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GOLF: Kulka slips out of top spot, but still in hunt after second round of Wisconsin State Amateur Championship
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GOLF: Kulka slips out of top spot, but still in hunt after second round of Wisconsin State Amateur Championship

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Following a perfect opening round, Zak Kulka showed he’s not perfect on the second day of the 120th Wisconsin State Amateur Championship on Tuesday.

After setting a new course record with a 6-under-par 64 on Monday, the 2019 Beaver Dam grad shot a 9-over-par 79 at Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield. The struggle-filled day dropped Kulka down the leaderboard, but only slightly, as he was one of three area players to make the cut and advance to Wednesday and Thursday.

Kulka, Reedsburg native Dylan Brown and Lodi native Adam Miller all made the cut among seven area players that took part on Tuesday. Coincidentally, Kulka and Brown could play with one another on in the third round as both sit alongside Kenosha’s Cameron Huss in a three-way tie for third place at three-over-par.

Hartland’s Piercen Hunt, who sat four strokes behind Kulka after the opening round, shot a 2-over-par 72 to move atop the leaderboard, just one stroke ahead of Green Bay’s Jed Baranczyk. Following his bogey-free opening round, Kulka found his stroke early on Tuesday, birdying both the par-4 12th and par-4 16th holes, counteracting a pair of early bogeys to remain at 6-under overall.

Things went downhill from there however, as he finished out his first nine holes with consecutive bogeys for a 2-over-par 37. That trend continued on the back half as he added three more bogeys and a pair of double bogeys before ending his day on a high note with a par on the par-5 ninth hole.

Conversely, Brown finished the day with just a 1-over-par 71 following a 72 on Monday. The 2018 Reedsburg grad opened his day with a 2-under-par 33 on his first nine holes, including three straight birdies on holes 13, 14 and 15. He added birdies on the par-4 4th and par-4 7th holes over the final nine, but got weighed down by three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-4 2nd.

Miller, a 2015 Lodi grad, had one of the cleanest rounds of the day as he played a near bogey-free round. Miller shot a 2-over-par 72 and shot no worse than bogey to move into a three-way tie for eighth place at 6-over-par alongside Eau Claire’s Matt Tolan and Chippewa Falls’ Thomas Longbella.

Also opening on the back nine, Miller carded six pars to go along with a birdie on the par-4 16th while saving two bogeys on 12 and 18. Miller was nearly perfect on the front nine, shooting par on the first seven holes and saving par on nine following a bogey on the par-4 8th.

The trio was nearly joined by Madison’s Nick Satina, who finished just three strokes under the cut in a five-way tie for 82nd at 19-over-par. The Portage native, who shot an 11-over-par 81 on Monday, shaved off three strokes with an 8-over-par 78. Satina shot no worse than bogey and birdied the par-4 18th to head into the turn with some momentum.

It didn’t last however, as he tallied five bogeys on the final nine holes and didn’t birdie the rest of the day.

Joining Satina in missing the cut were Baraboo’s Dawson Hinz and Wisconsin Dells’ Kyler Royston and Riley Eck. After his 8-over-par 78 on Monday, Hinz carded a 16-over-par 86 to finish tied for 113th with a 24-over-par.

Royston meanwhile finished tied for 144 at 31-over-par while Eck finished alone in 153rd in his state debut with a 38-over-par, although he shaved four strokes off his 21-over-par performance on Monday.

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