By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – For the second-straight Tuesday, Green Bay junior Tom Boockmeier (Green Bay, Wis.) entered the final 18 holes of a golf tournament trailing the individual leader by multiple shots. For the second-straight Tuesday, Boockmeier fired an under par round and claimed a tournament title, carding a 2-under par 70 at Stone Ridge Golf Club to win the John Piper Intercollegiate by one stroke.
Boockmeier, who rallied to win the Green Bay Invitational last Tuesday by one stroke, entered Tuesday tied for seventh and four strokes behind the leader at 1-under. The junior birdied two of his first three holes, but made consecutive bogeys at four and five to fall back to even par for the day. After three pars, Boockmeier made a long putt at nine to make the turn in 1-under par and carded eight pars and one birdie on the back nine for the one-shot win.
“I have always been a better player coming from behind,” said Boockmeier. “Playing with the lead is a lot tougher, and when you are behind you can just kind of put the pedal down and go try to make some birdies.”
With a 54-hole total of 213 (75-68-70), Boockmeier bested host Bowling Green’s Chris Melvin by one shot and first-round leader Logan Lagodich of tourney champion Marshall and Youngstown State’s Dennis Holub by two shots. Marshall posted a team score of 866 to finish three strokes in front of Valparaiso (869) and four in front of Green Bay (870). Bowling Green (872), Youngstown State (883) and Northern Kentucky (903) rounded out the field.
Boockmeier opened the tournament with a 3-over par 75 before playing the final 36 holes in 6-under par. In six rounds this season, Boockmeier has finished under par four times and is a combined 5-under par in his two tourney wins in 2013. Boockmeier also won the Butler Invitational in the spring of his sophomore season and now has three individual titles in his Phoenix career.
“It is pretty cool to get back-to-back wins, and I didn’t really expect it,” said Boockmeier. “I came into the first tournament and just wanted to play well, and this one was the same mindset. After a 75 to start, I felt like I was probably out of it, but all of a sudden I made a few birdies in that second round and got it going and was able to catch someone.”
Sophomore Gene Kiela (Plymouth, Wis.), who was tied for 22nd after 36 holes, carded a 4-under par 68 on Tuesday to vault into a tie for seventh place (217=73-76-68). The round was career-best effort by Kiela during his time at Green Bay.
Senior Joseph Collard (Marinette, Wis.) also tied for seventh place (217=71-71-75). Freshman Joe Du Chateau (Fond du Lac, Wis.) tied for 29th place (229=76-71-82) and senior Dan Ozga (Edgerton, Wis.) finished alone in 31st place (230=78-75-77).
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