Write Up Provided By: Rick Pledl
It didn’t take long for Daniel Woltman to establish some new goals after winning his fourth Wisconsin State Open title at Geneva National Resort & Club on Wednesday. Woltman was informed at the awards ceremony that he’s now one of four four-time winners of the championship, and that there are also four five-time winners.
“Now, I want to get to six,” he said.
Woltman, a 32-year-old pro who lives in Sun Prairie and formerly played on the European Golf Tour, won the State Open for the second consecutive season this week, and he’s the first player to do that since a young pro named Steve Stricker won consecutively in 1990 and ’91.
Woltman recorded the round of the tournament with his opening 65, and he kept moving forward from there. He added twin rounds of 67 in the middle rounds before closing with a white-knuckle round of 71 in the finale. Woltman had to hold on tight down the stretch because he was fighting his swing in the final round. He had several of what he called “low pulls,” on his final 18.
“Thankfully I built myself a cushion after the first three rounds, Woltman said. “I knew par was good, and obviously I wanted to make a few birdies here and there, but I just wanted to play smart.”
Woltman made his first major mistake of the tournament in the fourth round Wednesday afternoon, when he made double bogey on the first hole of the Trevino Course at Geneva National. But he got those two strokes back a couple holes later with a miraculous eagle.
Facing about 230 into the green on the par-5 fifth hole, Woltman hit a low 3-iron that came up short, but the ball rattled off some rocks in a hazard in front of the putting surface and hopped up on the green about 12 feet away. Woltman rolled in the eagle putt.
“You know, to win golf tournaments, it’s very hard,” Woltman said. “So you gotta have breaks that go your way, and when you get a break like that you have to take advantage of it.”
Woltman’s closest pursuer over the final 36 holes Wednesday was Patrick Stolpe, a pro who lives in Arizona where he works as a caddie. Stolpe is a native of Oostburg.
Stolpe, 38, got himself into contention at the State Open thanks to an amazing round of golf on Tuesday. Stolpe shot 29 on the front nine of the Trevino Course in the second round. He made eight birdies on the front, offset by a bogey, and added two more on the back. Stolpe had a few hiccups on the back – a short storm delay cost him some momentum – but still shot 67 in a rollercoaster second round that featured just four pars.
Stolpe got to within one stroke on the back nine Wednesday but could get no closer. He eventually shot 68 to finish at 273, three strokes behind Woltman.
“I started off pretty well in the final round today,” Stolpe said. “The thing that killed me was I made a bogey on No. 8. I three-putted for bogey and that was sort of a momentum stopper. I was giving it everything I had out there.”
Two-time State Open Champion Jim Schuman finished in third place. Schuman, who spends his summers in Wisconsin and winters in Arizona, was the third member of the final threesome on Wednesday afternoon, but he admitted later he knew he probably had too much ground to make up. Schuman finished at 8-under 280, 10 strokes behind Woltman, who he coached when Woltman played at the University of Wisconsin.
“I hit it OK, but I didn’t putt well,” Schuman said. “I would have had to be a little closer to get with those guys. They were playing really well.”
Hunter Eichhorn of Carney, Mich., who plays for Marquette University, finished fourth and earned low amateur honors. Eichhorn closed with a round of 72 and finished at 6-under-par 282. Eichhorn also won the Wisconsin State Amateur Championship in July at The Golf Courses of Lawsonia.
The 99th Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open, presented by The Suter Group was held at Geneva National Resort for the first time. Next year, the 100th State Open will return to the site of the very first championship, Blue Mound G&CC in Wauwatosa.
Woltman, who attempted PGA Tour Q-School last fall and will do so again this autumn, said he will be at Blue Mound next August, unless …
“I’ll be there unless I’m playing on the Korn Ferry Tour,” Woltman said of the newly named developmental tour of the PGA Tour. “I want to get back to that next level and succeed there.”
In order for Woltman to win six Wisconsin State Open titles, he will need to pass five-time winners Francis Gallett, Manuel de la Torre, Bob Brue and Stricker.
The Wisconsin PGA would like to express its appreciation and thank Vince Suter, Wealth Advisor and a Senior Vice President at Morgan Stanley for his support of the Wisconsin State Open. The presenting sponsor was on board for the third consecutive year and his support continues to help make the championship better and better. With his help this year’s purse was able to increase by another $4,600.
The WPGA would also like to thank longtime State Open sponsor, TaylorMade Golf. 2019 marked the 17th straight year that they have partnered with the Wisconsin PGA on the State Open. In addition to their financial support, company representatives Steve Ploch and Hunter Mahler were kind enough to dedicate three full days as volunteer starters for the event.
A big thank you also goes out to the membership and staff at Geneva National Resort & Club for hosting a great championship. The event featured a two course rotation and 204 player field for the first time and it was only possible through the support of everyone at the club. From filling a ton of volunteer spots to providing everything that was needed from a logistical angle, the club had it all covered.
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a global leader, provides access to a wide range of products and services to individuals, businesses and institutions, including brokerage and investment advisory services, financial and wealth planning, cash management, lending products and services, insurance, retirement and trust services. Vince Suter, a Family Wealth Advisor is well-positioned to have meaningful conversations about money; to help families set priorities, protect their family enterprise, practice impactful philanthropy and put estate plans in place. He takes great pride in connecting with the next generation to engage them in becoming educated about how family finances affect them. Vince has demonstrated a disciplined, diligent approach to understanding how family circumstances and dynamics can influence and impact short and long-term personal and financial goals. His ability to work with families to develop a framework for their financial future helps them achieve their financial goals.
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