County Am champ hopes to join elite foursome

What do Rich Jungen, Don Iverson, Harvey "Buster" Ott and Ryan Quinn have in common?
They are the only four players in La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championship history to have won three straight titles since the revered tournament began in 1932.
Jungen and Iverson actually won four consecutive County Am championships - Jungen from 1939-1942, and Iverson from 1964-1967. Ott strung together three in a row from 1968-1970, while Quinn won three straight from 2001-2003.  
"It would be an honor to join that company," said Onalaska's Ben Skogen (pictured), hoping to become a member of that foursome after Sunday's final round of the La Crosse County Men's Amateur Golf Championship as presented by Pepsi-Cola of La Crosse.
"Those four players are great golfers in our community!" he added.
Last year, Skogen, a former WIAA state champion at Onalaska High School and a four-year letterwinner on the University of Wisconsin golf team before graduating in 2018, put together rounds of 70-70-140 for a two-shot victory over rival Tyler Church, who stumbled in with 68-74-142.It was a classic nail-biter both days, with Church getting the upper hand during the opening round at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska. His 3-under par 68 gave him a two-shot lead over Skogen entering Sunday's round, but as anyone who has followed the County Amateur knows, no lead is safe.
While they battled back and forth all day, Skogen, who works at Festival Foods in Onalaska, made some crucial shots on the closing holes at Drugan’s Castle Mound Country Club in Holmen and sealed it with a par on the 18th hole when Church bogeyed.
Skogen is currently trying to win his first title in the 119th annual Wisconsin State Golf Association State Amateur Championship at the Milwaukee Country Club. Despite a heavy work schedule this summer, he said his game has been solid.
"I don’t play as much as I used to, but I still get out quite a bit," he said after Tuesday's State Amateur round. "I feel like I don’t put as much pressure on myself and just compete and have more fun than ever, which has helped my game dramatically."
Skogen is unsure what type of two-day score it will take this weekend to win his third County Am title, but he knows what his mindset is going into the 36-hole event.
"I'm just going to compete and play one shot at a time. Just focus on myself and have as much fun as possible," he said.
This year’s tournament has taken on a new format due to Covid-19 concerns, with the Championship and First Flights playing Saturday at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek and Sunday at Castle Mound. Meanwhile, the Second, Third and Fourth Flights open play Saturday at Castle Mound before finishing up Sunday at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek.
Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. both days. Skogen, Church and James DeBoer, Jr., are in the final group at 9:54 a.m. at The Golf Club on Saturday. All three are looking forward to it.
"Everyone in the area looks forward to this tournament every year," Skogen said.
Meanwhile, 2019 First Flight champion Jeff Pigorsch returns along with champions Tony Friedl (Second Flight), Greg Espenes (Third Flight), and Keith Seidel (Fourth Flight).

Saturday's First-Round Pairings    
At Drugan's Castle Mound Country Club    
In Holmen, WI    
Men's Fourth Flight     
7:30 a.m.    
Ronald Puestow
Marty J. Gora

7:39 a.m.    
Jason Sader
Jeffrey J. Miller

7:48 a.m.    
Steve Crogan
Marv Davis
Tom Johnson

7:57 a.m.    
Ebe Bosse
Mike Huegel
Patrick Rice

8:06 a.m.    
Kevin Drewiske
Keith Seidel
Kyle Koske

8:15 a.m.    
Tim Ratajski
Monte Jacobson
Eric Flack

Men's Third Flight    
8:24 a.m.    
John Bahr
Dan Leis

8:33 a.m.    
Bob Roers
Daniel M. Breeden

8:42 a.m.    
Jeff Schroeder
Damian Bork
Jim Dolesy

8:51 a.m.    
Robert Schoen
Andrew Lindseth
Tom Morris

9:00 a.m.    
Greg Ehrsam
James Freng
Greg Espenes

9:09 a.m.    
Christopher Colgan
Tim Peterson
Will Hundt
Men's Second Flight    
9:18 a.m.    
Scott Hackworth
John Munson

9:27 a.m.    
Bob Guggenbuehl
Robert Burns

9:36 a.m.    
Steve Wineski
Derek Canady
Jeff Osgood

9:45 a.m.    
Leon McNutt
Emery Healy
Kyle Larkin

9:54 a.m.    
Paul Bruha
Carsen Dellemann
Jeff Meyer

10:03 a.m.    
Jason Tepp
Jordan Rudolph
Paul Franke

Saturday's First-Round Pairings    
At The Golf Club at Cedar Creek    
In Onalaska, WI    

Men's First Flight    
7:30 a.m.    
Rahn Pischke
Brandon Amann

7:39 a.m.    
Randy Olson
Scott Strozinsky

7:48 a.m.    
Bjorn Berg
Rick Stewart
Jon Strangstalien

7:57 a.m.    
Matt Euler
Jeff Pigorsch
Tony Friedl

8:06 a.m.    
Greg Shuda
Bob Newberry
Larry Peterson

8:15 a.m.    
Aaron Kupinski
Bruce Lindseth
Mitch Gault

8:24 a.m.
Jamie Eklov
Trevor Schultz
Marcus Williamson

8:33 a.m.
Almann Brague
Nolan Stees
Ben Korger

8:42 a.m.
Michael Drugan
Brennan Dirks
Jon Wilson

8:51 a.m.
Derek Michalski
Andy Tomashek
Samuel Bowman

9:00 a.m.
Mike Bistodeau
Mark Miller
Cody Ryan Dirks

9:09 a.m.
Dayne Malesytcki
Dan Lenz
John Percy

9:18 a.m.
Carson Brock
Paul Williamson
Tom McClintock

9:27 a.m.
Jordan Graf
Eric Olson
Tony Roberts

9:36 a.m.
Quinn Schultz
Aaron Bishop
Nick Tomlinson

9:45 a.m.
Drew Schroeder
Jake Dunn
Connor Frawley

9:54 a.m.
James DeBoer, Jr.
Tyler Church
Ben Skogen