Rain, wind welcome golfers to Janesville Men's City Golf Tournament at Glen Erin
JANESVILLE—One by one, golfers walked off Glen Erin Golf Club shaking their soggy heads.
The first leg of the Janesville Men's City Tournament was held Friday at the links-style course on a fitting day. July temperatures in the 60s, a steady breeze and wet conditions made for a British Open feel.
And the first-round scores reflected such a test.
Just seven of 27 championship-flight golfers posted a score in the 70s. Three-time and defending champion Sam Van Galder fired a 3-over 74 to grab a four-shot lead heading into today's second round at Riverside Golf Course.
“I'm happy; 74 felt like a 68 today,” Van Galder said after walking off the 18th with his second birdie of the day. “It was enough wind that the rain was coming sideways. It was a constant rain to where I didn't even use an umbrella on the back nine. I just gave up.”
Michael Oellerich, Bill Pappas and Bobby Kennedy each shot 78 and are tied for second. Mark Thomsen, Sean Halverson and Rob Ackerman were another shot back.
Mike Lansing's 76 leads the First Flight by one stroke. Randy Krueger's 1-over 72 leads the Second Flight by seven. Tom Collins fired a 78 to lead the Third Flight.
Van Galder continued what has been a decent stretch of golf. He finished tied for fifth at the state's USGA U.S. Amateur qualifier on July 15, just one shot away from getting into a playoff for one of the top-three qualifying spots.
On Friday, he bogeyed his first two holes, but played the final 16 just 1-over.
“I made a double on 12, which was probably the hardest hole today,” Van Galder said. “It was tough, and I made double, but other than that I played really solid.
“I made an 15-footer on 18, and that could have been for 78 and it would've felt like a win. It was awful.”
Indeed No. 12 was the toughest hole, as players averaged nearly 1.5 shots over par.
Glen Erin yielded just 18 birdies total to the players in the Championship Flight, compared to 82 double-bogeys or worse.
“I'll take the 74; I'm playing really good,” Van Galder said. “Anything in the 70s was good.”
Expect lower scores in the second round today at Riverside, which generally gives players their best chance to go low. Forecasts called for similar seasonably cool temperatures, but just a 20 percent chance of rain as of early Friday evening.
The tournament concludes Sunday at the Janesville Country Club.