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Opening round an adventure
Nick Krattiger, a 2005 Monroe High School alum, smacks a ball out of the rough with an iron during the first round of the Wisconsin State Golf Associations State Amateur Championship, Monday at Merrill Hills Country Club in Waukesha. Krattiger finished the round with a 6-over-par 77, 10 strokes behind the leader.

WSGA State Amateur Championship, second round

- Brent Quade, a 2007 Monroe alum, and Brodhead's Michael Oellerich tee off at 7:46 a.m.

- Nick Krattiger, a 2005 Monroe alum, tees off at 8:42 a.m.

WAUKESHA - For Monroe alum Nick Krattiger, the first round of the 108th annual Wisconsin State Amateur Championships was a round to forget.

Krattiger shot a six-over-par 77 in the first round at a sun splashed Merrill Hills Country Club, Monday. Both Krattiger and fellow Monroe alum Brent Quade, who shot a 3-over-74, remain in contention to make the cut. The top 70 out of 180 golfers, including ties, make the cut after today's second round.

Quade, 2006 WIAA Division 2 state champion who is golfing at Edgewood College, is in a jumbled nine-way tie for 23rd place after the first round. Quade bogeyed the first hole and then rebounded. He shot a par on No. 2 and birdied No. 3. He also shot par on No. 7 and 8 and bogeyed No. 1, 4, 9 and 18.

"It's always fun when you are in the hunt for the cut," Quade said. "I feel like each day on the course, I will get a little better."

Pat Boyle of the Meadowbrook Country Club shot a four-under-par 67 and leads the tournament by one stroke over Brent Wong of the Whitnall Golf Club and Mark Bemowski of the Kettle Moraine Golf Club, who each fired a three-under-par 68.

Krattiger, who is the lead golf assistant at Koshkonong Mounds Country Club in Fort Atkinson, shot par on the first three holes, but struggled after, falling into a 19-way tie for 55th place.

Krattiger also said he didn't think the rough would be as thick as it was.

He had to scramble to par the second. Krattiger's tee shot on No. 2 ricocheted off a tree. His second fairway shot landed next to a tree. Krattiger rebounded by sinking a 12-foot putt after reading a sharp angle on the green to perfection.

"My head just wasn't there today," he said. "I just struggled to keep focus on every shot. For some reason when I get to the tournament I fail to commit to every shot. My swing is there. If you don't have confidence, you can't execute."

He settled for bogeys on No. 4, 12, 15 and 17 and a double-bogey on No. 7.

Quade said the most challenging hole was the 449-yard par-four seventh-hole.

With trees overhanging and a tight landing area, Quade said a golfer has to make a decision whether to use a driver to get on the fairway or lay up.

Quade, a 2007 Monroe graduate, shot a three-over-par 75 at the Legend of Bergamont in Oregon on July 1 and was one of six players to survive a 10-player playoff to qualify for the state amateur golf tournament for the second straight year.

"I think a lot of people were surprised by the difficulty of the course and how fast it was," said Quade, who played a couple practice rounds at Merrill Hills before the tournament. "The greens are a little tricky if you are on the wrong side of the hole."

Brodhead's Michael Oellerich shot a 12-over-par 83. He got off to a hot start with a par on No. 1 and a birdie on No. 2. Oellerich then ran into trouble on the tricky seventh-hole, where he double-bogeyed.

Krattiger was an automatic qualifier in the state amateur tournament after finishing seventh in the Wisconsin State Golf Association Open last year and ninth in the overall point standings.

"I know I can play with anybody," Krattiger said. "There's no doubt in my mind. I know I can't play any worse than I did today."