Talk to Schenk precedes win at Lawrenceville

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ill. — Vincennes golfer Jack Cunningham said he always tried to enter the biggest tournaments, testing himself against the best golfers he could go against.

PGA golfer Adam Schenk of Vincennes said he ought to try another route.

Before he turned pro, Schenk took a summer to play every local tournament around. He became the first player to win the Lawrence County Open, the Knox County Open and the Vincennes Open in the same year, the local Triple Crown. He also added the Washington Open title. A few years later, Schenk became a fixture on golf's biggest tour.

Cunningham, who has the same aspirations, was all ears to Schenk's suggestion.

"Adam told me I should just play as many tournaments as possible, to get used to winning and feeling that pressure to win. He said it helped him," Cunningham said. "I think he's in a pretty good place, so it's probably a good idea to listen to him."

Cunningham, who had only played at the Lawrence County Country Club a couple of times, entered the Lawrence County Open for the first time. The recent Ball State University graduate rode an opening-round 68 for a cushion and was a two-shot winner Sunday with a 5-under-par 139.

Defending champion Zach Breault of Bridgeport and recent Red Hill graduate Camren Ray tied for second at 3-under. Former champion Blake Claycomb of Vincennes was the only other golfer to break par at 1-under.

"I have hit a lot of balls recently, but haven't played a lot," Cunningham said. "I did feel comfortable on the course. There were bail-out spots I could go to if I didn't like a shot. The greens were challenging though, a lot of subtle breaks that were hard to read. The guys who play here know them, but I had no idea. I missed probably 8-12 putts inside 10 feet and looked pretty stupid.

"But overall, I don't have a good answer of why I played well."

Cunningham roared to the lead Saturday when he birdied four in a five-hole stretch to get to 5-under after 15 holes before a 16th-hole bogey pushed him back to 4-under. He had a two-shot lead over Ray and three shots over five players, including Breault. He said the lead gave him comfort going into Sunday.

"It definitely made playing a little easier. I tried to make as many birdies as possible Saturday. I saw a few putts drop and that helped get me off to a good start," Cunningham said.

He was 6-under for the tournament through 10 holes on Sunday but had another opponent waiting, the weather.

"We get to 11 tee, and we have a 20-25 mph wind in our face out of nowhere. Those next few holes got difficult," Cunningham said. "I started to play safe. I decided if I was going to lose, I was going to make somebody beat me. It wasn't going to be me making a bunch of mistakes."

The Vincennes golfer noted the par-5 14th hole was pivotal. Breault, just two back, had a short putt for birdie. Cunningham had a four-footer downhill to save par.

"I felt a little uneasy about that putt. It could have been a two-shot swing, and we would have been tied. But Zach missed his putt, and I made mine," he said. "Those are just the swings in golf. That helped."

Cunningham parred the final six holes under the blustery conditions.

Claycomb and Kevin Johnson had Sunday's best rounds at 2-under 70. That helped Johnson get in a three-way tie for fifth at 2-over.

Cunningham said he plans to turn professional in August with the thought of duplicating Schenk's success.

"I'm either going to make it or lose my mind, but I'm going to give it a shot for at least a couple of years," Cunningham said. "If it doesn't work, I'll have to figure out how to join the real world."

Lawrenceville players claimed two of the five flights, with all the victories decided by at least three shots. That started in B Flight with Lawrenceville's Tommy Hulfachor taking a three-shot victory at 156. Jeff Small was runner-up at 159 and Roger MeNeely third at 162. City-mate Blake Potts captured C Flight with a 162, four strokes ahead of J.R. Claycomb and Rick Thompson.

David Kiely of Evansville, Ind., collected the A Flight title with an even-par 144. That was good for a four shot-victory over Rick Leonard and Blayze Miller.

Olney's Nick Poland was the four-shot winner in D Flight with a 160. Steve Taber was second at 164 and Terry Martin took third at 171.

Larry Fossi of Terre Haute, Ind., grabbed the Senior Flight at 152. Frank Landry shot 156 and Larry Tackett was third at 160.

Matt Davis of Terre Haute was the winner of Friday's Shootout.

Championship Flight

Jack Cunningham | 68-71 — 139

Zach Breault |71-71 — 142

Camren Ray | 70-72 — 142

Blake Claycomb | 73-70 — 143

Nick Beckort | 71-75 — 146

Kevin Johnson | 76-70 — 146

Chase Witsman | 71-75 — 146

Tanner Gray | 74-73 — 147

Kyle Wall | 72-75 — 147

Tom Doyle | 71-79 — 150

Donnie Rich | 75-75 — 150

Ryan Roscoe | 73-78 — 151

Matt Davis | 71-81 — 152

Blayd Horrall | 75-77 — 152

Jacob Zwilling | 74-79 — 153

Rob Dean | 81-85 — 166

Joey Lancaster | 75-WD

Mike Ball | 76-WD

Christian Seaton | 84-WD

Chris Cassell | WD

Keith Kelso | WD

Blake Wolfe |WD

A Flight

David Kiely | 73-71 — 144

Rick Leonard | 74-74 — 148

Blayze Miller |75-73 — 148

Doug Hardacre | 77-73 — 150

Joe Curts | 75-76 — 151

George Zwilling | 73-81 — 154

Brian Heintz | 76-83 — 159

Tim Mundy | 78-81 — 159

Stacy Vitaniemi |76-83 — 159

Thomas Weger |81-79 — 160

Scott Laakman | 83-78 — 161

Richard Sollars |82-80 — 162

Gary Stuck |77-85 — 162

Brett Bean | 76-88 — 164

Mark Bird | 77-88 — 165

Frank Fryman | 82-83 — 165

Jeremy Bloebaum |81-85 — 166

Mark Fenton | 82-84 — 166

Rick Bobbitt | 84-92 — 176

Ryan Dowty | WD

Ryan Lieberman | 82-WD

Tim Senger | WD

B Flight

Tommy Hulfachor | 79-77 — 156

Jeff Small | 79-80 — 159

Roger Meneely | 84-78 — 162

Mike Tabor | 82-83 — 165

Frank Wall | 86-82 — 168

Garrett Hulfachor | 88-84 — 172

Jeff Hunt |85-88 — 173

Rick Tenison | 81-93 — 174

John Grief |90-87 — 177

Rick Voyles | 88-91 — 179

Marvin Keith | 81-WD

Phil Meeks | 85-WD

Steve Potts | 91-WD

Juan Fuller | WD

Mark Gray | WD

Denny Holloway | WD

C Flight

Blake Potts | 79-83 — 162

J.R. Claycomb | 77-89 — 166

Rick Thompson | 81-85 — 166

Zack Marshall | 87-80 — 167

Andy Shick | 82-86 — 168

Rocky Dreiman | 85-86 — 171

Jeff Perry | 89-82 — 171

Terry Hudson | 87-86 — 173

Aaron Mundy | 88-87 — 175

Tom Tewell | 90-85 — 175

John Brush |91-90 — 181

Thad Hunsaker | 97-95 — 192

Chris Pearson | 79-WD

Dustin Smith | WD

D Flight

Nick Poland |84-76 — 160

Steve Taber | 80-84 — 164

Terry Martin | 83-88 — 171

Troy Manlove | 89-84 — 173

Tom Wuerth | 88-87 — 175

Gary Edwards | 89-87 — 176

Matt Fahr |89-90 — 179

Danny Kappler |87-95 — 182

Troy McCrary | 89-96 — 185

Jay Gentry |91-95 — 186

Jerrod Smith | 94-93 — 187

Justin McBee |99-93 — 192

Aaron Tipsword |92-103 — 195

Darrel Couch | 103-100 — 203

Rob Taber | 103-100 — 203

Senior Flight

Larry Fossi |78-74 — 152

Frank Landry |77-79 — 156

Larry Tackett | 83-77 — 160

Tom Meeks | 82-79 — 161

Dennis Stark |81-82 — 163

David Swain |81-82 — 163

George Letts | 77-87 — 164

Rich Griesmer | 85-81 — 166

Jim Perry | 87-81 — 168

Jim Tredway | 85-88 — 173

Michael Eichoff | 90-86 — 176

Bobby Watkins | 84-92 — 176

Lynn Gray | 97-90 — 187

Jack Hudson |84-WD

Jim Nolan | 85-WD

Kenny Bosc |87-WD

Tom Nicoson | 87-WD

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