Thomas Longbella (Wisconsin Golf Association)
Minnesota senior Thomas Longbella made it look easy at the 119th Wisconsin Amateur.
Twice a bridesmaid (2016, 2018), Longbella strung together four consecutive rounds under par to cruise to an easy 10 shot win at Milwaukee Country Club. As the only competitor in the field to finish the event under par, Longbella took advantage of tough course conditions to further lengthen his lead.
"Milwaukee is pretty easy off the tee," Longbella told AmateurGolf.com. "The greens were where everyone was making their big numbers. They were big, slopey, kind of raised up and they were super hard and fast."
Taking a six-shot lead into Thursday’s final round, Longbella did not let the massive lead have an effect on his game.
With rounds of 69, 67, and 69, Longbella followed up with another 1-under 69 to close things out. Unceremoniously consistent, Longbella saw his lead grow larger and larger as the field simply could not muster any red numbers to give him a run for his money.
"Nothing changes," said Longbella. "Yeah I do have a six-shot lead, but I'm still going out there playing the same golf course I played the first three days. If I do what I did the first three days, I'll be completely fine. I did have doubts before the round thinking of all the ways it could go wrong, but once I got on the course it was like 'oh okay I have the same game I had yesterday.'"
Runners-up Tyler Leach (Marquette) and Nate Thomson (Toledo) finished at 4-over to claim a share of second place. Matt Tolan (South Dakota) secured a solo fourth-place finish at 6-over and Zach Place (Northern Illinois) rounded out the top-five at nine-over.
With his senior season at Minnesota cut short due to COVID-19, Longbella will return to the Golden Gophers team for one last hurrah in 2020-21.
ABOUT THE Wisconsin State Amateur
This event has been conducted annually since 1901.
The format, originally match play, was changed to a
72-hole stroke-play event in 1971. The State
Amateur, contested over four consecutive days, is
annually conducted on one of Wisconsin’s finest
courses and continues to be recognized as the
premier amateur tournament held in Wisconsin. A
three-man team competition, the Yule Cup, where
players representing the same club compete for the
Cup, is also held. To be eligible, players must have a
WSGA Handicap Index of 9.4 or less.
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