Making the Turn

Ben Ehlers holds his Semifinals trophy at the Junior Masters Championship.

Ehlers Reaches Semifinals in Junior Masters Championship

Against an extremely competitive field of some of the best junior golfers in the state, 16-year-old Sevastopol High School junior Ben Ehlers worked his way to the “final four” in the Mike Bencriscutto Junior Masters Golf Tournament held July 27 through July 31.

This five-day tournament held in Racine, Wisconsin is a grueling test of ability and endurance, priding itself on rivaling the finest junior tournament in the state, let alone the country. Established in 1974, this highly touted tournament filled up two months prior to the event with 200 young Wisconsin golfers divided into two brackets – one for 18 and under, and one for 16 and under.

In Ehlers’s bracket, two days of qualifying stroke play whittled the field of 90 down to 32 for the remaining match play portion of the tournament. With impressive scores of 78 and 74, Ehlers not only qualified, yet found himself seeded eighth going into Wednesday’s two rounds of match play. This is a notably improved performance from Ehlers’s first appearance last year, in which he was unable to qualify for match play.

Two victories on Wednesday against the 24th and 23rd seed, (5 and 4, and 3 and 2, respectively) found Ehlers matched up against the highly respected #1 seed on Thursday morning. “He is one of the best golfers my age in the state,” stated Ehlers. In what Ehlers considered an upset, he unexpectedly beat the #1 seed on the 2nd hole of sudden death “I would say 9 out of 10 times he would normally beat me, but I just played really well, and I guess he didn’t play his best,” said Ehlers.

With Thursday morning’s upset victory, Ehlers was one of four golfers left standing, vying against the #4 seed for a chance to play in the 36-hole final match. “Playing four days in a row, with two matches on Wednesday and two on Thursday really took its toll. I was tired,” stated Ehlers. Although he fell short, losing to the #4 seed 4 and 3, it was an impressive showing, and a great confidence builder going into his upcoming high school golf season as one of Sevastopol’s top golfers.

Reichel Named Maxwelton Club Champ

Chris “Jikes” Reichel captured the Maxwelton Braes Club Championship held on Saturday, August 8, with a lights-out score of 71. Runner-up honors went to Bobby Boettcher of Sturgeon Bay with a solid score of 75. Close behind Boettcher was John Miron with a score of 76.