 287.
AT YAHARA HILLS GOLF COURSE
1981—Jim Andresen, 284; 1980—Bruce Hansen, 288.
AT LAKE WINDSOR COUNTRY CLUB
1979—Al Peters, 280.
AT CHEROKEE COUNTRY CLUB
1978—Archie Dadian, 140 (36 holes); 1977—Mark Bemowski, 287; 1976—Keith Meyer, 289; 1975—Archie Dadian, 292; 1974—Archie Dadian, 281; 1973—Bobby Mann, 283; 1972—Archie Dadian, 294; 1971—Mike Plautz, 293.
1970—Steve Caravello, 294; 1969—Frank Tenfel, 297; 1968—Jim Archer, 287; 1967—Dave Lund, 299.