Parker 4th, Craig 8th at Big Eight golf meet
EVANSVILLE--Janesville’s high school boys golfers may spend the next five days working as much on their mental game as they do hitting balls on the range.
Players from both Janesville Parker and Janesville Craig left Evansville Golf Club on Thursday thinking about risks they probably didn’t need to take or putts that were left short of the cup.
The result was a fourth-place finish for the Vikings and an eighth-place finish for the Cougars at a Big Eight Conference meet that the teams will attempt to quickly put behind them heading into WIAA postseason play.
Middleton beat Verona on the third hole of a team playoff to capture the title after both teams shot 324. Parker shot 335, while Craig came in at 354.
Verona’s Cale Rufenacht earned medalist honors with a 3-over 75 in breezy conditions. Parker junior Matt Zimmerman tied for seventh with an 80 as the top Janesville finisher.
“This is something they’re going to have to just let go,” Parker coach Bob Eicher said. “We also shot 335 at Blackhawk Country Club on Monday, and here we are shooting 335 here. For some reason the kids think this course is (tough). There’s a lot of challenges.
“The wind really made a big difference.”
The Evansville course took its toll on the Cougars, as well. Nick Kaufman and Kade Salemi each turned in rounds of 85.
Craig coach Joe Kapugia agreed with Eicher that many of the lapses were more mental than physical.
“The wind took its toll, but we’ve got to get back to thinking our way around courses,” Kapugia said. “They let the wind get in their head, so they think they need to hit every ball as hard as they can instead of playing their game and playing smart.
“We’ll go back to the drawing board starting next week. We start all over, and anything can happen.”
Parker hosts WIAA regional play Wednesday at Riverside Golf Course. The top four teams advance to Division 1 sectional play at the Trevino Course at Geneva National.
“We’ve just got to point out where we mentally made mistakes,” Eicher said. “It’s not that we hit the ball badly. There were places where they took some risks where maybe they shouldn’t have.
“We’ve just got to shore up our mental game.”
Big Eight Conference meet
*Middleton 324, Verona 324, Madison Memorial 331, Janesville Parker 335, Madison West 336, Beloit Memorial 337, Sun Prairie 342, Janesville Craig 354, Madison La Follette 378
Cale Rufenscht (Ver) 75, Sam Klobucar (BM) 76, Andy Zucker (Mid) 76, Owen Cranley (MW) 78, Steven Kellerman (MW) 79, Noah Cagnazzo (MM) 80, Logan Simmerman (MM) 80, Matt Zimmerman (JP) 80, Garhett Kaegi (V) 81
AREA TEAM SCORES
Parker—Matt Zimmerman 39-41—80, Michael Henry 44-40—84, Nik Sitter 43-42—85, Spencer Orley 45-41—86
Craig—Nick Kaufman 43-42—85, Kade Salemi 45-40—85, Anthony Schrader 50-43—93, Skylar Mashek 44-47—91
*Won playoff on third hole.