Oberneder has banner week on links

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BELOIT - Griffin Oberneder has seen his share of events at Whistling Straits Golf Course.

So when he found himself standing at the first tee box, he was a little awed. Oberneder was competing at a Junior PGA event at the famed track, which has been the home to three PGA Championships and will host the 2020 Ryder Cup.

Oberneder's nerves eventually calmed, and he shot an 87, good for a tie for 19th place.

"It started out pretty rocky," Oberneder, a rising sophomore at Beloit Memorial, said. "It was kind of overwhelming, just thinking about all the great players that had walked on the property. To be able to play there was really amazing. The holes were unbelievable. I'd be looking at Lake Michigan and then realize that I'd have a putt that I really needed to make."

The experience capped a terrific week for Oberneder, who won the Janesville Junior City Golf Tournament on Tuesday. After shooting an opening round 76 Monday, Oberneder broke his record at Riverside Golf Course by firing a 73, including a 34 on the back nine.

Oberneder, who called the Janesville victory the best of his young career, said his extensive tournament experience helped him along to a sizzling finish.

"I've been in that position a few times, where I've struggled a little bit, and the key is keeping my mind focused," Oberneder said. "To be able to finish a round like I did, that's something I couldn't do when I first started. Now I know I always have the chance to shoot a low round. Having a focused mind is the biggest point."

Oberneder's home course is the Beloit Club, where he tries to play nearly every day. He's been working with Travis Becker for a few years now, and has really started to see the work pay off recently.

"I started to really find my game towards the end of my high school season," Oberneder said. "Coming into the summer, my big goal was to shoot in the 60's. With the way that I was shooting at the end of the spring, I knew that was realistic. So that's still my goal. I'm going to be playing in the Beloit City Tournament, and there are a couple of junior PGA events that I have left."

Oberneder's golf season will have to wind down at some point, because he's planning on playing football for the Purple Knights, who will begin practice in early August.

That's still plenty of time for Oberneder to add to his banner summer.

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