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.
Cup Matches reaches 20 years
The WPGA Junior Foundation is pleased to announce the 2017 Wisconsin Cup Team. This will be the 20th year of the event. This annual event showcases 12 boys and 12 girls from Wisconsin against Team Minnesota in a Ryder Cup team-type event that started back in 1998. Team Wisconsin leads the overall series at 12-6-1. Players are selected off the Player of the Year points list from the previous year.
The 2017 girls team will include Ashley Kulka (Beaver Dam), Maria Seeman (Milton), Taylor McCorkle (Oregon), Alexis Thomas (Middleton), Speedy Kent (Mequon), Lorenza Martinez (Men. Falls), Sarah Busey (Racine), Jo Baranczyk (Green Bay), Erika Priebe (Appleton), Abby Cavaiani (Wales), Maggie Warrner (Lakewood) and Emily Lauterbach (Hartland).
The boys team will include Jed Baranczyk (Green Bay), Tyler Leach (Spring Valley), Hunter Eichhorn (Carney, MI), Brock Hlinak (Kaukauna), Bennett Knapek (Hartland), Matt Tuman (Wausau), Sean Murphy (Middleton), Piercen Hunt (Hartland), Andrew Clement (Pewaukee), Clayton Tribus (Madison), Zak Kulka (Beaver Dam) and Jack Anderson (Brookfield).
The event will take place at Troy Burne golf course in Hudson, WI on June 29-30. Team Wisconsin will look to bring the cup home after at loss to Team Minnesota last year with a total of 20-16.
The Junior Foundation would also like to thank the sales reps that donated tee gifts to each player. Thanks to Ted Robbins and Tom Cranwell for donating Titleist golf balls, gloves and hats. Antigua President Ron McPherson and WI sales representative Cyndi Millspaugh for donating the team shirts each day, and Ron Hurab for donating an RJ Shepherd umbrella and Devant towel to each player. These guys make this event a great experience for all players.
To view past results of the event Click Here.
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