July 19, 2013
ROCKFORD, Ill. -- UW junior Jack Watson finished tied for second in the 83rd annual Illinois State Amateur as he finished with a 4-under par 73-69-66-76-284. The Lincolnshire, Ill., native led with 9 holes remaining in the event, but a couple of water balls cost him the lead.
Playing partner Tee-K Kelly of Wheaton, Ill., kept the ball in play down the stretch to win with a 7-under 73-69-70-69-281.
Watson, who sat out last year per NCAA rules after transferring from Kent State to Wisconsin, savored the tournament experience. The long-running tournament and its 137-player field endured temperatures in the 90s and heat indexes topping 100 on Thursday afternoon finals for the 42 players who made the cut.
"The clouds really helped in the afternoon," Watson noted. "The course was in great condition all week and the field for the State Am in Illinois, I feel like it's one of the best fields in the country with the college players and the older guys, there are lots of good players here."
With a scorecard peppered with birdies including six in round 3 when Watson shot a personal best 66, Watson seems poised to help the Badgers come fall.
Last summer Watson competed in several prestigious tournaments including qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Amateur when he shot a 73-69--142 at the Bull Valley Golf Club in Woodstock, Ill. He also qualified for the 2012 Western Open where he was 54th with a 6-over par 70-73-78-72--293 at Exmoore Country Club in Highland Park, Ill. The Western and the U.S. Amateur are two of the biggest amateur events in golf.
Also in 2012, he made the cut at the Southwestern Amateur where he finished 54th with a 72-75-78-77--302. He also played in the Eastern Amateur where he tied for 47th with 70-71-68-73--282 at the Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club in Portsmouth, Va. He won the Illinois Match Play Championship and competed in the Chicago District Golf Association Amateur.
The Badgers begin the fall season September 21-22 at Wolf Run Intercollegiate in Zionsville, Ind. They host their own Badger Invitational Sept. 29-30 at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison.