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Badger men's golf coach Michael Burcin contributed this blog from his duties as caddy for UW senior Jack Watson who is participating Aug. 11-17 in the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship in Atlanta

U.S. Amateur Scoring

ATLANTA, Ga. --  I am writing after three days of delayed baggage, delayed parents, lots of rain, and one hard golf course. Jack Watson's week started with a practice round on Saturday with rental clubs where we decided on wedges and a putter on the back nine. The regular flex shafts were not ideal for Jack or the 7,500-yards of Atlantic Athletic Club. 

Sunday meant another wet golf course and a reintroduction to his own clubs as they arrived late Saturday night. It only took this one bag 30 hours to get from the ticket desk to the destination...Flying is fun! 

Today, we began the US Amateur and Jack was one of 312 of the best amateurs on the planet. The AM is a interesting mix of young kids, successful college players, guys wrapping up their amateur careers and looking ahead to pro golf, and mid-ams that are trying to find lightning in a bottle and take down the younger guys who now dominate the majors of amateur golf. 

We played the Highlands Course at AAC, which hosted the 2011 PGA Championship. With almost every par 4 being 450-510 yards, it is one of the most demanding tests of tournament golf I have seen.  

I was walking this morning gaining a huge appreciation for what a tour player does to that type of setup. It was even more remarkable to see the course record scorecard of Steve Stricker on the walls of AAC. A 63 on the same route we walked this morning is a unbelievable round of golf!

Jack was certainly disappointed with his result today, but it was a great learning experience and I know he is motivated to come back strong tomorrow. We are set for 1:30 p.m. ET tomorrow off the alternate course, Riverside, which is very good, but not quite as demanding. Let's hope for a dry pattern of weather between now and tomorrow afternoon and a few shorter par 4s.  

Coach Burcin


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Badger men's golf coach Michael Burcin contributed this blog from his duties as caddy for UW senior Jack Watson who is participating Aug. 11-17 in the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship in Atlanta

I begin the US Am week blog from 35k feet on my way to Atlanta, while also thinking about former Badger Ryan Helminen who, with a solid round today, can make the cut at the PGA Championship at Valhalla. Also adding to the success of our alums is Craig Brischke who competed in the US Senior Open a few weeks ago. It is fitting that there are such exciting things going on these last few days of summer as we prepare for another campaign of Badger Men's Golf.  

The last two months were highlighted by strong summer play throughout the roster....and coaching staff! Sophomore Ben Skogen competed in the US Pub Links earlier this summer, Thomas O'Bryan finished these last few weeks with an under par stroke average for the summer. Assistant coach Robbie Ziegler finished second at the WI State Amateur,  and Jack Watson played well nationally as well!  

The Wisconsin State Open still awaits in two weeks and we look for good showings there as well. The aforementioned Jack Watson has one more small event left...hence, on to Atlanta!

Atlanta Athletic Club awaits Jack as the US Am week begins on Monday. The USGA does a terrific job of having prime facilities on the championship schedule and this coming week will be no different. Atlanta Athletic Club most recently hosted the 2011 PGA Championship in which young Americans Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner battled until Bradley took home his first major championship. AAC has been the host for 10 previous premier events of which there have been several PGA Championships, Ryder Cups, US Open, US Jrs., a US Women's Open, and a World Cup. Atlanta is a tradition rich golf town with the roots of Bobby Jones being there, so venues are a plenty in this part of the country.

A few years ago the NCAA made a rule adjustment allowing coaching staffs to caddy for each player once a calendar year in a national championship or major championship. This is where my small role in the week begins. I look forward to a week of heat and humidity and the opportunity to watch Jack cap off his successful summer. 

After filling yardage books with numbers, lines, and club choices on Saturday and Sunday, I am excited about a long week of watching, while "keeping up and shutting up" .....always a good suggestion for good caddies. It is an honor to be asked to carry a bag in the prestigious event and even more fulfilling to loop for one of our own Badgers. I think its a sign of where our program is going and the type of players we are getting here and are on their way to being successful Badgers.

The US Am is a terrific celebration of amateur golf.  ts a week filled with parents, coaches, equipment representatives, giants of our industry, and players reflecting on the recent summer of amateur golf while anxiously awaiting to see who can clinch the title and a trip to the Masters. I will do my best to offer some insight from inside the ropes of the most sought after amateur golf title in the world.  When you are enjoying the 80 degree days in Madison from the Union Terrace, think of Jack and I as we sweat through another golf shirt, and enjoy a wonderful walk around Atlanta Athletic Club.

Coach Burcin 


 


 

What is the link between the best shooters in UW women's basketball history?

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The answer is not technique or physical attributes. They came from different eras and have a variety of heights and body types.

No, the answer is....they are 'nearly' all from small towns.

Of the top-five 3-point shooters in UW's career category, four of the five are from towns of less than 5,000 people. 

At No. 1 is fabled shooter, Jolene Anderson who was from tiny Port Wing, Wis. (pop. 250); No. 2 is Katie Voigt of metropolitan Woodruff, Wis. (pop. now 4,918); at No. 4 is Stephanie Rich, who grew up on a farm outside Crawfordsville, Iowa (pop. 327 at its peak in 1999); and fifth is Dolly Rademaker of Thorp, Wis. (pop. 1,753).

The exception coming in at No. 3 is Kyle Black (Rechlicz), who was a gym rat from Indianapolis and now is head women's basketball coach at Milwaukee.

This common link made these players excel for a very good reason. In a small town, you invent your own fun and to these athletes, the most fun was shooting hoops.

I know this because I am from a small town, and that was a passion of mine, too, until the ankles gave out and I turned to golf instead. In a small town, there is a hoop in nearly every driveway (or on the barn for Stephanie), and a game of H.O.R.S.E. is easily generated.

I bring this to your attention because Rademaker is going to be honored next week for that shooting prowess among other talents. She will be inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Oct. 13 in Madison. The four-year letterwinner from 1990-94 played in 111 games as a Badger, averaging 7.4 points per game. She is the first UW player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since girls' were included in 2010.

Dolly was an all-state guard and Miss Wisconsin Basketball award winner that drew the attention of a lot of college recruiters. But she wanted to play for her home state school and found a place in the varsity lineup almost from the beginning.

As a senior in high school, she averaged 28.7 points per game. With the tougher defenses in college, that figure dropped considerably, but not the accuracy. Dolly still owns the school record for best 3-point shooting percentage in a season hitting 43.8 percent of her shots (63-144) in 1993-94. She also has the fourth-best 3-point percentage in a season at 40.5 in 1990-91.

More than the stats, Dolly also made her mark in the classroom where she earned Academic All-Big Ten honors three years. She graduated with a degree in physical therapy and works as a therapist in Menomonie, Wis., where I am sure she is teaching that deadly stop-and-pop shot to her three children - Brock, Shelby and Brody.

Congratulations to Dolly Rademaker Thornton on this wonderful honor. It shows that being from a small town doesn't prevent one from dreaming big and accomplishing those goals and even making it to a Hall of Fame!

NOTE: Dolly Rademaker is just the ninth girl player and the first UW-Madison player in the WBCA Hall of Fame. Click here for full listing.

 Most UW Career 3-Point Goals

 1. Jolene Anderson        248         2004-08

 2. Katie Voigt                234         1993-98

 3. Kyle Black                191         1998-02

 4. Stephanie Rich          182         2002-05

  5. Dolly Rademaker       173         1990-94

 

Author Tamara Flarup was the long-time Director of Women's Sports Information at Wisconsin from 1977-2001, and today continues to work in the athletics program as the Director of Website Services and home blogger for women's basketball. She was the sports information contact during Dolly's reign.


What started out as a nervous and stressful last day of singles ended in victory for the 2011 Palmer Cup team. Being down one point going into the last day, we needed to win five-of-eight singles matches to claim the cup.


With stellar play from our guys, we did just that.  It came down to the last two matches and it was exciting to say the least.  The crowds were great and it could not of been a better experience. 

It was such an honor and a pleasure to spend a week with these eight players. As the week went on, the intensity level grew and their games took another step as well. With NCAAs a week prior and the U.S. Open looming the week ahead, it would of been easy for them to have tired, wondering minds.

 

I made eight new friends this week and certainly probably learned more from them from they did from me. It is amazing how much you can pick up in regards to routines, practice habits, and theories when you spend time with top players.

 

I want to thank Russell Henley (Georgia), Patrick Cantlay (UCLA) , Bank Vongvanij (Florida), Alex Carpenter (Abiline Christian), Daniel Miernicki (Oregon), Chris Williams (Washington), Andrew Yun (Stanford), Blaine Barber (Auburn), and Head Coach Tim Poe for a spectacular and memorable week! 

 

With the close of the Palmer Cup, my official time as a Badger has begun. I am overwhelmed with excitement regarding the opportunity in Madison and the goals that I have for this program. There is a lot of work to be done and I could not be more excited to get started. I want to thank all the Badger fans for their loyalty and support and I look forward to meeting many of you sometime soon!

 

May All Your Putts Fall,

Coach Burcin


NOTE: New University of Wisconsin head men's golf coach Michael Burcin is serving as an assistant coach with the Palmer Cup team. An assistant at South Carolina the past seven years, Burcin was named head coach at Wisconsin on May 31.
 
Burcin was named the 2010 Golf Coaches Association of America's Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year. In April he was selected to serve as an assistant at the 2011 Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition as teams of collegiate golfers from the United States and Europe square off in a three-day match play event.

"Heat wave strikes the northeast" was the heading in today's paper as Team USA began play in the 2011 Palmer Cup. At 7:30 a.m., with Arnold Palmer on the first tee, we began our quest to retain the cup.

100_3835TEAM USAThumb.jpgA wonderful week of Palmer Cup activities got off to a great start yesterday with the first practice round for Team USA. The competition is being contested at the Stanwich Club in Stamford, Conn., which is a traditional layout with quick, bent grass greens. 

With another practice round today our guys are feeling more and more comfortable on the golf course. 

This team representing the USA this week is an honor to be apart of for us as coaches. On our team of eight we have three 2011 U.S. Open Qualifiers, the D-I and D-II players of the year, the No. 1 rated college player in the country, and a Nationwide Tour event winner as an amateur, just a few weeks ago. More importantly, these kids are very grateful of the opportunity and so appreciative for the royal treatment we have been given this week.

Before the intensity rises tomorrow morning I was fortunate to experience one of the greatest afternoons anyone in golf could ask for. After a private meeting with Mr. Arnold Palmer in our team locker room, Mr. Palmer joined myself, team USA head coach Tim Poe, and the European coaching staff for lunch.

The opportunity to enjoy 90 minutes with the "King", one-on-one, is right up there in regards to sports highlights. He was more gracious than could be asked for, and made any nerves we had regarding such a meeting disappear quickly. Just as exciting was Mr. Palmer's enthusiasm for the new opportunity at the University of Wisconsin. It is hard to describe such an incredible afternoon and what an unbelievable start to a terrific week ahead.
 
I look forward to periodically updating Badger supporters on the Palmer Cup and hopefully a victorious USA Team!

May all your putts fall
- Coach Burcin

NOTE: New University of Wisconsin head men's golf coach Michael Burcin is serving as an assistant coach with the Palmer Cup team. An assistant at South Carolina the past seven years, Burcin was named head coach at Wisconsin on May 31.
 
Burcin was named the 2010 Golf Coaches Association of America's Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year. In April he was selected to serve as an assistant at the 2011 Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition as teams of collegiate golfers from the United States and Europe square off in a three-day match play event.
ON WISCONSIN