Last Man Standing for the Open Final
Three Geneva National PGA pros, one amateur staffer, and three amateur members qualified for the 99th Wisconsin State Open. But after the first two rounds, only one GN man was left standing: 20-year-old member Jonathan Duggan, Jr.
A member of the club golf team at UW-Madison, Duggan also played in the 2018 State Open, but didn’t make it to the final.
“Last year, I played pretty well for the first 27 holes, but I made a few risky decisions in the last nine in an attempt to make the cut and paid the price,” he recalls. “It was a good feeling to not only make the cut this year, but also to be in contention for a while.”
Duggan started strong, tying for ninth after the first round on Palmer with a score of 72. The next day, he scored 71 on Trevino followed by scores of 75 and 78 consecutively on Trevino the last day for a total of 296, 8 over par.
“I played well all summer and had a lot of confidence heading into the State Open, but my short game gave me some trouble in the final, and I racked up quite a few three-putts,” notes Duggan. “I have to be better around the green with my scoring clubs if I want to keep up with the mini tour guys like Woltman and Stolpe.”
Duggan chose not to ride, but to walk the 72 holes with a caddie, his one-year younger brother, Connor. “Personally, I like to walk for tournaments because it allows me to get into the flow of the round and gives me time to think in between shots,” says Duggan. “However, the 36-hole finale was physically exhausting for me, which probably cost me a few shots in the last round.” As a result, Duggan notes that more intense physical training will be on the agenda as he preps for 2020.
“Competitive tournament golf is my favorite thing to be a part of, and I want to compete for as long as I can,” says Duggan. “I hope to play in next year’s State Open, but unfortunately, I missed an exemption for next year by one shot, so I will have to qualify next summer.”
As a Geneva National member and former Badger High golfer, Duggan trained on Geneva National’s courses and practice facilities.“I am very thankful for the opportunity to practice and play at such a top-notch facility on a regular basis,” notes Duggan, who credits GN’s challenging courses for righting a two-year slump.
“My last two years of high school, I could barely keep the ball in play off the tee,” he recalls. “Playing Geneva National’s courses – with so much trouble off the tee -- provided great exposure therapy for my mental game.”
Duggan also attributes his refined game to the company he keeps. “Self-motivation is a tough thing to find all the time,” says Duggan, “and it is the best feeling to have somebody next to you to hold you accountable, pushing you to keep trying to improve. That's the unique environment that my brother Connor and I have between us, and I'm very thankful that it has constantly been a part of my life.”
The brothers, both Evans Scholars, have been honing their game together since they were preschoolers. “My Dad would bring Connor and I out to the driving range when were quite young,” says Duggan. “Eventually, when I was around 8 or 9 years old, my Dad didn’t have to ask any more if we wanted to go hit balls. My brother and I told him we wanted to go golf. We could spend all day on the range and practice greens at Geneva National.”
And they still do. Two days after the State Open when we were trying to track down Jonathan for an interview, he was back on Trevino with his brother, playing a quick 18 between caddying.
“It was an awesome experience playing the Open at my home course,” says Duggan. “On courses I knew better than most, it was nice to see where my game stacks up.”
About Geneva National Resort & Club
Geneva National Resort & Club is located along the wooded slopes and shores of Lake Como in the Newport of the Midwest - Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. A semi-private facility, Geneva National features a legendary trifecta of signature golf courses designed by Palmer, Player and Trevino paired with on-course boutique lodging, a vibrant membership and award-winning dining at one singular and stellar location. Explore the possibilities at www.genevanationalresort.com.