Local golfer chasing tour dream by moving back home

With every journey, choices are made with some working out and some not.

One local golfer is choosing to do something different in his path towards the tour.

"I swung for the first time yesterday," he said. "So, it was a bit interesting."

With a U.S. Open qualifier in Wisconsin, Jordan Niebrugge is getting back in to the swing of golf.

"It’s nice," said Niebrugge. "I mean, the last time I played in U.S. Open qualifying at the bull, I ended up getting through and that was in 2017 at Erin Hills."

He was the first to tee off at the 2017 U.S. Open in his home state, making the cut, finishing one under for the championship, tied for 35th.

"I had some good memories," Niebrugge said.

At the 2021 qualifier, Niebrugge was in a much different situation.

"Considering I hadn’t played for two and a half weeks, it was a bit of a grind."

The real grind has been the 2021 season because it hasn’t really been a season at all for Niebrugge.

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"I haven’t played a four-round tournament this year yet, which has been tough."

So rounds like this are giving him a sense of optimism as he tries to rejoin the Korn Ferry Tour.

"Hopefully we can get into a couple of tournaments and then I’ll get on a roll and start playing well and be able to get reshuffled in and kind of make a schedule for the rest of the year," he said.

It’s another change off the course that has him feeling more confident moving forward.

He’s moving back to Wisconsin.

"I think it’s being by friends and family," said Niebrugge. "I’ve lived in Florida the last five years and kind of ready to get back and see some familiar faces and keep with the grind up here."

It’s something fellow Korn Ferry Tour pro, Wisconsin native and Sun Prairie resident Dan Woltman understands all too well.

"I’m more comfortable here," said Woltman. "I think, for him, he might be more comfortable in a better situation."

Woltman’s career took off when he moved back after six years of living in Florida.

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"For him to get back up here, be by family, have friends here, I think it’s only going to be helpful for him in his life off the golf course," Woltman said. "Because when your life off the golf course is good, it makes playing good golf a lot easier."

"The last four or five years I haven’t really taken any time off, which is crazy to think about," Niebrugge said. "But I think sometimes that’s good."

Niebrugge played in the Korn Ferry event this week in Kansas City, but he did not make the cut.