Matt Behm holds off Sam Van Galder for city golf crown
JANESVILLE—Matt Behm hopes he finishes with 10 championships in the Men's City Golf Tournament.
After Sunday, he's halfway there.
Behm birdied the par-4 14th to take a three-shot lead and held on down the stretch to win by one stroke at the Janesville Country Club. Behm followed rounds of 71 at Riverside and 72 at Glen Erin with a 78 to shoot 6-over 221.
Four-time winner and two-time defending champ Sam Van Galder shot 76 Sunday to finish second by one stroke, and Janesville Parker senior Johnathan Milner was third at 8 over.
“It's what I expect. It's hard to say you expect to win, but with my knowledge of the courses and the tournaments I play in, I don't feel extra pressure,” Behm said. “But it was tough. I'm really happy to get my fifth, and I'd love to get to double digits before I pass away.”
Behm began the day with a three-shot lead, but thanks in part to a double bogey at the par-5 fourth, he led by one at the turn. That lead was gone entirely after a double bogey on the par-3 10th.
But Behm recovered with a birdie 4 on the next hole, and he stuffed his pitch on 14 to tap-in-birdie range to take command.
“That was a huge shot,” he said. “But I've missed putts there in years past, so it was nice to get one there. That gave me room for those lip-outs at the end.”
Behm had bogeys at 15 and 17 but left no doubt with a tap-in par on 18.
Van Galder suffered from a stretch of six consecutive bogeys, but he birdied 14 and chipped to three feet for birdie on 18.
“It was a roller coaster,” Van Galder said. “I made a nice little run there at the end. On 16, I was probably one roll away from another birdie going in.
“Matt played well and hit it close a lot. I told him on 18 that it was a lot more fun for it to come down to the wire and lose by one than it was to win by nine last year.”
Due to residency rules, Behm did not play in last year's event. He works at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms in Sheboygan Falls but lives in Janesville.
“My brother and another buddy live close (to The Bull), so I go up there three days and come back here for three days,” Behm said. “It was exciting just to be back in the field. I missed it last year. I didn't want any controversy with people thinking I didn't live here. … I moved back in November of last year.”
In the First Flight, King Clark shot 9-over 81 to win the title by two shots over Nolan Moran and Kevin Riley.
In the Second Flight, Paul Burkholder's 89 was enough to win by 10 strokes.
In the Third Flight, Dan Hermanson shot 89 to top Steve Thompson by three.
And in Net Flight, Matt Runde fired a net 82 to win by 10.