With the first round of the Janesville Men’s City Golf Championship being held at the toughest of the city’s three courses, golfers entered Friday hoping to avoid a big number and stay in contention.
Just 20 players in the nearly 100-person field kept their score under 80 at the Janesville Country Club.
When the dust settled 11 players were within five shots of the first-round lead. That lead belongs to Michael Oellerich, who had 13 pars and two birdies on the way to a round of 1-over 73.
Oellerich leads by two shots over Andrew Morrison and Aaron Coffey heading into today’s second round at Riverside Golf Course.
“It was a solid round, with no real big mistakes,” said Oellerich, who has finished in the top five in the city tournament the past couple years. “I made a couple putts early on to save par and avoid dropping some strokes, and then just kept it in play and avoided the big error.
“It’s a long tournament, but it was a good way to start.”
Oellerich, who finished fourth when Erik Botts won his second straight city title a year ago, said he hadn’t been playing particularly well lately but felt good after playing a round Thursday in Evansville.
“These last few weeks haven’t been particularly good. I made the cut on the number at the (Ray) Fischer but didn’t play great,” Oellerich said. “But it’s in there somewhere, and maybe today was the jumpstart.”
Botts is not in the field for this year’s tournament.
Morrison, a former WIAA state individual champion out of Edgerton High, made 15 pars and three bogeys on his way to 73. Coffey had a pair of birdies on his way to matching that number.
Michael Kletzien and Matt Zimmerman, a 2018 Janesville Parker graduate who plays college golf at Viterbo, are tied for fourth after posting 76.
Daniel Thomsen, a 2019 Janesville Craig grad, was another shot back with a large group that includes some familiar names in the city tournament, including Bobby Kennedy, Ryan Coffey, Matt Kempfer, Cullen Maricque and Dustin Richards.
Sam Van Galder, looking for his seventh city championship, lurks five shots off the lead.
“Bobby and Sam didn’t have their best today, so getting a couple strokes on those guys going into the final 36 is always nice,” said Oellerich, who played with Van Galder and Kennedy. “It’s a good (feeling) just to not lose it on Friday.”
Play continues at 7 a.m. Saturday at Riverside, and the tournament concludes Sunday at Glen Erin Golf Club.
Janesville Men’s City Championship
At Country Club (Par 72)
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
73—Michael Oellerich; 75—Andrew Morrison, Aaron Coffey; 76—Michael Kletzien, Matthew Zimmerman; 77—Daniel Thomsen, Bob Kennedy, Ryan Coffey, Matt Kempfer, Cullen Maricque, Dustin Richards; 78—Sam Van Galder; 79—Brian Angileri, Mark Thomsen, Chad Sullivan, Brett Hiess, Zach Tourdot
80—Joseph Lange, Doug Sheridan; 81—Jose Perez, Jordan Manthey, Kade Salemi, Braddy Bohlman, Zach Balch, Aaron Phalin; 82—Shannon Dooley, Brentan Vivian, Jacob Downing; 83—Mike Reid, Gary Merk, Jake Hassinger; 84—Andrew Siefert, Nick Drew, Jim Mead, Riley McLaughlin, Todd Thiele; 85—Kevin Riley; 86—Aaron Vogel, Joe Kennedy, Philip Konkol; 87—Brent Corey, Jeff DeGarmo; 88—Tom Ellis, Austin Purdy, Scott Biegen, Lance Baior; 89—Steven Thurner, Zach Milner, King Clark, Ben Myers, Efren Blanca, Peter Hanke, Matt Runde
90—Kevin Delap; 91—Greg Mullen, Jeff Brault, Joel Chappelle, Todd Cullen; 92—Kade Kleman, Mike Henry, Todd Sitter, Nik Sitter, Marcus Smith; 93—Rick Berry, Nate Farrell, Connor Kelly; 94—Wayne Hansen, Ryan Zimmerman; 96—Kyle Schwartz, Paul Burkholder, Dan Bloom, Paul Schieldt, Richard Moore, Timothy Sheehy; 97—Brad Schumacher, Tom Flora, Jonathan Grorud; 98—Sam Kisting, Dylan Benway; 99—Brian Schroeder, Steve Grover, Steven Dammen
100—Larry Kotwitz; 101—Michael Mansell; 103—Dave Botts, Matt DeWitt; 104—Dan Nelson, Rick DeWitt; 105—Jeffrey Luek; 106—Doni Lux; 107—Joshua Kooiman; 109—Cris Crosby, Shawn Uschan
111—Daryl Rosenbaum; 114—Keith Trembula; 115—Dave Powers