WISCONSIN GOLFER l MARCH/APRIL 2012
according to Bill Linneman, WSGA
director of rules and competitions,
only a handful of high-schoolers have
participated in the Match Play in
recent years. He estimated the
number at five or six annually.
“Historically, anyone who was
non-exempt and a high school player
couldn’t play in the Match Play,”
Linneman said. “Now, we’re having a
qualifier that’s just for them. And
we’ll see how it works.
The Wisconsin State Golf Association
has expanded its tournament schedule going into the 2012 golf season,
providing more opportunities for
amateur players to qualify for state
championship golf events.
week in May.
The biggest change is the addition
of a fifth qualifier – intended for high
school players only – for the WSGA
Match Play Championship. The
change is intended to make a deft
end-run around a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association rule.
The only way high school players
could get into the Match Play field
in recent years was if they were
exempt, and the main path open to
them for gaining an exemption was
the WSGA Player of the Year points
list. Any player compiling 50 or more
points the previous season is exempt
for the Match Play.
The association prohibits high
school golfers from participating in
non-WIAA competitions during the
high school golf season, which ends
with the annual WIAA Boys High
School Golf Championships in early
June. WSGA Match Play qualifying
has traditionally been held the third
For example, 18-year-old Jordan
Niebrugge of Ozaukee CC in
Mequon won the Wisconsin State
Open last summer, between his
junior and senior years in high
school. The 500 points he earned at
the State Open launched him up to
No. 7 on the 2011 WSGA list and
earned him a Match Play exemption
in 2012. Several other junior players
compiled 50 or more points, but,
“Honestly, this is our first crack at
this, but it’s the only way around the
(WIAA) rule that gives high school
players that want to try to qualify for
the State Match Play a chance, and it
also kind of allows us to do it in a
This season, the WIAA state meet
at University Ridge in Verona – where
the WSGA Foundation annually pays
all green fees – will be held June 4-5.
The WSGA qualifier for high school
players will be held the following
day, June 6, at Washington County
GC in Hartford. The WSGA Match
Play Championship will be held less
than two weeks later, June 18-21 at
Hidden Glen GC in Cedarburg.
COURTESY OF WILD ROCK GC
To participate in the high school
qualifier, players must be 18 years or
younger and must have been on a
WIAA-member school’s golf team in
the spring of 2012.
The WSGA has expanded its Net
WPGA to hit
all four Kohler
COURTESY OF KOHLER CO.
The WSGA Senior Tour has also
been expanded from 12 tournaments
at eight sites last year to 18 events at
12 sites in 2012. Six of those 2012
sites will host two tournaments on the
same day, with separate morning and
afternoon competitions. The tournaments are qualifying events for the
WSGA Senior Tour Championship, Sept.
27 at Wild Rock GC in Wisconsin Dells.
The Wisconsin PGA Section will also
try something new this season with
one of its marquee events for state
PGA professionals. The WPGA Match
Play Championship, scheduled for
May 14-17, will for the first time
rotate among all four Kohler Co.
WIAA PACE OF PLAY
In other WIAA tournament news,
the association has developed strict
new pace-of-play guidelines for all
high school players beginning this
season. The new policy essentially
puts in place a 40-second shot-clock
for golfers. For more information,
The rotation begins Monday of
tournament week on the Meadow
Valleys course at Blackwolf Run, which
will host qualifying and first round
matches. The River course at Blackwolf Run will host second and third
round matches on Tuesday before
the tournament moves to Whistling
Straits. The Irish course will host quarterfinal and semifinal matches on
Wednesday. The championship match
will be held on Thursday morning on
the Straits course.