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Edgerton, Milton golfers gear up for state

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KENNETH M. VELOSKEY
May 31, 2008

Mike Hesselman and Dan Ozga believe in the buddy system.


The pair will represent Edgerton High School in the WIAA Division 2 boys state golf tournament Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison.


Hesselman and Ozga finished among the top three individuals at the Mayville Sectional last Wednesday to earn their state berths. Hesselman carded a 75, while Orza posted a 76 at the Mayville Golf Course.


Meanwhile, Milton’s Zach Fry, a junior, earned an individual berth in Division 1 by posting an 80 in the Elkhorn Sectional to finish in the top three.


Lake Geneva Badger won the Elkhorn Sectional and earned a team state berth. The Badgers’ Austin and Alex Gaugert each shot 78 for medalist honors.


Hesselman, a senior, is making his second consecutive trip to state and wants to improve on his 11th-place finish as junior. Ozga, a sophomore, wants to make a positive statement in his first appearance at state.


The Tiders have each other to lean on.


“Mike will really be able to tell me things,” Ozga said.


The pair played together in numerous summer tournaments and have struck a good golf relationship.


“We’ve played a lot of tournaments,” Ozga said. “We see each other’s game.’’


Of course, in his final WIAA appearance Hesselman is expecting more than a good show on his return to University Ridge.


“I think last year, I was nervous, especially the first day,” said Hesselman, who said he has played last season’s 78-79 rounds over in his head “quite a few times.’’


Older and wiser, Hesselman expects to stand up to University Ridge this time around.


“I’m a much better putter,’’ Hessleman said. “I putted pretty bad last year.’’


Hesselman said the key to University Ridge is playing a strong short game.


“There are not any real hard holes, but there are no real birdie holes, either,” Hesselman said. “You have to make par, and the short game is the biggest part.’’


Orza watched Hessleman’s state debut last year, and the younger player took some mental notes.


“I thought it was pretty challenging,” Ozga said. “I remember it was really a nice course.’’


As for advice, Hesselman said it’s important Ozga just be himself.


“He should go up there and play his own game,” Hesselman said. “He has plenty of game to play with up there.’’


Milton coach T.J. Dieck is hoping to keep a tight leash on Fry.


“He hits it extra long, and we’ve got to tame him down,” Dieck said. “If you’re not there, he gets very confident sometimes.’’


Dieck said Fry has all the tools to play University Ridge, but he has to know which ones to use and when.


“He’s got to hold back in his play and take what the course gives him,” Dieck said. “He can hit an iron 200 yards.’’



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