Williamson gets nod for 5th Kwik Trip Seniors County Am crown

Paul Williamson is the odds-on favorite to win the annual Kwik Trip La Crosse County Seniors Amateur Golf Championship on Saturday.
Williamson already has four Seniors titles under his belt, including last year's sudden death victory over Tom McClintock. Wlliamson also is the all-time Men's champion with seven titles.
This year's 18-hole tournament is also at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska, home courses for both Williamson and McClintock.
According to a poll at boblamboutdoors.com, Williamson has a 32 percent chance to win. Joe Loomis, three-time champ, has a 12 percent chance as well as two-time winner Michael Drugan. McClintock is seeking his first Seniors title and is a 9 percent pick as well as Bruce Simones with one victory. Rahn Pischke, who lost to Simones in sudden death in 2014, is a 6 percent favorite.
Other contenders for the title are three-time champion Pete Kohnert and two-time titlists Mike Bistodeau and Jim DeBoer, Sr.
The tournament is usually held at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse, but was moved to Cedar Creek due to major flood damage at Forest Hills.
However, Dave Cornelius and tournament director Bob Lamb have shortened the yardage at Cedar Creek to accommodate all flights. Rather than playing at 5,220 yards at Forest, it will only play 20 yards longer, or 5,240 yards at Cedar Creek for the new Super Seniors Flight for players 70 and above. Tees will play at 5,910 yards at Cedar Creek for Seniors Championship, First and Second Flights compared to 5,729 yards at Forest Hills.

2017 KWIK TRIP SENIORS COUNTY AMATEUR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP                
                
Saturday July 29, 2017                
The Golf Club at Cedar Creek                
Onalaska, WI                 
                
SUPER SENIORS  FLIGHT            
10:20 A.M.                
Bob Luce            
Bill Burke            
Ted Knudson            
                
10:28 A.M.                
Lloyd Payne            
Robert McLoone            
Paul Taylor            
                
10:36 A.M.                
Jack Glennie            
David M. Seymour            
Tony Raymond            
                
SECOND FLIGHT                
10:44 A.M.                
Thomas Johnson            
Ronald Puestow            
                
10:52 A.M                
Bob Roers            
Marty Gora            
                
11 A.M.                
Rich Schultz            
Felix Fernandes            
Steve Crogan            
                
11:08 A.M.                
Leon McNutt            
Edward Przytarski            
Marv Davis             
                
11:16 A.M.                
Monte Jacobson            
Greg Espenes            
Scott Hackworth            
                
FIRST FLIGHT                
11:24 A.M.                
Robert Schoen            
Bob Sciborski            
                
11:32 A.M                
Dan Leis            
Thomas Grapes            
                
11:40 A.M.                
Chuck Moore            
Randy Breidel            
Tony Friedl            
                
11:48 A.M.                
Joseph Nguyen            
James Freng            
Randy Blank            
                
11:56 A.M.                
Robert Burns            
Paul Bruha            
Herb Becker            
                
CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT                
12:04 P.M.                
Jim Jenkins            
Steve Franke            
Jim Socha            
                
12:12 P.M.                
Rahn Pischke            
Terry Thienes            
Chris Weiss            
                
12:20 P.M.                
Larry Peterson            
Joe Loomis            
Tom Wilson            
                
12:28 P.M.                
Kelly DeMarino            
Rick Stewart            
Joe Hightower            
                
12:36 P.M.                
Bruce Lindseth            
Bruce Simones            
Bill Feehan            
                
12:44 P.M.                
Mike Bistodeau            
Jim DeBoer            
Pete Kohnert            
                
12:52 P.M.                
Michael Drugan            
Tom McClintock            
Paul Williamson           


La Crosse County Seniors Amateur Golf Championship moving to Cedar Creek

The annual Kwik Trip La Crosse County Seniors Amateur Golf Championship is changing courses in midstream... literally.
The tournament is scheduled Saturday, July 29, at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse. However, after Wednesday's deluge of rain that left boulders, logs, debris and mud on the 18-hole, historic course below Grandad Bluff, County Amateur officials have been forced to move the Seniors to The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska.
The annual La Crosse County Women's Amateur, as presented by Pepsi-Cola of La Crosse, is also at Cedar Creek the same day as scheduled and will begin as scheduled at 7:30 a.m. The Seniors tournament begins at 10:36 a.m., with the last group leaving the tee around 1 p.m., according to Dave Cornelius, Cedar Creek general manager and PGA professional.
Cedar Creek, as well as other area courses, including Drugan's Castle Mound Country Club in Holmen, also suffered flooding and damage, although Cornelius assured County Amateur officials his course would be playable by Saturday.
"The golf course will be ready, excluding a few bunkers that have been contaminated, and will be played as ground under repair for the tournaments," he said.
Keith Stoll, general manager and PGA professional at Forest Hills Golf Course, was disappointed by the amount of damage to his course, but approached County Amateur tournament director Bob Lamb early Friday morning to offer options.
"We want the Seniors tournament to be a championship kind of tournament, not just an outing," Stoll said. "It's not fair to the players. I just don't see our course being in tournament shape by next weekend."
Stoll assured Lamb it was in the best interest of the tournament to move it to one of the other two County Amateur courses - Cedar Creek or Castle Mound.
There were conflicts with Castle Mound, as it has two major events on Saturday, so Cornelius stepped in to accommodate the Seniors tournament.
"We discussed several options, including canceling the Seniors, postponing it to Aug. 12, or 19, at Forest Hills," Lamb said. "We felt it was our best option to keep it on the same day and move it to one of the other tournament courses. Thanks to a lot of cooperation from a lot of people, we made it work."
Stoll agreed.
"If the other places can get their courses in good condition and have the availability, I don't have a problem moving it," he said. "We have to think of the players first."
Lamb and Cornelius will do a walk around early next week to determine yardages for the Seniors and Super Seniors Flights.
"Senior players, especially the Super Seniors, can be assured the course will play shorter for them," Lamb said.
Tee times for the Women's and Seniors tournaments will be published by Thursday at boblamboutdoors.com and will also be available at Cedar Creek, Forest Hills and Castle Mound.
"It looks like we have another strong field this year, and we're  happy we're able to play the tournament, despite the curveball Mother Nature threw at us," said associate tournament director Bruce Kaiser.
The 36-hole, Men's tournament is scheduled Saturday, Aug. 5, at Cedar Creek and Sunday, Aug. 6, at Castle Mound. Entry deadline is Monday, July 24.
 

2017 should be another record year for County Amateur

Records are made to be broken and this year's 27th edition of the La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championships as presented by Pepsi-Cola Bottling of La Crosse could produce another record purse.
"It appears we are looking at a fifth straight record payout," said Bob Lamb, longtime tournament director. "We added two more supporting sponsors, our Kwik Trip Seniors Tournament continues to grow, and we expect a very large field for the 36-hole Men's County Am. Add everything together and it equals another record purse."The 36-hole, Men's County Amateur attracted 91 players for a record payout of $5,450 in 2016. Tournament officials believe it could reach near $6,000 this year with the addition of 12-15 more players.
The 18-hole Kwik Trip Seniors County Amateur drew 58 players last year and paid out a record $2,625. A new Super Seniors Flight for players 70 and older this year should produce additional players resulting in another record payout.
The Pepsi Women's County Amateur, which had 22 players, also paid out a record $980.
The Kwik Trip Seniors Amateur is Saturday, July 29, at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse. The Pepsi Women's County Am is the same day, but at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska.
The two-day Men's County Amateur is Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6. The first round is scheduled at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek while the final round is at Drugan's Castle Mound Country Club in Holmen.
Tournament information sheets and entry forms are available at http://www.boblamboutdoors.com/, the official website of the 2017 County Amateur, as well as on all three participating golf course websites:
* Drugan's Castle Mound Country Club - http://www.drugans.com/golf/
* Forest Hills Golf Course - http://www.foresthillsgolf.org/
* The Golf Club at Cedar Creek - http://www.cedarcreekonalaska.com/
More information is available from Lamb at 608-781-4408, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or associate directors Jackie and Bruce Kaiser at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Eric Haug stands tall among County Amateur golf legends

Eric Haug isn't sure if he can win his third La Crosse County Amateur title in 2017, but there's always a chance.
That's why the 1991 and 1996 champion continues to play in the best amateur tournament in Western Wisconsin.
Haug, 64, is just as determined to win as anyone in the Championship Flight field for the 27th annual La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championships as presented by Pepsi-Cola of La Crosse.
Haug, despite a couple of health issues, is a fighter, a battler, a fierce competitor. He always has been. He always will be. The 6-foot-6 former basketball star at Holmen High School and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is considered one of the top five amateur golfers to ever come out of the Coulee Region and continues to try and improve his game.
Haug is now enjoying retirement. He was just fitted for a new set of clubs and is getting a feel for them. Maybe he can't hit the ball as far as the "young guns" in the Greater La Crosse Area today, but you can bet the best club in your bag that he will battle until the last putt drops.
Haug won the 1991 County Am in dramatic fashion. He didn't even see the ball slip into the cup. But, he remembers the roar of the crowd as if it was yesterday. It was a 40-foot chip-in for birdie on the last hole. He also recalls the 1996 title when he defeated 18-year-old upstart Ryan Quinn with a 35-foot putt on the final hole.
"The first one for sure was the sweetest because you and the Tribune brought the tournament back after it was dropped in 1976," Haug said. "There were 700-800 people behind the 18th green when I made the shot. It was unreal. Defeating Ryan was nice, too, but that first won will always be special."
Haug realizes age and health are catching up and narrowing his chances for another coveted title. Does he still have enough gas in the tank to win?
"I have new clubs, but I also have diverticulitis and a bad back," said the affable Haug, a former UW-L golf coach. "My back feels better, but it's probably going to take a 146 total to win it.
"Realistically, can I do it? Probably not, but anything can happen," he added.
Haug, one of the top amateur players in Wisconsin during the 70's, 80's, 90's and early in 2000, admits there could be a time when he drops from Championship Flight to First Flight.
I probably will some day, but not this year. No, I won't be embarrassed by it when I have to," he said. "If the time comes when I can't break 80, I will. Right now I'm shooting between 77 and 80."
Haug, a longtime member at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek, plays regularly with his group of about 16 golfers during the week. He said he is finding the group is playing from the blue/white tees or white tees more often. Haug also admits he and many of his playing partners can no longer reach the 300-yard drive mark like the younger golfers can nowadays.
Haug, a longtime friend, whom I followed with stories in the Tribune throughout his high school, college basketball and amateur golf career, always asks how I'm doing. He was one of the first to call me when I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on May 8, 2015.
"The bottom line is your fighting for your life. I'm just fighting to have fun with my golf game," he said.
While Haug remains cautiously optimistic about adding another County Am title in 2017, he was quick to pick five pre-tournament favorites for this year's 36-hole event scheduled Aug. 5-6.
"Josh Dirks without a doubt. He's been close. Joe Weber won it last year and he's been around," Haug said, pausing to add three more names to the mix. "I'd like to say Willie (7-time champion Paul Williamson of Holmen, who just retired) is too old, but he keeps going, and is the only guy who can play better at our age. Conner Frawley is a good little mutt. The other guy is Jake Dunn. He has the talent to do it. I'd love to see it."

County Am enters 27th year with new twist


It has been a busy offseason for the La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championships Board.
Two proposals, including one involving a survey for Men's Championship Flight players, were among several agenda items at the Board meeting at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska in early January.
The topic of creating a 54-hole, and even a 72-hole Men's County Amateur, has been discussed in the past, but never pursued. The topic arose again at this year's meeting.
A 54-hole, Men's Championship Flight only event was proposed with the eventual addition of 54 holes for all Men's flights. However, before proceeding, it was decided to gauge interest by surveying the 34 Championship Flight players from the 2016 tournament. After reviewing the survey results, the Board decided there was not enough support for a 54-hole tournament, and unanimously approved to maintain a 36-hole tournament for all Men's flights.
The second proposal was the addition of a Super Seniors Flight to the annual Seniors County Amateur Championship for players age 50 and older. The Board approved a Super Seniors Low Net Division for players age 70 and older beginning this year. Super Seniors contestants would play from the forward tees. However, Super Seniors-eligible players must continue to play in the Seniors Championship Flight if their USGA index is 8.0 or less.
It was also decided to increase entry fees for the Seniors and Women's County Amateurs to $60, and to raise the Men's entry fees to $105. The $5 increase is the first since 2011.
Bob Lamb, tournament director, also named Bruce and Jackie Kaiser as associate directors. The Kaisers have been heavily involved with the County Amateur dating back to 1991 when the tournament was resurrected.
For more information about the tournament or sponsorships, contact Lamb at 608-781-4408, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Jackie and Bruce Kaiser at 608-783-0979 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

2017 LA CROSSE COUNTY AMATEUR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP DATES

SATURDAY, JULY 29: La Crosse County Seniors Amateur Golf Championship as presented by Kwik Trip at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse, WI.
SATURDAY, JULY 29: La Crosse County Women's Amateur Golf Championship at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska, WI.
SATURDAY, AUG. 5: La Crosse County Men's Amateur Golf Championship as presented by Pepsi-Cola of La Crosse at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska, WI.
SUNDAY, AUG. 6: La Crosse County Men's Amateur Golf Championship as presented by Pepsi-Cola of La Crosse at Drugan's Castle Mound Country Club in Holmen, WI.