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Van Galder first-round leader

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Mike Johnson/Special to the Gazette
July 24, 2010
— Sam Van Galder didn’t mince words when describing his second-round struggles at Glen Erin Golf Club in last year’s Men’s City Golf Tournament.

“It was a little embarrassing,” Van Galder admitted on Friday after firing a 3-under-par 69 at Riverside Golf Course in the first round of this year’s City Tournament.


Van Galder’s 69 has him tied atop the Championship Flight with three-time champion Matt Behm, but Van Galder—the 2007 champion—knows that things can change quickly if the winds are howling for today’s second round at Glen Erin like they were last year.


Van Galder was also atop the leaderboard in last year’s City Tournament after the first round at Riverside before blowing up with an 86 at Glen Erin. He recovered to make an early run in the final round at the Janesville Country Club but fell well short of Behm, who cruised to a seven-shot win.


Unlike last year, though, Van Galder feels he’s better equipped to deal with Glen Erin if the conditions become harsh today.


“I just feel like I’m a different player this year,” Van Galder said. “I don’t overreact at everything. I’m just more of a steady golfer.”


Albeit a confident one.


“He sent me a text message (after Friday’s round) and said he was coming to get me this year,” Behm said of the pair’s good-natured competition.


But Van Galder and Behm certainly aren’t the only horses in this race.


Mark Thomsen is alone in third, one shot back after a


2-under 70. Charlie Roherty, Michael Kletzien, Sean Halverson and 2002 winner Ryan Coffey form a quartet two shots back at 1-under 71, while seven-time champion Chris Pastore is only three back after an even-par 72.


Meanwhile, five-time winner Jeff Bruegger and King Clark are certainly in the hunt, four shots back at 1-over 73.


“It should be fun,” Behm said. “There’s a good chunk of guys at 71 that have game. I’m not going to sit back and relax.”


The weather was a major concern on Friday after Thursday’s torrential rains soaked the course. But according to Riverside assistant pro Matt Ellis, the course was ready to go by early Friday morning.


“This golf course drains really well, and of course our maintenance guys are really great,” Ellis said. “So they were out early just making sure everything was good, and there really weren’t any problems.”


Except the thunder and lightning that arrived Friday morning when the lead groups were set to tee off at 7 a.m.


“I didn’t think we were actually going to play,” Behm said.


After a two-hour delay, though, the tournament finally got underway in course conditions that everyone thought were superb considering the rainfall. Some rules modifications were needed given the standing water in the bunkers, and the golfers were allowed to play lift, clean and place in the fairways.


Van Galder played the front nine in a steady rain but managed to card a 1-under 35, including an eagle at the par-5 sixth when he hit an 8-iron to tap-in range. He nearly made a hole-in-one at the par-3 12th for a tap-in birdie and finished his round with four birdies, three bogeys and the eagle.


Behm started on the back nine, playing in less rain but more heat than Van Galder. He birdied all four par 5s and the par-4 16th, with bogeys at the par-3 15th and the par-4 ninth, his final hole of the day, the two pockmarks on his card.


Now the tournament shifts to Glen Erin, where par will be a good score. And just breaking 80 could be a challenge if the wind and pin placements are similar to last year.


“That place just tests my patience like nobody’s business,” Behm said. “It will definitely be a test, no matter what.”


At Riverside Golf Course (Par 72)


CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT


First-Round Results


San Van Galder 69


Matt Behm 69


Mark Thomsen 70


Ryan Coffey 71


Sean Halverson 71


Michael Kletzien 71


Charlie Roherty 71


Chris Pastore 72


Jeff Bruegger 73


King Clark 73


Brad Bohlman 75


Robert Kennedy 75


Doug Sheridan 75


Braddy Bohlman 75


Ryne Clatworthy 76


Aaron Coffey 77


Blair Schmeiser 77


Gilbert Enriquez 78


Rob Ackerman 78


Jay Fox 78


Greg Ruef 79


James Stubbendick 80


Jon Phillips 80


Steve Babcock 82


Jacob Downing 83


Taylor Johnson 83


Bill Kennedy 83


Rich Fugate 85


Steve Bysted 89


FIRST FLIGHT


First-Round Results


Curt Goodwick 73


Mike Reid 74


Bob Woodrum 77


Rick Berry 77


Evan Diece 78


Derek Cooper 78


Gary Plglaze Jr. 78


Aaron Leeder 79


Miguel Cepeda 79


Matt Kempfer 79


Gary Neumueller 80


Al Herbst 80


Jeff Farrell 81


Dave DeGarmo 81


Steve Anderson 81


Shannon Dooley 81


Mike Johnson 81


Kevin Riley 83


Ethan Rau 83


Brent Corey 84


Jake Hassinger 85


Brian Dunk 85


John Zimmerman 86


Jim Mead 86


SECOND FLIGHT


First-Round Results


Mike Mead 71


Randy Krueger 77


Tom Collins 77


Gary Merk 78


David Bitter 78


Ben DeWitt 79


Jon Moldenhauer 79


Brian Rogula 81


Greg Mullen 81


Efren Blanca 82


Dave Herr 82


Bob Compton 82


Jeff DeGarmo 84


Jim Crawford 84


Kevin Mickelson 85


Scott Schroeder 89


Steve Thurner 89


Eric Hoium 91


Ryan Hutchinson 93


Brian Garey 95


Greg Squire 97


Jason Leffel 100


THIRD FLIGHT


First-Round Results


Todd Sitter 78


Tom Noll 78


Philip Konkol 79


Norman Bogdan 79


Jose Perez 81


Paul Burkholder 81


Matthew Ruppe 81


Tim Millis 81


Scott Shadel 81


Jace Fenton 82


Michael Spiegler 82


Thomas Vogt 83


Steve Thompson 83


Shawn Uschan 83


Ryan Luebke 84


Brad Schumacher 84


Brian Thorson 84


Pete Clough 85


Richard Moore 85


Cliff Wakefield 86


Nathan Punzel 86


Dan Hermanson 89


Dean Hendrickson 89


Dave Langowski 92


Ron Pumilia 93


Michael Reid II 94



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