KOSHKONONG — Dennis Tessman was a little off on Saturday, but he came out with extra fire on Sunday morning.
“I knew I needed to get off to a good start to move on those guys,” Tessman said.
Tessman opened the day four strokes behind leader John Wilmet, and opened with two birdies and four pars to start the second day and held on to walk back into the clubhouse at Koshkonong Mounds on Sunday afternoon as the Senior Division champion at the Fort Atkinson City Golf Medalist Tournament sponsored by the Daily Jefferson County Union.
Tessman shot an 80 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday for a total of 153 strokes on a par-71 course.
“I would say my drives and my irons were strong today,” Tessman said. “I was getting to the greens in good shape. I don’t think I three-putted all day long. I didn’t really have super long putts like yesterday, so that was good.”
By design or not, Tessman’s performance was perfect for the setup at the course on Sunday. The holes were cut in the center of the green for all of the holes except hole No. 4. The safe, straight approach Tessman was playing worked out well.
After Tessman opened the day with four pars and two birdies, he said he had an equally important bogey on the seventh hole. After an imperfect tee shot, Tessman put an approach shot on the short side of the bunker guarding the green. The plan was to chip over the bunker, onto the green and putt for par.
Instead, his chip put him on the fringe of the green where he needed another chip shot. He chipped his ball onto the green and made a challenging putt to save bogey.
“It was just as important to make that putt as the birdie putts,” Tessman said. “It’s a psychological thing. If I miss that, it’s a double bogey and I’m disappointed for shooting a double bogey; but I made the putt. So I was happy to hold that bogey because you don’t want to have a seven or an eight.”
Avoiding the big numbers was the wisdom Tessman was following as he attempted to out-play the champions in his foursome. Tessman was golfing with Dale Sauer, who was the medalist last year, and John Wilmet, who was a back-to-back medalist in 2013-14. Sauer finished with an 80-85 and Wilmet had a 76-86 to take second place.
Making the biggest climb of the second day was Ken Applegate. Applegate shot an 87 on the first day and a 77 on the second day.
“It was tough keeping my nerves together and keeping my head in the game because I couldn’t hit the big number,” Tessman said. “As long as I kept it in the fairway and close to the green, I thought I’d be fine.”
The seeding for the Senior Division match-play round is based off of performance in the medalist tournament. The first round of Match Play begins June 24-July 10th.
Spots are still open for the other eight-player flights of match play at Koshkonong Mounds. The deadline to enter is July 9 with the first round beginning on July 10. The finals for all flights will be on Sunday, August 11.