(Erik Stenseth and Garrett Jones)
Tuesday marked the fifteenth playing of The Legend Challenge – Two Person Scratch Pro-Am. The annual event always draws some of the top playing professionals and amateurs from throughout the state. This year’s edition would again feature a sold-out field of fifty-six teams.
The Legend at Merrill Hills was hosting for the fourth time overall, and the first since 2018. The day gave the amateurs in the field a great glimpse of what the players will face at the 2024 Wisconsin State Amateur Championship.
With ideal scoring conditions the stage was set for a tightly contested tournament. Getting off to a hot start was the University Ridge GC team of Erik Stenseth and Garrett Jones. They would pile up six birdies in their first eight holes to jump out to an early lead. The lead would start to shrink though, as the duo would make a string of pars on the back nine. Slowly The Oaks GC team of Joe Leonard and Travis Pronschinske would eat into their lead with their own birdies. When the round was done The Oaks GC squad had shot a bogey-free round and caught Stenseth and Jones at 7-under-par 65.
With both teams eyeing their first title in the event, they would settle the tie with a hole-by-hole playoff. The playoff would start off with routine pars on the par-4 1st. They would then move on the par-4 18th, featuring one of the most difficult greens in the state. The difficulty would be no match for Stenseth as he’d have just 97 yards left to the green after a 3-wood off the tee. With a sand wedge in hand he’d knock it to seven feet just below the hole. The right to left birdie putt would find the cup and deliver the duo the win. The victory provided the winning team with some redemption as they came up just short in 2022 after tying for second place.
Six-time champions David Roesch and Jack Schultz would make a late run but would end up one shot out of the playoff. They’d tie with the duo of Luke Scharf and Don Horn for third place.
A big thank you goes out to Premier Golf & Utility Vehicles and the PGA Tour for their support of Tuesday’s event. They helped put together a great day for all the attendees. In addition the WPGA would like to express its appreciation to The Legend Clubs for providing another terrific venue for the event.