Udelhofen wins Ray Fischer golf tournament

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Eric Schmoldt
June 28, 2015

JANESVILLE—Josh Udelhofen used up nearly all of his birdies by the time he played the back nine of Janesville’s Riverside Golf Course for the second time Sunday.

The Platteville golfer had piled up enough of them by then anyway.

Udelhofen didn’t record a single bogey during the 36-hole finale of the Ray Fischer State Medal Play Championship. He fired a 7-under 65 during the morning’s third round and closed with a 68 in the afternoon to beat Pewaukee’s Kyle Driscoll by two shots.

The 20-under 268 total is the third-best 72-hole winning score in the history of the Fischer tournament, which began in 1967 and moved to Riverside in 1982. Udelhofen’s total was two off the record 266 shot by Garrett Jones in 2007.

“I haven’t really won a big stroke-play event, so this really meant a lot,” said Udelhofen, who won the Wisconsin Golf Association’s State Match Play Tournament last year and was runner-up this year. “To win it shooting as many under as I did was really nice.

“It meant a lot for how I’ve been practicing and all the effort I’ve been putting in.”

Udelhofen and Driscoll essentially made the final round a two-man race thanks to their outstanding efforts in the morning round.

Udelhofen trailed Aaron Gavin by three strokes to start the day but used five birdies and an eagle to shoot 65 and surge to a one-shot lead.

Driscoll entered the day fourth but shot two off the course record, using a 64 in the third round to stay on Udelhofen’s heels.

“Not making a bogey at all today, I couldn’t even believe that,” Udelhofen said. “It was kind of smooth sailing. If Kyle would have beat me, he would have done it while I was playing well, so he would have deserved it. He played really well.”

Udelhofen used three front-nine birdies, including two in a row on Nos. 5 and 6, to increase his lead to two strokes at the turn.

Driscoll birdied 10 to pull back within a stroke but bogeyed the short par-3 12th. He briefly clawed back within one with a birdie on the par-5 14th, but Udelhofen carded his only back-nine birdie on the same hole to regain the cushion.

“The putter was really hot this morning,” said Driscoll, a 23-year-old all-Missouri Valley Conference golfer at the University of Northern Iowa. “The second round, I played well and shot 69. But the first four holes I hit great putts and none of them went in. It added up, and Josh was just too much to overcome today.”

Edgerton’s Daniel Ozga finished third at 13 under. Gavin and Peter Webb tied for fourth at 12 under.

If not for a pair of birdie putts at 15 and 18 that lipped out, Driscoll would have put more pressure on Udelhofen.

But the 24-year-old lefty seemed to feel none. And though he had to wait out a brief lightning delay in the fairway on No. 18, he eventually found the green and two-putted his way to one last par and a Fischer title.

“I went down to Florida for seven months and came back here wanting to play in the State Am at Erin Hills,” Udelhofen said. “I stayed amateur just for that. My mindset was all on that tournament.

“The fact I won this is awesome and unbelievable.”

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