Cavaiani and Heckmann Win WPGA Junior Champ
Write-Up Provided By: Rick Pledl
The Wisconsin PGA Championship wrapped up Wednesday afternoon in Milwaukee, where almost 300 junior golfers played on two courses located several miles apart. So it’s a good thing Wednesday was the longest day of the year.
Of course, it’s no secret that golf keeps skewing younger and younger, and there was more of that this week at Milwaukee County courses Brown Deer Park GC and Dretzka Park GC. For what is likely to be the first time ever, the Wisconsin PGA Section is sending a 15-year-old boy, Lukas Heckmann, and a 16-year-old girl, Abby Cavaiani, to the PGA of America’s flagship junior championship.
That’s unusual considering players 18 and younger are eligible for the Wisconsin tournament.
Heckmann, a 15-year-old resident of Middleton, shot two rounds of 69 to win the overall boys title at the WPGA Junior this week. Heckmann played par-71 Brown Deer Tuesday in wet conditions and finished up Wednesday at par-72 Dretzka.
Heckmann’s twin 69s left him at 5-under 138 for the tournament, two strokes lower than Piercen Hunt, another 15-year-old from Hartland. Hunt finished with rounds of 71-69–140.
Heckmann made four birdies Wednesday, including on 17 and 18 to end on a high note, offset by one bogey. He rolled in a 15-foot putt on 17 and a 4-footer on the 18th green. He also made four birdies in his Tuesday round.
Click Here for complete Junior Championship Results Page
Round 1 at WPGA Junior Championship
The 2017 WPGA Junior Championship kicked of this morning at Brown Deer Park GC & Dretzka Park GC. The field is 290 juniors from all around the state in our biggest junior event on the summer schedule.
Tee Times started today at 7:30am and the afternoon wave started at 12:15pm. We had a weather delay of about 1:10 minutes and resumed play at 2:55pm. Pairings for all Girls Divisions and Boys 16-18 Division will not be completed until later tonight once players are done from afternoon round. We repair based on score for round 2. Pairings will be emailed out to all players later tonight.
Lukas Heckmann (Middleton) battled through playing in the rain to fire a 2-under par 69 at Brown Deer to lead the Boys 13-15 division. Piercen Hunt (Hartland) is not far behind him with his opening round 71.
Click Here to view complete Boys 13-15 Results
Click Here to view Round 2 pairings at Dretzka Park for Boys 13-15
Jed Baranczyk (Green Bay) leads the Boys 16-18 Division by posting a 3-under par 69 at Dretzka. Alex Brandt (Chilton) is two shots back at 71.
Click Here to view complete Boys 16-18 Results.
Click Here to view Round 2 pairings at Brown Deer Park for Boys 16-18
In the Girls 16-18 Division Taylor McCorkle (Oregon) has a two shot lead over Mia Seeman. Taylor posted an opening round 73. She is our defending champion and trying to get back to the National Junior Championship.
Click Here to view complete Girls 16-18 Results
Click Here to view Round 2 pairings at Dretzka Park for Girls 16-18
Jo Baranczyk (Green Bay) leads the Girls 13-15 Division by three shots over Elise Hoven (Grafton) by shooting 78.
Click Here to view complete Girls 13-15 Results
Click Here to view Round 2 pairings at Dretzka Park for Girls 13-15
Seeman & Knapek Claim Lake Arrowhead Titles
Bennett Knapek has had exactly one bite at the apple known as the Lake Arrowhead Invitational – one of the most prestigious junior tournaments on the Wisconsin golf calendar. Knapek, who lives in Hartland and is off to college in the fall, played the event for the first – and last – time this week and came away as medalist among boys thanks to a stellar final round. Meantime, first-round leader Maria Seeman of Milton barely held on to her lead over the final 18 and emerged as girls champion.
Knapek, 18, made seven birdies and two bogeys in the final round Monday morning on the Pines Course at Lake Arrowhead in Nekoosa, tying him for low-round-of-the-day honors. Combined with his opening score of 74 Sunday afternoon, Knapek finished at 3-under-par 141 to win the boys title by three strokes.
Monday’s other 67 was authored by Tyler Leach of Spring Valley, whose card looked eerily similar to Knapek’s – seven birdies with a lone double bogey. Leach (77-67) eventually finished tied for second place with Hunter Eichhorn of Carney, Mich., (73-71) at 144.
Knapek started the final round with three straight birdies, but it was his finish that brought home the trophy. He rolled in a birdie putt on the narrow par-5 16th hole before dropping his tee shot on the par-3 17th onto a greenside bunker and a tricky downhill lie. No worries, however, as he hit a nearly perfect bunker shot to about 18 inches from the hole.
“It was a downhill lie so I tried to land it on the green,” he said. “And it was perfect and spun right down there.” On the par-4 18, Knapek dropped a birdie putt of about 25 feet to end his day in style.“ I think my ball striking was the best,” Knapek said when asked what was the strongest part of his game in the final round. “I hit a lot of shots into the greens that were pretty close. I didn’t make as many putts as I would have liked, but I still had a great round.”
Knapek is on a roll this spring, having recently participated in Hartland Arrowhead’s Division 1 team championship at the WIAA Boys State Golf Championships. He tied for 12th among individuals. Knapek will join the UW-Madison golf team in the fall. Seeman, 17, was beaming at the trophy presentation after shooting twin rounds of 75 to win the girls division, and she admitted she had not previously won a tournament this big.
Seeman held a four-stroke lead over Emily Lauterbach of Hartland after Sunday’s round, but Lauterbach made up most that ground in the final round. When the dust settled, Seeman (75-75–150) won the girls title by a single stroke over Lauterbach (79-72–151) Abby Cavaiani of Wales (83-77) and Jo Baranczyk of Green Bay tied for third at 160. Seeman played the Lake Arrowhead Invitational the two previous years, and her finishes have improved each time after a rough start.
Day 1 at the 30th Lake Arrowhead Invitational
It's the 30th year of Lake Arrowhead hosting our Invitational. The first round at the Lake Arrowhead Invitational finished up on Sunday night on the Lakes Course. Tee times started at 12:30pm but a brief weather delay of about 40 minutes pushed finish times back. The golf course played hard as the winds gusted to 15-20 mph most of the afternoon and the heat intensified as the round went on.
Mia Seeman (Milton) lead the girls division with a 75. Emily Lauterbach (Hartland) is four shots back at 79.
The wind and heat did not seem to effect Joseph Plock (Oconomowoc) as he fired and even par 72. Hunter Eichhorn (Carney, MI) is one shot back at 73 and Bennett Knapek (Hartland) is two shots back at 74.
Round two will start at 7:30am on Monday morning. at the Pines Course. New for 2017, each boy and girl winner will receive an exemption into the National Junior Championship along with a spot on the 2018 Cup Team.
Click Here for Round 1 results
Meet the 2017 WPGA Interns
(Jazz Tulda, Grace Stippich, Reed Powell)
Grace Stippich is a recent graduate from Kettle Moraine High School. Next year, she will be attending the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, pursuing a degree in International Business and Spanish. She is from Delafield, Wisconsin, and has played in several Junior Tour events throughout high school. In addition, Grace played for four years on the varsity golf team at Kettle Moraine and enjoys golfing in her free time.
Jazz Tulda recently finished his junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where he majors in Golf Enterprise Management with a minor in Business Administration. Jazz Lives in Waterford, WI where he played high school golf for Waterford Union High School. Jazz also has an Associate’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and played 2 years in their varsity golf team. Jazz loves to play golf, go on his parent’s boat, and hanging out with friends on his free time. After college, Jazz plans on pursuing a career in the golf industry.
Reed Powell is going into his junior year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing with a minor in professional communication studies. He is from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and has played golf since he was five years old, including all four years on the Oconomowoc High School team. In his free time, Reed enjoys golfing, watching sports, hanging out with friends, hiking, and going to the movies. Reed also travels around the Midwest competing in Super Smash Brothers video game tournaments and has been ranked top 3 in Wisconsin since he began competing a year and a half ago. After he graduates, Reed hopes to work in the marketing department of a professional sports team or other large organization.