(Jim Schuman & Chad Sandee)
After a fun three event stretch in April it was time for the Wisconsin Section to move their competitive tournament schedule into the month of May on Monday. A group of 87 WPGA members, associates, pre-associates and members of the Wisconsin Golf Salespersons Association traveled to The Bull at Pinehurst Farms for the WPGA / WGSA Memorial Classic and WAGPA Stroke & Match Play. Once again both events were supported by the WGSA and OMEGA Watches.
With multiple events and plenty of different prize purses, the players faced the tough task of tracking all of it. Although that was difficult the hardest part of the day would be the cold and breezy weather combined with the challenging Jack Nicklaus designed layout. It would turn out to be a day where pars were a welcomed sight and birdies were tough to come by.
The 9:00 AM shotgun start featured 33 assistant professionals playing in their own 18-hole stroke play, which also doubled as seeding for the yearlong WAGPA Match Play. Simultaneously a group of 36 other WPGA professionals teed it up in the 18-hole Memorial Classic. Each pairing in the Memorial Classic also was competing in a lighthearted 1 net best ball event that featured one or two WGSA members on each team.
For the third straight year the day doubled as a great way to honor the people we lost in the past year that were connected to both communities. With so many friendships forged throughout the years, this annual day of golf, networking and storytelling has turned into a very important tradition. In tribute to the honorees the WGSA once again made a gracious $1,000 contribution to the WPGA Junior Foundation during the announcements.
On the course the battle for the Memorial Classic title saw another close tilt. In the end the two-time reigning WPGA Player of the Year, Jim Schuman, was able to get the job done over Mick Smith by one shot. His even-par 72 featured three birdies, which helped offset his three bogeys. The score swept the board in all three purse contests (regular, player’s, senior) and helped him take home $1,450.
In the WAGPA Stroke Play it was Chad Sandee using his home course knowledge to take home the win. He was able to also card an even par round, which featured an impressive 14 pars. The score was good enough to hold off David Bach by one shot. For Sandee the win also helped him earn the number one seed in the WAGPA Match Play and a first round bye.
After setting the bracket based on the WAGPA Stroke Play scores, it was on to the first round of the match play competition in the afternoon. With only 27 players in the bracket there were five players receiving first round byes and eleven matches set to hit the course. Of the eleven matches there was only one higher seed to go on to victory. The remainder of the WAGPA Match Play will take place throughout the year as players will have approximately one month to complete each round.
A big thank you goes out again to the entire WGSA membership for their continued sponsorship of this day. Their contributions for all the WPGA related activities they support throughout the year, is truly appreciated. The WPGA would also like to express appreciation to OMEGA Watches for helping bump up the purse.
The WPGA would also like to thank and recognize The Bull and their staff. The club has always been a willing host and Monday was another great example of how much they enjoy having tournaments.