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Midwest amateurs: Northern Michigan University men’s golfers qualify for Wisconsin, Minnesota state amateur tournaments

Northern Michigan University men's golfer Brady Badker is shown at a Wildcats' meet held last season. He qualified for the Wisconsin Amateur Championship on Thursday, June 27, 2024, at a qualifying tournament held in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — A pair of players on the Northern Michigan University men’s golf team recently qualified for state amateur golf tournaments through qualifying events.

Menominee sophomore Brady Badker of the Northern Michigan University men’s golf team won a tournament last week to qualify for the 123rd Wisconsin Amateur Championship to be held later this month in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Badker won in a field of 59 golfers by shooting a 3-under-par 69 in his qualifying round at the Reedsburg Country Club in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, on Thursday.

The Wisconsin State Golf Association took the top seven finishers plus two alternates from the field, paced by Badker. He led the field with six birdies, 15 pars, fewest bogeys with three, par-4 scoring at 1-under and par-5 scoring at 3-under.

Interestingly, NMU freshman Arthur Ylitalo of Buffalo, Minnesota, shot the same 3-under 69 score in his amateur qualifying round for the 121st Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Championship just over a week earlier.

Northern Michigan University men's golfer Arthur Ylitalo tees off during a Wildcats' meet held last season. He qualified for the Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Championship on June 17 at a qualifying tournament held in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. (Photo courtesy NMU)

On June 17, Ylitalo finished in a tie for second place at the Greystone Golf Club in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He is listed as playing out of the Wild Marsh Golf Club.

The Minnesota tourney took the top 11 scorers and three alternates in a field of 73. Ylitalo, the younger brother of fellow NMU men’s golfer Walter Ylitalo, had a bit of a wild round in his 69, shooting five birdies and three bogeys on his front nine to open at 2-under, then calming down a bit with two birdies and a single bogey on the back for nines of 34 and 35. In all, he had seven birdies and four bogeys, leaving him with seven pars, too.

Ylitalo missed first-place medalist honors by a single stroke to Karl Torola of the Baker National Golf Course, who shot a 4-under 68. The Wildcat golfer also tied Tucker T’Allaird of Northland CC with a 3-under 69.

To make the top 11 and qualify for the MGA Amateur Championship, golfers had to shoot 72, with alternates shooting 72 and 73.

Ylitalo advances to the Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Championship to be held July 15-17 at the Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Info on that event is available online at https://www.mngolf.org/Home?utm_medium=sidearm-email&utm_source=nmuwildcats.com&utm_campaign=Arthur+Ylitalo+Qualifies+for+121st+Minnesota+Golf+Association+Amateur+Championship&utm_content=6e0fa0d8-c43a-4dea-9734-168e30c1fcce.

For Badker at his qualifying tourney, the field averaged 77.58 strokes as he beat out Alec Sosnowski of Middleton, Wisconsin, by a single stroke. In fact, out of all the golfers listed, Badker was the only one not from Wisconsin, as he of course is from

the border city of Menominee, located across the Menominee River from Marinette, Wisconsin.

The top-seven cutoff was a 1-over 73, which was also the score shot by two alternates.

Despite winning, Badker got off to a slow start, shooting 2-over in his first five holes before firing birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 to get back to even par through his first nine holes.

He then opened the back nine with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11, bogeyed the par-3 12th, then sank two more birdies at Nos. 16 and 18 for 33 on the second nine, the best score on that set of holes in the field.

The Wisconsin Amateur Championship will be held July 15-18 at The Legend at Merrill Hills in Waukesha.

Details about that event are available online at https://wsga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/wsga24/event/wsga2442/index.htm?utm_medium=sidearm-email&utm_source=nmuwildcats.com&utm_campaign=Brady+Badker+Qualifies+for+123rd+Wisconsin+Amateur+Championships&utm_content=a5d84eab-41c4-4559-bc8d-948cc22b2fa4.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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