Two share first-round Fischer lead

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Saturday, June 23, 2012
— Birdie each of the four par 5s and add couple birds from the par 4s and par 3s to the mix, and winning the Ray Fischer State Medal Play Championship is within reach.

The Fischer is all about how low can you go, and for Paul Bretl of Green Bay and Derrick Meier of Chilton 5-under-par 67 was the low number for a share of the first-round lead Friday at Riverside Golf Course.

The 72-hole tournament continues today when the field of 170 is cut for Sunday’s 36-hole finale.

“This is a really fun tournament,” said Meier, 23, a recent MBA graduate of Viterbo University, and a four-year golf team member for the V-Hawks “You have to shoot really low numbers. I really enjoy this event.”

Meier, who finished third in his first Fischer appearance last year, carded four birdies and an eagle, but he said he could have done better.

“I played solid,” Meier said. “But I felt I left a couple out there. I went four under on the front and one under on the back. I didn’t take advantage of a couple of holes on the back.’’

Bretl, 20, who will be a junior on the Northern Iowa University golf team, missed the Fischer cut last year, which was a tournament record low 1-over 145.

“I hit 15 greens in regulation,” said Bretl, who posted eagles on the par 5 sixth and 10th holes. “I was putting well on top of it.’’

Bretl plans to keep following the formula for victory.

“I plan to birdie the par 5s and one or two of the par 4s and 3s,” Bretl said. “Something good is bound to happen.’’

Matt Behm, the 2006 Fischer winner, shot 1 under to lead the Janesville entrants. Former Craig High teammates Jake Downing and Sam Van Galder each fired even-par 72.

Ryne Clatworthy, a 2012 Craig graduate, shot 2-over 74. Jordan Brovick had a 75, Ryan Coffey and Dustin Richards, a 2012 Parker grad, each fired 76. Mike Kletzien had a 77, Jeff Hesse and Matt Kempfer each shot 80, and Aaron Coffey carded an 84.

Van Galder said his round lacked anything outstanding.

“It was a ho-hum round,” Van Galder said. “I didn’t get into too much trouble.’’

Downing is aiming to make his first Fischer cut in six tries.

“I never made the cut,” he said.

Downing started the tournament with an eagle on the par-5 10th hole. The 2005 Craig grad dropped to 3 under after his first seven holes but lost control on holes 17 through 2 before coming home at even par.

“I like to shoot around even (today),” Downing said. “I think the cut will be at three or four over.’’

Dan Ozga of Edgerton led area players with a 1-under 71. Ozga will be a junior at UW-Green Bay.

“I played OK,” Ozga said. “I was solid for the most part, but I hit one out-of-bounds at No. 3, and three-putted on a par 5.’’

This is Ozga’s fifth appearance in the Fischer and he has made the cut each time. Ozga’s best finish was 30th last year.

“The last couple years, I have had a pretty good first round,” Ozga said. “I think I’m a little more comfortable now, and can keep it going through all four rounds.’’

Meanwhile, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo of Burlington was 4 under after 15 holes, but bogeys at 16 and 18 left him at 2-under 70.

“I just missed a couple putts coming in at the end,” Romo said. “I needed to get up and down and I had a little trouble chipping at 16. And 17, I had easy birdie, too, and didn’t make that one.”

Romo is scheduled to tee off at 7:30 this morning.

Last updated: 4:05 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2012

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