Entering the week, Chippewa Valley golfers were confident. On Monday, they proved it was for good reason.
Three local golfers are in close quarters at the top of the Wisconsin Amateur Championship leaderboard after the first round. Spring Valley’s Tyler Leach is in sole possession of first place at 3-under, holding a two-stroke lead over four players tied for second place. Eau Claire’s Matt Tolan and Chippewa Falls’ Thomas Longbella are both in that second-place tie.
Milwaukee Country Club was tough to figure out for many, with only five golfers finishing the first round under par.
Leach, a member of the Marquette men’s golf team, surged into first with three straight birdies on holes No. 3 through 5. He teed off on the 10th and made the turn to the front nine at 1-under. He finished with a 67.
Tolan, the 2017 champion, was an early starter and was the clubhouse leader until late in the afternoon. The former North Husky and current South Dakota Coyote closed strong with two birdies on his final six holes.
Longbella, a senior with the University of Minnesota golf team, had a solid debut with only two bogeys. He was a runner-up at the tournament in 2016 and 2018. He and Tolan both carded 69s heading into Tuesday.
UW-Eau Claire golfer Isaac Prefontaine shot a 74 to enter the second round at 4-over. Fellow Blugolds Sean Murphy and Mason Gardner are both at 10-over.
Eau Claire’s Cole Stark shot a 76 and is 6-over par. Rice Lake’s Ben Resnick is 7-over, while Strum’s Jon Higley sits at 9-over.
Eleva’s Chad Brennan is 15-over entering the second round.
The 156-player field will be trimmed to the top 70 plus ties after the second round.