VIDEO: 2015 Herdegen champion Jeff Schaller

Jeff Schaller’s going out a winner.

Schaller defended his Ulster County Amateur (Herdegen) title in dramatic fashion, making birdies on the final two holes. After the victory, Schaller said he’s turning professional. He played well in Westchester Open and New York State Open qualifiers earlier this month.

Schaller, who will turn 24 next month, makes his pro debut on July 6 at the Westchester Open at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase.

While Schaller turns pro, Doug Kleeschulte, his best friend and runner-up at the Herdegen, plays in the Metropolitan Golf Association Ike championship at Friar’s Head in Riverhead Monday.

Kleeschulte made Schaller work for Herdegen championship. He started the final round three strokes behind Schaller and caught him at the seventh hole with a birdie. Kleeschulte took the lead with birdie on the eighth hole. He holed a shot out of the far-side rough for an eagle on No. 12 to take a two-stroke lead. Schaller, who had some earlier birdie tries fall short, needed two putts down the stretch at No. 17 and 18 for the win.

Check out Schaller’s birdie on No. 18 and an interview with the champion below.

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Herdegen first-round results: Schaller 68, takes lead

Defending champion Jeff Schaller fired a 2-under-par 68 Friday at Woodstock Golf Club to earn the first-round lead at the Ulster County Men’s Amateur (Herdegen).

Schaller, 23, a 2009 Kingston graduate, took a one-stroke advantage over Doug Kleeschulte, a 2008 Kingston graduate, and Juan Weissenburg, into Saturday’s second round at Lazy Swan Golf & Country Club. Kleeschulte and Weissenburg were the only other golfers to break par Friday, shooting 1-under 69s.

Ulster Country Amateur (Herdegen)
(First round at Woodstock GC, par 70)
Jeff Schaller 32-36-68; Doug Kleeschulte, Jr. 34-35-69; Juan Weissenberg 36-33-69; Devon Condo 36-36-72; John Garcia 37-36-73; Devlin Walsh 40-34-74; Ethan DeForest 40-35-75; Kevin Mackey 39-36-75; Jake Hommel 38-37-75; Denis Appleyard 41-35-76; Shawn Burgher 36-40-76; Alex Harcher 41-36-77; M. Scott Via 40-37-77; John Hornbeck 39-38-77; Peter Weir 39-38-77; John Durcan 38-39-77; Brian Williams 40-38-78; Rob Every 40-38-78; Phil Harris 38-40-78; Nick Hoffstatter 38-40-78

Richard Siegel 41-38-79; Scott Kleeschulte 41-38-79; Brian Pesavento 40-39-79; Ryan LaConture 40-39-79; Tom Decker 39-40-79; Matt Teetsell 41-39-80; Paul Hubbard 38-42-80; Anthony Batista 37-43-80; Robert Marks 35-45-80; Nicholas Armstrong 43-38-81; Jim Vermilyea 42-39-81; Joey Puleo 41-40-81; Doug Kleeschulte Sr. 41-40-81; Chris Bianco 41-40-81; Dayson Dooling 43-39-82;
Tom Mayone Jr. 42-40-82; Tony Rinaldi 41-41-82; Chris Carr 40-42-82; Dean Palen 40-42-82; Andre Manginelli 43-40-83; Justin Theilig 41-42-83; Travis Hornbeck 39-44-83; Harris Cohn 42-42-84; Tom Sanford 43-43-86; Brandon Kraft 43-44-87; Tom Mayone Sr. 42-47-89;
Nicholas Baker 41-49-90.

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Herdegen tee times

Kingston’s Jeff Schaller looks to repeat as champion when the Ulster County Men’s Amateur (Herdegen) begins Friday at Woodstock Golf Club.

Schaller, who is seeking his third title in the last four years, will welcome his good friend back to the field.

Doug Kleeschulte, a three-time champion, missed the Herdegen last year due to work obligations.

The 54-hole tournament continues Saturday at Lazy Swan Golf Club in Kingston and concludes Sunday at Wiltwyck Golf Club in Kingston.

Here are the tee times for the first two rounds:

Woodstock Golf Club (Friday)
8 a.m.: Justin Theilig; Anthony Batista; John Hornbeck
8:10 a.m.: Phil Harris; Joey Puleo; Jake Hommel
8:20 a.m.: Richard Siegel; Tom Sanford; John Garcia
8:30 a.m.: Jim Vermilyea; Doug Kleeschulte, Sr.; Nicholas Baker
8:40 a.m: Doug Kleesculte, Jr.; Brian Williams; Devlin Walsh
8:50 a.m.: Brandon Kraft; John Durcan; Nick Hoffstatter
9 a.m.: Scott Kleeschulte; Alex Harcher; Travis Hornbeck
9:10 a.m.: Jeff Schaller; Juan Weissenberg; Dayson Dooling
Noon: Rob Every; Harris Cohn
12:10 p.m.: Ethan DeForest; Chris Carr; Shawn Burgher
12:20 p.m.: Brian Pesavento; Devon Condo; Peter Weir
12:30 p.m.: Denis Appleyard; Paul Hubbard; Matt Teetsell
12:40 p.m.: Scott Via; Kevin Mackey; Tom Mayone, Sr.
12:50 p.m.: Ryan LaConture; Tony Rinaldi; Tom Decker
1 p.m.: Tom Mayone, Jr.; Robert Marks; Chris Bianco
1:10 p.m.: Dean Palen; Andre Manginelli; Nick Armstrong

Lazy Swan Golf Club (Saturday)
8 a.m.:
Dean Palen; Andre Manginelli
8:10 a.m.: Phil Harris; Joey Puleo; Jake Hommel
8:20 a.m.: Richard Siegel; Nick Armstrong; John Garcia
8:30 a.m.: Jim Vermilyea; Doug Kleeschulte, Sr.; Nicholas Baker
8:40 a.m.: Tom Mayone, Jr.; Robert Marks; Chris Bianco
8:50 a.m.: Ryan LaConture; Tony Rinaldi; Tom Decker
9 a.m.: Scott Via; Kevin Mackey; Tom Mayone, Sr.
9:10 a.m.: Denis Appleyard; Paul Hubbard; Matt Teetsell
9:20 a.m.: Brian Pesavento; Devon Condo; Peter Weir
9:30 a.m.: Ethan DeForest; Chris Carr; Shawn Burgher
9:40 a.m.: Rob Every; Harris Cohn; Tom Sanford
9:50 a.m.: Jeff Schaller; Juan Weissenburg; Dayson Dooling
10 a.m.: Scott Kleeschulte; Alex Harcher; Travis Hornbeck
10:10 a.m.: Brandon Kraft; John Durcan; Nick Hoffstatter
10:20 a.m.: Doug Kleeschulte, Jr.; Brian Williams; Devlin Walsh
10:30 a.m.: Justin Theilig; Anthony Batista; John Hornbeck

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Results: DeForest tops Westchester qualifiers

Cottekill’s Andrew DeForest eagled the second hole and added four birdies to fire a 1-under-par 69 and share co-medalist honors at the Westchester Golf Association Open qualifier Tuesday at The Powelton Club in Newburgh.

DeForest, a two-time Section 9 champion (2009-10), will be joined by Kingston graduate Jeff Schaller, Monroe-Woodbury graduate Colby Lewis and John Schmoll of Osiris Country Club at the Westchester Open on July 6-7 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase.

Schaller, Lewis and Schmoll each carded 5-over 75s to tie for 23rd place.

Schmoll made four birdies. Schaller and Lewis had two each.

Schaller is scheduled to play in two qualifiers the next two days – Wednesday at Ballston Spa Country Club for the New York State Open and Thursday at Crestview Country Club in Agawam, Mass. in the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship pre-qualifier.

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Kienz birdie spree at MGA Public Links qualifier

Jim Kienz’s putter was on fire at Philip J. Rotella Golf Course Tuesday.

Kienz, of Newburgh, made six straight birdies on holes nine through 14 at the Metropolitan Golf Association Public Links qualifier in Thiells. He finished the round at 2-under-par 69 to earn medalist honors and advance to the Public Links championship on July 9 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

Monroe’s Colby Lewis and West Point’s Matt Biehle each shot 2-over 73 to tie for second place and qualify. Lewis made 16 pars on the day.

On Monday, Kingston graduate Doug Kleeschulte shot a 5-over 77 at Spring Lake (N.J.) Golf Club to qualify for the Ike Championship at Friar’s Head on June 29-30 in Riverhead.

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Wagner, DeForest seek U.S. Open berths in Purchase

PGA Tour golfer Johnson Wagner, a 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate and Cottekill’s Andrew DeForest, a two-time Section 9 champion, are among the 71 golfers in the field at U.S. Open section qualifying on June 8 at Old Oaks Country Club and Century Country Club in Purchase.

Wagner, 35, is currently 85th on the PGA Tour money list and 109th in the FedEx Cup standings. He is seeking his U.S. Open appearance. Wagner last played in the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, missing the cut.

Bobby Heins, Wagner’s swing coach, is the golf pro at Old Oaks. Wagner occasionally stops by for lessons so he should be familiar with the Purchase course.

DeForest advanced to section qualifying by shooting a 71 at the Country Club of Troy on May 18.

Lee Janzen, a two-time U.S. Open champion (1993, 1998) is also in the field.

 

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Kleeschulte, Schaller advance in USGA 4-ball

Kingston graduates and former golf teammates Doug Kleeschulte and Jeff Schaller defeated California’s Jordan Nasser and Taylor Wood 4 and 3 in the round of 32 at the inaugural United States Golf Association Four-Ball championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Kleeschulte and Schaller made birdie on seven of the 15 contested holes. They next play Scott Harvey and Todd Mitchell in the round of 16 Tuesday morning.

Harvey is the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. Mitchell, a former shortstop at Illinois State, was drafted by the Yankees in the 14th round in 1999.

Kleeschulte and Schaller combined to shoot 2-under-par in 36-hole qualifying on Saturday and Sunday.

Kleeschulte has experience at Olympic Club. He played in his second of three U.S. Amateurs there in 2007. Schaller has won the Ulster County Amateur championship in two of the last three years (2012, 2014).

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Wagner finishes second at Houston Open

Johnson Wagner, a 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate, came up just short of winning his fourth PGA Tour event and earning a spot in The Masters Thursday.

Wagner’s 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the Shell Houston Open put him in a playoff with Jordan Spieth and J.B. Holmes at 16-under-par.

Wagner, bidding for his first tour win since Jan. 15, 2012, was defeated by Holmes on the second hole of the playoff. If Wagner, 35, would have won, he would have qualified for The Masters.

The second-place finish netted Wagner $580,800 and moved him from 180th to 81st in the FedEx Cup standings. Wagner, who won the 2008 Houston Open, was playing in the tournament under a sponsor’s exemption. He jumped for 172nd to 59th ($696,396) on the tour’s money list, which should help Wagner return to full status next season.

Wagner’s birdie putt was the shot of the day on the PGA Tour’s website.

Wagner hit another clutch shot on the first playoff hole, hitting out of the bunker to within two feet for a par putt.

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Wagner in contention at Houston Open

Johnson Wagner, a 1998 James I. O’Neill graduate, is one shot off the lead heading into the final round of the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open on Easter Sunday.

Wagner held the lead and was co-leader throughout his third round of 6-under 66 Saturday. He rolled in seven birdies. Wagner played the first 52 holes of the tournament at par or better. He made his first bogey on the par-4, 17th holes.

Jordan Spieth leads the tournament with at 14-under. Wagner is tied with Austin Cook and Scott Piercy at 13-under. Wagner posted his first of three PGA Tour victories at the 2008 Shell Houston Open.

Wagner’s last PGA Tour win was at the Sony Open on Jan. 15, 2012. Wagner entered this weekend ranked 180th in the FedEx Cup standings. He’s played in seven previous tournaments this season, making four cuts. Wagner’s best finish this season is tied for 16th at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November 2014.

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Web.com Q-school second stage: Chris DeForest

Chris DeForest, a 2007 Rondout Valley graduate, shot an even-par 72 in the second round of the second stage of web.com Tour qualifying school at Wednesday Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla.

DeForest fired a 2-under 70 in the first round Tuesday. The four-round stage finishes Friday. DeForest is currently tied for 31st place. The top 19 and ties advanced to third and final stage of tour school on Dec. 11-16 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

DeForest opened tour school, firing a 6-under 64 in the first stage at Pensacola (Fla.) Country Club. He played in 32 web.com Tour events from 2011-13. He was 98th on the money list and led the tour in eagles (17) in 2012.

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