(Mick Smith pictured with Steve Fischer & Ben Rudolph of Premier Golf & Utility Vehicles)
It was a textbook example of how to come from behind to win a golf tournament. On a day where winds would gust up to 35 mph, Tuesday brought the storyline of a player going low early, posting a great score, and then letting the leaders come back to them.
For Sydney native Mick Smith he turned out to be to be in the right spot of the familiar script this time around. After carding a 3-over-par 75 on Monday and sitting seven shots off the lead after round one, the Australian knew he had his work cut out to contend on Tuesday.
The 47-year old would be playing five groups in front of the leaders, and have a chance to go after it while not worrying about holding a lead. In just his second WPGA Professional Championship, it would take Smith a little while before drumming up some momentum on Tuesday. Through his first seven holes he would post two birdies and two bogeys, and at the time sit five shots behind Mark Voeller and David Roesch.
The 2018 National Car Rental Wisconsin Assistant PGA Professional Champion would then start striking the ball well and rolling in putts. He would birdie four of his next eight holes and slowly start catching the leaders.
“Most of the birdie putts were in between the 12- to 20-foot range,” Smith said. “I putted very well.”
As Smith started to make his move, Roesch would stake claim to the outright lead after a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine. Coupled with a 4-over start for Mark Voeller, Roesch would lead by two at the turn with Smith lurking in the wings.
The back nine however would be provide its challenges on the greens for Roesch. A lip out on no. 10, along with three and four putts on no. 13 and no. 14, would move Roesch back to 1-over-par for the event and give Smith the lead.
With trouble lurking at every turn at Green Bay CC, Smith was now attempting to just get it into the clubhouse without any missteps. One of those missteps could have potentially came on no. 16, but once again Smith’s putting would lead the way.
“The only save I made was on 16, I made like a 20-footer, just past the pin on the right,” Smith said. “Probably broke a foot and a half. I made that to save par.”
With two more pars to close out the round, Smith would match the low round of the event with a 4-under-par 68. A truly impressive feat, which included hitting 15 out of 18 greens. The round would give him a two-round total of 1-under-par 143.
As for Roesch he would have one last hail mary attempt on no. 18. The 2015 WPGA Professional Champion would give it his best shot as he nearly holed out from the fairway to tie, by hitting it to three feet. The attempt would leave him one shot short in his bid to force a playoff.
“I think if my putter was just a little bit better, it would probably be a different story,” Roesch said. “But obviously Mick went out and shot 4-under in unbelievable conditions, which is phenomenal.”
Staking claim to third place with a score of 2-over-par 146 was Tim Schroyer of Pine Hills CC. The 27-year old would be the only other player under-par on Tuesday, his round was highlighted by a hole-out for an eagle on the hardest hole on the course, the par-4 7th. Just one shot behind Schroyer would be Voeller as he closed out the two-round event with a 7-over-par 79 on Tuesday. Rounding out the top 5 at 4-over-par 148, would be a five-way tie between Tom Burton, Joe DeRosa, Jon Zellmer, Kraig Joy and Jeff Kaiser.
In addition to the coveted top prize the field was also looking to claim one of the five spots into the 2021 PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club next April. Grabbing those spots were Smith, Roesch, Schroyer, Voeller and Burton. For Burton he would punch his ticket via a birdie on the second playoff hole, the par-3 11th.
The WPGA would like to thank both our presenting and supporting sponsors of the 2020 WPGA Professional Championship. With their help and support the the WPGA was able to present a first class championship once again. A great deal of appreciation goes out to all the company representatives that made it out to the event and lent a helping hand.
We would also like to convey our appreciation to our host site Green Bay CC. The club did a great job of making sure all the participants felt welcome and attended to, while presenting a championship level course in great shape.