Janesville teacher Sam Van Galder enjoys USA mid-amateur experience


WAUWATOSA – Amateur golfers across the state have a Sam Van Galder at home, somewhere, as the art teacher at Parker High School in Janesville has created art for the men’s and women’s amateur tournaments in the state. State of Wisconsin that are distributed to players.

And after Van Galder qualified for the United States Golf Association’s Mid-Amateur Championship, the sport’s governing body in the country asked him to do something for the 41st edition of the championship. The tournament takes place Saturday through Thursday at Erin Hills in the town of Erin and Blue Mound Golf and Country Club in Wauwatosa.

The USGA shared a time-lapse video of its creation, which was shared with its 394,000 followers on Instagram and 377,000 followers on Twitter.

“They called me and said it was last minute but would you like to organize something fun together,” Van Galder said on Saturday after completing his first round at Blue Mound. “I said sure, so I went and they blew it up for me, which was pretty cool. So it turned out pretty cool.

The 26-year-old has qualified for the state amateur 10 times and has nine Janesville Town titles, but the Mid-Amateur is his first national championship. He had a little gallery after his game and said he left the house with good luck messages from his players on the high school team.

“Oh, that’s great,” he said of the experience competing in the tournament. “There are ropes. There’s (Titleist) Pro V1x for shooting bullets. There is a marker in your party. It’s really cool. It was awesome. Whatever I shoot (Sunday) is what it is and I have fun.

Unfortunately for Van Galder, he fell out of favor for a place in the 64-person match play field after posting a 9-of-79 first round. The day was marred by an eight on the 215-yard, par-3 third hole. (his 12th).

“My score is zero but it was mostly on one hole – I played pretty well,” he said. “Otherwise I would have been 74, 4-over without the eights on a par-3, which is brutal. But I couldn’t get the ball to stay on the green.

He bounced back with back-to-back birdies on numbers 4 and 5. Van Galder will travel to Erin Hills to finish the game in championship stroke play.

“I had fun there,” he said. “I hit some good shots and had some good holes, but I just didn’t know what to do on some of those shots on this hole and that’s what it is.”

Poor weather forecast on Sunday could alter USGA Mid-Am schedule

Heavy rain is forecast for the Milwaukee area on Sunday and could threaten play at Erin Hills and Blue Mound Golf and Country Club. If 18 holes cannot be completed, the stroke play portion of the tournament will end on Monday. The 64-person match play ground can also start on Monday, if possible.

Saturday Local Gathering

West Bend native Preston Dembowiak moved into the top 20 after a 2-under 68 at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club. Dembowiak played collegiately at Liberty University in Virginia and was a 2009 All-Big South conference selection and helped the Flames win the 2011 Big South conference title by earning medalist honors in the tournament. of the conference.

He is enjoying a strong summer with a tie for third among North Carolina amateurs and a tie for seventh among Carolina amateurs. He was a medalist in mid-amateur qualifying at Patriot Golf Club in South Carolina on Aug. 18 with a 6-under 66.

He also participated in the 2011 US Amateur, held at Erin Hills and Blue Mound Golf and Country Club.

Milwaukee’s Jack Schultz put himself in solid position to make the game 64 playing field by shooting an even game 70 on Saturday at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club. He plays on a high ankle sprain in his right foot, but he had three birdies against three bogeys.

Schultz also hit the tournament’s first tee shot, starting No. 1 at 6:50.

“It’s my 10th USGA and it’s like every time in the past that I got so nervous because it’s super important,” he said with a smile. “I remember the junior I played in in 2005 was kind of the same – it was a country club, out of bounds on the left and I smoked it on the left. I improved that year at the level mental and I didn’t get nervous and so I didn’t feel anything.

Mequon’s Nathan Colson shot a 4 for 75 at Erin Hills. The Marquette University alum started with a 5 of 40 on the front nine, but notched three straight birdies to start his back nine. He bugged numbers 13 and 14, however, before finishing with four straight pars.

Mark Scheibach, a Fond du Lac native and University of Wisconsin alumnus, shot 7 of 77 at Blue Mound.

Hartland’s Ryan Zikeli shot a 7 of 78 in Erin Hills.

South African Brandon Cloete, a Marquette University alumnus who lives in Madison, shot 3 for 74 at Erin Hills.

River Falls native Sammy Schmitz shot a 5-for-75 at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club and birdied the 331-yard par-4 sixth hole.

Back to the leaders of the first round

Defending mid-amateur champion Stewart Hagestand started strong at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club and flirted with the championship scoring record before finishing with a 6-under 64.

The championship record is 63 (the USGA counts the score as the record, not its relation to par). Jim Wilson set the mark in the first round of the 2000 Mid-Amateur at The Homestead (Lower Course) in Hot Springs, Virginia.

Dalton Melnyk tied Hagestand for top scorer honors by also going 6 under with a 65 in Erin Hills.

Hagestand had no blemish on his scorecard with six birdies in 16 holes, before bogeying the par-3 17th. He finished with a birdie on the par-5 18th to end his day.

“I thought about it actually on the 18th after hitting the green in two, like shot, I think the record is 7 (under),” he said. “But no, I don’t know, I did a good job staying present and just didn’t hit a good iron on the 17. Hit a good chip and hit a good putt and missed it .”

James Leow shot a 5 under 65 and Hugh Foley shot a 4 under 66 at Blue Mound.

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