David Bach’s red-hot play continued on Monday at the National Car Rental Wisconsin Assistant PGA Professional Championship at Meadowbrook Country Club in Racine. The defending champion showed once again why he is the man to beat in the assistant professional ranks on a lot of the days.
After coming up just short with a runner-up finish at the WPGA Member Match Play Championship on Friday, he was looking for a little redemption. That redemption came in the form of back-to-back rounds of 69. The only sub-70 rounds on Monday.
His 4-under-par 138 total would be good enough to win by three shots over Steven Young of Whitnall Park Golf Course.
On the way to victory Bach would have to take down some of the top playing assistant professionals in the section. The field was again made up of A-8 PGA members, PGA associates, and pre-approved assistant tournament players.
During the morning round the Whistling Straits assistant professional would set a steady pace as he jockeyed for the lead with Young and Brian Eitel of Ives Grove Golf Links. Late in the round he would grab the lead and never look back from there. He would card four birdies and two bogeys on the way to his 69. The birdies on no. 9 and 17 would turn out to be the only ones carded on those holes during the morning. When the morning was complete, he would hold a one-stroke lead over Eitel and Young.
The afternoon round would prove to be more of the same from Bach. As he piled up more pars and birdies, he would watch his challengers slowly drift away.
“I was steady the whole way,” Bach said. “The consistency was there throughout the day. After Friday, I really worked hard on my putting, and it all came together today.”
After bogeying the par-3 2nd he would bounce back with a birdie on the par-4 7th. Just two holes later he would again birdie no. 9. After rolling in a 21-foot putt in the morning, this go around would feature a 12-footer. As he made his way to the back-nine his lead over Young had grown to three shots.
“I actually birdied no. 9 during my assistants match versus Ryan on Sunday too,” Bach said. “I don’t know what it is about that hole. I made a couple good putts on that hole.”
Young would keep it interesting though, as his stellar bunker play would help him stay in the fight on the back-nine. It’d start with a key up and down birdie from the greenside bunker on the par-5 10th and continue with several par saves.
Bach’s two-stroke lead would remain until a three-shot swing on no. 16. The UW-Stout graduate would play the hole to perfection by hitting his 60-degree wedge from the fairway to 12 feet and rolling in another birdie. Young however would pull his drive left into the fescue. The miscue would result in a lost ball and ultimately give him double bogey.
With the tournament in Bach’s hands, Young would bounce back with birdies on no. 17 and 18. The push proved to be too little too late, as Bach put a cherry on top of the victory with one last birdie on his final hole.
The twenty-eight-year-old becomes the first individual to go back-to-back since Charlie Brown pulled off the feat in 2014 and 2015. The title also provides Bach with the opportunity to return to the National Assistant PGA Professional Championship in November.
“I’m glad to be going back to Florida for a third time,” Bach said. “I’m hoping for a better showing than the last few times, maybe the third time is a charm.”
Finishing in a tie for third place at two-over-par was Jake Wisniewski of Ozaukee Country Club and Josh Grisa of Blackwolf Run. As the next highest eligible finisher, Grisa was able to defeat Wisniewski in a playoff to secure the other spot into the National Assistant PGA Professional Championship.
A big thank you goes out to National Car Rental, Hornung’s Golf Products, Cleveland/Srixon/Asics for their support of the WPGA Assistant Professional Championship.
The WPGA would also like to recognize and thank Meadowbrook CC for playing host to this year’s championship.