The stage was set for an action packed day of play on Tuesday as the final round of the Wisconsin Senior PGA Professional Championship took place on the Pines Course at Lake Arrowhead GC. After the first round concluded with eight players within two shots of the lead on Monday, it was wide open to see who would take home the coveted first place prize.
Coming through in the clutch once again and claiming the win was Blue Mound G&CC Teaching Professional Jim Schuman. The Madison native outlasted several challengers including a very familiar foe in Eddie Terasa. With the duo having claimed five of the last seven WPGA Senior Championship wins, they almost seemed destined to have another close battle.
For Schuman he started the day one shot back of first round leaders Terasa and Jeff Bisbee. Due to the deficit Schuman found himself in the second to last group and trying to post a number for the leaders to chase. As he attempted to post that low number he also had the luxury of having already earned his spot in the national senior event.
“I think one the big things heading into the day, was that I was exempt for the national event,” Schuman said. “It was totally different, it was much more relaxing.”
Schuman earned that luxury through his play last year at the Senior PGA Professional Championship in Arizona as he finished in second place in the 264 player field.
As for that deficit it would quickly be erased. The champion got off to a quick start by making birdie on three of his first six holes. With another birdie on no. 9 to help offset a three-putt bogey on no. 7, Schuman was able to assume a two shot lead over Terasa, Charlie Brown and Peter Krause heading into the back nine.
Just as things were heading in his direction Schuman missed the green on no. 10 which resulted in a bogey 5 and a lost shot to Terasa. He quickly rebounded as he was able to birdie his third par 5 of the day on no. 11. That birdie though would be matched by Terasa. From there on forward it turned into a two man race.
With the number of holes dwindling Terasa continued his charge as he birdied the par 4, 13th to tie the lead. He then grabbed the outright lead with a birdie on the third hardest hole of the day, the par 4, 15th. As Terasa was rolling in the birdies, Schuman was surviving with a string of five straight pars since no. 11. As the conditions became trickier those pars would turn out to be a key part of the round.
“The wind kind of kicked up which made it kind of difficult on those last four or five holes,” Schuman said.
Arriving to the par 3, 17th first, Schuman would put the pressure on his fellow competitor. He struck an 8 iron from 146 yards to twelve feet and sunk a nice downhill putt for birdie to tie the lead. The lead would quickly become Schuman’s for good as Terasa missed the par 3 green to the right and could not convert his up and down attempt. With pars by each player to finish off the day, Schuman had secured his third overall Wisconsin Senior PGA Professional Championship (2015, 2017 and 2018). His 4-under-par 68 on Tuesday gave him a two round total of 140, which was good enough to win by one shot.
“Any way you can get away with a victory like this it is very special,” Schuman said.
Joining Schuman in the field at the national event in late October at PGA Golf Club will be Terasa, Brown and the final qualifier, Peter Krause of the Wisconsin Club.
The WPGA would like to thank Hornung’s Golf Products for presenting this year’s Wisconsin Senior PGA Professional Championship. With the help of the Fond du Lac based company the WPGA was able to roll out another great championship for all the attendees. The company was also gracious enough to cover the additional purse for the skins game. Jumping on board as supporting sponsors of the event were The PGA Tour, GolfAdvisor.com and John Deere. The WPGA would like to express our appreciation to each company for their support of the event.
The WPGA would also like to extend its gratitude to the membership and staff at Lake Arrowhead GC. The club staff did a fantastic job of making sure the Section staff had all the support that was needed in order to put on a first class event. In addition to the extra effort by the staff, the Pines course was in great shape and provided a terrific playing field for all the participants.