Portions of the Write-up were contributed by Gary D’Amato of Wisconsin.Golf.
After unfortunately missing out on qualifying for the 2020 Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open last week, a determined Blake Jens was looking to get some positive golf vibes going. Jens was one of 29 participants that teed it up on Monday at the annual National Car Rental Wisconsin Assistant PGA Professional Championship. This year’s contest ventured to Ridgeway CC in Neenah for the second time in seven years. Players would again be faced with the tough task of navigating their way through thirty-six holes in one day.
The Middleton native would ultimately conquer that task in a impressive way, as he would take home the title with a 10-under-par 134 total. The day was a solid reminder of how good it can be when Jens gets it going. During the morning round he would open up with an even par front nine. As he made his way to the back nine, the switch flipped, he rattled off a bogey-free 6-under-par 30. The hot play would put him in a great spot for the afternoon.
Jens said, “Made a couple good solid putts, 10 to 15 feet. Honestly, I think I left four putts in the jar.”
Those missed putts could have propelled him into the round one lead. Setting the pace in round one and bettering Jens 6-under-par 66 was Joaquin Diaz. The Fire Ridge GC assistant was one lower than Jens, by putting up a solid eight birdies in his round.
The battle between the young guns would carryover into the afternoon but in the end the consistency of Jens proved to be too much. His ball striking would help lead the way en route to a 4-under-par 68, which featured just one bogey. The combined total would leave him two shots clear of Diaz. For Diaz the afternoon round just had a few too many missteps.
Jens said this about his ball striking, “I worked really hard on my distance control this week and it paid off, because I was pretty good today, hitting it pin-high.”
With the win Jens was able to pocket the $1,025 first place prize, but unfortunately will not be making the trip to the National Assistants Championship.
Due to eligibility rules both Jens and Diaz were ineligible to advance. The two players were participating under the pre-associate title and were still working their way towards entering the PGA PGM Education Program. For Jens that task would be bittersweet as he was approved to become a PGA associate just two days after the eligibility deadline.
Taking advantage of the rules and grabbing those two national spots were third place finisher, Jake Wisniewski at 7-under-par, and fourth place finisher Andy Hansen at 6-under-par.
A big thank you goes out to National Car Rental for their continued support of all the PGA programs they are involved with. Playing a supporting role and helping out the event once again was Hornung’s Golf Products. Other supporting sponsors for the event included John Deere and Cleveland / Srixon / XXIO.
In addition to our event partners the WPGA would like to thank Ridgeway CC and their staff for being a great host site.