HOLMEN — Jake Dunn didn’t think the missed first putt on No. 18 hurt him, but he wasn’t sure.
After making the second putt, Dunn congratulated Jordan Graf and Tom McClintock on their rounds and returned to his cart just off the green.
He took off his wide-brimmed summer hat of choice and started looking at his card.
“Did you win?” Dunn was asked as he moved slowly in his cart.
“I was (3) over,” he responded. “I don’t know.”
Moments later, Dunn learned that he was a champion.
After golfing in the La Crosse County Amateur Men’s Golf Championship as presented by Pepsi-Cola of La Crosse since 2005, he won the championship flight for the first time.
Dunn wasn’t exactly thrilled with his 3-over-par 73, but he was more than happy with the trade-off of becoming a champion at Drugan’s Castle Mound on Sunday.
“I’ve played 15,000 rounds here or whatever it is, so I should be good on this course,” said Dunn, a Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School graduate. “I expect to play well here.
“I played very nice on the front nine and did not on the back.”
Dunn finished with a two-round score of 2-over 143 after shooting a 1-under 70 at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek on Saturday.
Graf and McClintock both finished at 144. Tyler Church was fourth (145) and Ben Skogen fifth (148) after finishing as the top two a year ago. Skogen was denied a third straight championship.
McClintock wedged himself into the title picture with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18. Dunn held on the the win when both he and Graf bogeyed at 18. All three birdied 17, leaving Dunn’s lead over Graf at one shot and over McClintock at three.
Graf led by two shots after Saturday’s first round and said he felt pretty good going into Sunday and avoided the nerves he did feel by playing well early.
He birdied No. 1 and followed that up with two pars and another birdie.
“I went to bed early, and that was fine, but I woke up at 4 (a.m.) and couldn’t go back to sleep,” Graf. “No one watched me tee off on 1, so I was feeling pretty good, but then we got to the back (nine).”
Graf bogeyed two of the first three holes and had a double bogey on 16 before finishing birdie-bogey and carding a 40 on the back nine. McClintock shot a 36 on the back and had three bogeys before scoring the birdies on 17 and 18.
Dunn followed his 1-under 34 on the front — he birdied the par-3 ninth hole — with a 39 on the back. His only birdie the rest of the way came at 17, and he characterized the last nine holes as “brutal” as he walked off the course.
“Playing in this tournament so many times and on this course so many times, there are some holes that bring back bad memories, and I did some things I don’t do anymore,” Dunn said. “I hit one out of bounds on 11, and that’s something I hadn’t done all year and probably won’t do again.
“I just hit some bad shots and really had no feel for anything (on the back nine).”
FIRST FLIGHT: Mitch Gault prevailed by one shot in another flight that concluded at Drugan’s.
Gault was in third place after one round and passed both Bob Newberry and Bruce Lindseth by shooting a 77 for a 36-hole score of 153.
Rahn Pischke (78-76) was second at 154, while Newberry (75-81) and Aaron Kupinski (80-76) tied for third. Lindseth (74-83), who was the first-round leader, was fifth at 157.
SECOND FLIGHT: Jordan Rudolph won by a shot as the second flight moved to Cedar Creek. He matched his first round of 81 to score a 162 and beat second-place Kyle Larkin (77-86) and Bob Guggenbuehl (82-81) by one stroke.
Larkin was the leader after one round, and he and Guggenbuehl were followed by fourth-place Paul Bruha (81-83) at 164 and fifth-place Paul Franke (80-86) at 166.
THIRD FLIGHT: James Freng shot the lowest score at Drugan’s on Saturday and tied for the low score at Cedar Creek on Sunday among those golfing in the third flight.
Freng (82-84) finished with a 166, which was three shots better than runner-up John Bahr (85-84—169). Andrew Lindseth (85-85—170) was third, Christopher Colgan (88-87—175) fourth and Greg Ehrsam (88-88—176) fifth.
FOURTH FLIGHT: Eric Flack came back from being five shots down after one round to win by two shots at Cedar Creek.
Flack opened with an 89 at Drugan’s on Saturday and closed with an 81 at Cedar Creek for a 170 that was two strokes better than Monte Jacobson (84-88—172).
Keith Seidel (90-88—178) was third, Ebe Bosse (87-95—182) fourth and Kevin Drewiske (90-93—183) fifth.
Todd Sommerfeldt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @SommerfeldtLAX
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