Write-up provided by Rick Pledl – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Schuman won the Wisconsin State Senior Open Championship for the fourth time Wednesday afternoon, tying the record for overall wins in the championship, which was inaugurated in 1985.
Schuman, who lives in Menomonee Falls, earned a three-stroke victory at Hidden Glen GC in Cedarburg on a day that the private club played even more difficult than usual. Schuman’s final-round 71 was the only under-par score recorded Wednesday.
Schuman shot 69 on Tuesday to go with Wednesday’s 71, finishing the 36-hole championship at 4-under-par 140.
Brad Lanning, a PGA professional from Hortonville, who also opened with a 69, shot 74 Wednesday to finish second at 1-under 143.
Jim Doing, a reinstated amateur from Verona, earned low amateur honors with rounds of 71-74–145.
Schuman made the turn at even par Wednesday, with three birdies and three bogies on the front nine. He tightened up his play on the back, where he recorded one birdie and eight pars.
In the end, those pars were golden, because Schuman’s playing partners were having their own troubles on a day when it was extremely difficult getting the ball close to the hole.
The round didn’t come without its complications for the champion, either, as Schuman had to work hard to find fairways on the back nine.
“Yesterday, I hit it better than today,” he said, “and I really couldn’t tell you why.”
Schuman admitted he was probably fortunate this tournament was played at Hidden Glen, a course where he’s had success in the past and one where it’s just plain hard to shoot low scores.
“This golf was great for me,” he said. “It’s a little bit shorter, and it’s difficult to make a ton of birdies out here, so it worked out really well. This tournament wasn’t about hitting it long; it was about hitting it pin-high.”
He added: “You have to have a short game on this course, and you have to be patient, and I suppose the older you get the more patient you are.”
At 58, Schuman sounded like his championship window was perhaps closing after this latest win. Among other comments, he mentioned how difficult it is competing against all the “young” seniors coming up through the system in Wisconsin.
Lanning, 51, certainly qualifies. The former assistant coach at the University of Oregon under head coach Casey Martin had opportunities to chase down Schuman in the final round, but he just made too many costly mistakes.
Afterward, Lanning could do little more than look at his card and laugh. In the final round, he recorded four birdies and an eagle, offset by eight bogies.
Lanning’s eagle was a beauty, however, and it was almost a lot better than that. After his drive sailed a little left, Lanning had about 245 yards uphill to the green on the par-5 18th hole. He waited for the green to clear and then drilled his 3-wood around a tree and right at the flagstick. The ball actually hit the stick and came to rest about a foot away. It was that close to an albatross.
Doing, 62, was also in the mix until the final few holes, but his chances ended with a bogey on the par-4 16th hole when he missed a fast down-hill putt for par. Right before that, he had birdied Nos. 14-15.
Ironically, the last time the Wisconsin State Senior Open was held at Hidden Glen, in 2010, Doing finished as low pro to Mark Bemowski, to whom he lost a playoff for the championship. This year, he’s the low amateur.
“I love this course, and I thought I could win if I really got it going,” said Doing, who regained his amateur status in 2018. “Yesterday, I had five birdies. Today I had just three, and the bogies cost me.”
With this latest victory, Schuman, a PGA teaching professional at Blue Mound G&CC, joins amateur players Mark Bemowski and Gary Menzel with four Wisconsin State Senior Open titles each. Bemowski won his in four straight seasons (2010-13).
Previously, Schuman won the State Senior Open at The Legend at Bristlecone in 2015, Reedsburg CC in ’18 and The Bog in ’19.
“It’s awesome,” Schuman said of winning for the fourth time. “I’m really proud of that.”
A big thank you goes out to the three supporting partners of the Wisconsin State Senior Open. Throughout the entire year The Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley, Sentry, and TaylorMade Golf, have helped to enhance the entire Wisconsin State Open Series. Their contributions are greatly appreciated.
The Wisconsin PGA would also like to express our appreciation to the staff and members at Hidden Glen GC. The club provided a terrific playing field for the event and did everything that was needed to ensure a first-class experience for the players.