Griffin Oberneder has grown up through Janesville’s Junior City Golf Tournament.
Oberneder started playing with the First Tee, a development group for young golfers, when he was 8 years old, he said.
In 2014, he won the junior city tournament’s 9- and 10-year-old boys division title at Blackhawk Golf Course. And last year he posted the best two rounds for boys ages 13-14 at Riverside.
Now he is a round away from potentially winning the boys overall title. Oberneder, a 15-year-old who will be a sophomore at Beloit Memorial High in the fall, shot a 4-over 76 in the first round of the junior tournament Monday at Riverside.
He leads the boys tournament by two strokes over Zack Milner, who plays for Janesville Parker.
“I remember playing around here when I was real little,” Oberneder said. “I love this course and this tournament. It’s always a fun time.
“You’re always playing for something, but everyone playing in this, we’re all good friends, so it’s just fun to compete.”
Oberneder is coming off a freshman year in which he qualified for sectional play and shot 79 to finish four shots away from a potential trip to state.
He has played in several junior tour events around the state this summer, including posting a second-place finish at Odana Hills last week and taking third at Riverside at a stop last month.
Oberneder shot 78 that day. His 76 Monday matched one of his junior city tournament rounds last year, when he finished 10 strokes back of the overall winner. Oberneder said his best round ever at Riverside was a 75.
“It was solid. It was a hot day, but we got it in and it was a good round,” he said.
“I haven’t played as many tournaments as last year, but I’ve been in quality tournaments. (The high school season) was fun. It’s tough with it being in the spring, but it was a lot of fun.”
Sarah Ramsden’s 93 paced the girls tournament, which had four entrants.
Caleb Kern shot 86 to lead the 13-14 boys division. Owen Wagie shot 44 over nine holes to lead the 11-12 boys division, while Anthony Nguyen shot 46 to lead the 8-10 boys.
All players teed off Monday at Riverside. The younger players have typically played their junior rounds at Blackhawk.
Play resumes at noon today at Riverside.
Van Galder, Ozga open State Am with 76s
Stoughton’s Samuel Anderson fired a 4-under 68 Monday at the 118th Wisconsin State Amateur Tournament, taking a one-shot lead at the Golf Courses of Lawsonia.
Janesville’s Sam Van Galder was even par on the back nine in opening with a 76 that has him in a tie for 51st place heading into today’s second round.
Edgerton’s Daniel Ozga and Lake Geneva’s Cory Aune also each shot 76.
The top 70 players and ties after the second round will make the cut to play the final 36 holes.