(Host PGA General Manager Mark Bergman with Andy Hansen)
Portions of this write-up were contributed by Rob Hernandez and Wisconsin.Golf
Andy Hansen of The University Club of Milwaukee was back on top at the National Car Rental Wisconsin Assistant PGA Professional Championship on Monday. The Mequon native staked claim to his second title in three years after carding a 1-under-par 143 at Old Hickory Golf Club in Beaver Dam. The title was hard fought as he battled it out with Neal Grusczynski and Tyler Siech throughout the final round of play.
The trio along with 26 other assistant professionals kicked off their first round of play with an 8 am shotgun start on Monday morning. Setting the pace were Grusczynski and Hansen, as each player was able to card four birdies during the morning en route to 2-under-par 70s. Sitting just two shots back from the leaders was Siech after an even par 72 in round one. With their play the threesome would be paired together for the final round in the afternoon.
It didn’t take long however for the action to kick into high gear in the pm session. The battle was on right off the bat with opening bogeys by Grusczynski and Hansen, and a par by Siech. Grusczynski would quickly bounce back though, as he regained a two-shot lead over Siech with a nice birdie on the par 3, 3rd hole. As for Hansen the bleeding would not stop until the 4th hole.
“I got off to a really bad start,” Hansen said. “I bogeyed the first three holes and didn’t hit anything that resembled a golf shot in that stretch. I took a big gamble on No. 4 and went for it in two and made birdie (and then) the middle of the round was some pretty high-level golf.”
That high-level golf included a run by Hansen where he birdied Nos. 7, 8 and 9, and with that stretch he was able to catch Grusczynski once again. All the while Grusczynski was busy also putting up birdies on Nos. 8 and 9. As for Siech he stayed right with the duo as he carded a bogey-free 2-under-par 34 on the front, leaving him just one shot back at the turn.
However that magic would come to an end and the back nine would turn into a test of survival. Holding his own the best would be Hansen as he offset a bogey on the 10th with a birdie on the 11th. He then was able to play the final seven holes at 2-over-par. For Grusczynski and Siech they would unfortunately be undone by a stretch of holes where they both could not avoid making bogey.
“How we played over the last five or six holes, maybe that shows why we have other jobs and do not play golf on television (for a living),” Hansen said.
The margin of victory for Hansen would turn out to be just one shot as Grusczynski posted an even-par 144 total. Finishing in a tie for third would be Siech and Joaquin Diaz, with 146 totals.
With their play both Hansen and Grusczynski were able to earn the coveted spots into the National Car Rental PGA Assistant Professional Championship in November at PGA Golf Club. The tournament dates will certainly be circled on their calendar but in the meantime both individuals have some pretty important items on the docket before November.
For Grusczynski his focus will quickly switch from playing to coaching as he recently took on a new role as Head Coach of the Ohio University Bobcats men’s golf team.
As for Hansen his huge life event will come in the form of his wedding in just under two weeks.
A big thank you goes out to all the event partners of the National Car Rental Wisconsin Assistant PGA Professional Championship. With their support the event featured a great bang for your buck, as players were treated to a terrific purse, a complimentary skins game and lunch.
The WPGA would also like to express our appreciation to Old Hickory GC and their staff. The club did a great job of hosting, including some providing some top notch course conditions for the players to compete on.