The 2022 Wisconsin Senior PGA Professional Championship would wrap up on Tuesday afternoon. It was an eventful two days of golf as the players had their hands full with mother nature. Between the windy and humid conditions and multiple weather delays, it truly was a mental and physical grind.
The tough conditions and a tricky layout played right into the hands of the WPGA member that knows Wausau Country Club the best. After twenty plus years at the club, PGA General Manager Doug Cheever was in the driver’s seat to claim his first WPGA major title.
On day one Cheever would set the pace and card the only even-par round of the day. According to the 52-year-old he did what he does best on the golf course, hit fairways and greens and avoid three putting.
The two-birdie two-bogey round left him with a one-shot lead over Charlie Brown, Eddie Terasa and Tim Grogan.
With morning tee times on day two there wouldn’t be much time to sleep on the lead for Cheever. Playing with Brown and Terasa he would stumble out the gate. A poorly struck wedge would produce a bogey on the opening hole. After birdies out of Brown and Terasa on no. 2, Cheever was now playing from behind.
The mindset for the former Carthage College player was to stay focused and keep to his game plan.
“I just wanted to play my own game,” Cheever said. “Keep making pars and throw in the occasional birdie.”
Over the course of the next five holes he would card pars and eventually his first birdie would drop on the par-4 8th. From 92 yards out, he would hit it to five feet. The birdie would get him back into the co-lead with Brown.
As the leaders made their way to the back-nine it would be Brown and Cheever at even-par for the tournament, with Brad Lanning and Eddie Terasa just one shot back.
With three of the hardest holes on the course on the back-nine Cheever’s strategy would play out perfectly.
To start the back-nine he’d make six pars and his lone back-nine birdie on the par-4 13th. As he kept plotting along several of his fellow competitors would slowly fall back.
However, playing in the group in front of Cheever, Lanning would stay in the mix. He’d rattle off six pars to start his back-nine and then close the gap with a birdie on the par-4 16th. With just two holes to play the former college golf coach would be just one shot back.
The unflappable Cheever was unaware of the company Lanning was keeping, because he admitted he never looked at the live leaderboard over the course of the day.
“I wanted to finish strong,” Cheever said. “Of course, I was nervous coming down the stretch.”
The nerves wouldn’t show though when it mattered the most, as Cheever would use some rock-solid touch to get up and down on what he considered the pivotal point of the championship. From behind green on the difficult par-3 17th he’d knock a chip to eight feet and sink the par putt.
He’d cap it off with another fairway hit, green in regulation and two-putt. With Lanning finishing out with two pars of his own, Cheever earned what he described as his biggest golfing accomplishment.
“This is my best event I’ve played. At home, two-day event.” Cheever said. “I’m very proud, this is the second time I’ve been able to win here.”
The two round total of 1-under-par 141 would be the only 36-hole score under par for the event.
With Cheever, Lanning and Kurt Mantyla opting out of the national qualifying portion of the event, the three national spots up for grabs would go to Michael Crowley, Charlie Brown and Mark Voeller. The WPGA representatives will tee it up at Twin Warriors and Santa Ana GC in New Mexico in October.
The WPGA would like to thank Cadillac, Hornung’s Golf Products, The PGA Tour, and The Golf Channel for their great support of the Wisconsin Senior PGA Professional Championship.
In addition the Section would like to express our appreciation to Wausau CC for being a gracious host.