(Ben Rudolph of Premier Golf & Utility Vehicles, Heidi Njoes and John Shipshock)
A rainy weekend provided some doubt that the annual Manuel de la Torre Pro-Assistant trophy would be awarded on Monday. However the rain stayed away on Sunday night and an eerie morning quickly turned into a beautiful fall day for golf.
A field of 105 Wisconsin PGA members, associates and pre-associates made the trip to enjoy Blue Mound G&CC, the host site of the 100th Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open. Although the weekend rain provided a little sogginess the course was in otherwise fantastic shape.
The competition would feature 55 two player teams in the traditional division of play, where a head professional, director of golf or individual in general management pairs up with an assistant professional from their facility.
The second division of play would be comprised of 11 other teams, which featured two professionals working for the same company or facility, regardless of their PGA classification.
All teams would be tackling the fun four-ball stroke play format (1 best ball of 2).
In division one the Bishops Bay CC duo of John Shipshock and Heidi Njoes would take home the title after some playoff golf was required to get the win. The winning squad was able to card a bogey free 5-under-par 65 in regulation, only to be matched by Mike Gaspard and Erik Stenseth of University Ridge GC, and Greg Dick and Andy Hansen of the University Club of Milwaukee.
The hole-by-hole playoff would get underway on the 559 yard, par-5 18th. After navigating their way to the green in three, it would be Stenseth and Shipshock with the best chances to make birdie. For Stenseth his 12 foot putt would bend by the cup on the low side and set the stage for Shipshock. The Bishops Bay CC head professional would then roll his 10 foot birdie straight down the hill and into the cup for the win.
On record Njoes is the first female participant on a winning team of the Wisconsin PGA Premier Golf & Utility Vehicles Pro-Assistant. The victorious team was able to pocket $850 each for their great play.
Taking home the second division crown would be Shaun Finley and Joe Leonard of Oakleaf Properties (The Oaks & Kestrel Ridge GC). The team would card an impressive 7-under-par 63 on their way to a four shot win.
In addition to the standard contests the day also was highlighted by a fun group closest to the pin contest, compliments of Premier Golf & Utility Vehicles. For each four or fivesome the best three tee shots on the green on the par-3 7th would make up the score for the pairing. Earning themselves an extra $100 was the pairing of Gaspard, Stenseth, Shipshock, Njoes and Zach Dawson. Their three best shots ended up a total of 41 feet and six inches from the flagstick.
A great deal of appreciation goes out to Premier Golf & Utility Vehicles, along with representatives Darrin DiChristopher, Steve Fischer and Ben Rudolph. Their support of the Pro-Assistant and the add-on contest continues to make it a can’t miss event on the Wisconsin PGA tournament calendar.
The WPGA would also like to thank our supporting partners, Bushnell Golf, the WSGA and the PGA Tour for being a part of this year’s event.
In addition to our event partners we would like to thank the members and staff at Blue Mound G&CC. The club provided a first class experience for the players, including a finely conditioned course and some tasty after play food. The WPGA looks forward to returning to the club next summer for the 100th Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open.