Milton's Sockness, Stair earn state bid
The first thing a golfer usually does after a round in the rain is to try to get into some dry clothing.
That is the last thing Whitney Sockness and Ashton Stair were worried about here Tuesday afternoon at Riverside Golf Course. The Milton High golfers were too busy accepting congratulations after qualifying for the WIAA state tournament.
Sockness fired a 78 and Stair added a 79 as the Red Hawk duo earned an automatic bid into the 36-hole state tournament on Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison.
Kettle Moraine won the Janesville Parker Sectional team title with a 325 total, including a 70 from medalist April Ohlendorf, while Waukesha Catholic Memorial also advanced by finishing second at 333.
Milton was fourth overall at 346, with Janesville Craig at 359 and Big Eight Conference tournament champion Janesville Parker at 361.
Besides the top two teams, the three lowest individual scores of the non-qualifying teams also advanced. Sockness and Stair will be joined by Waukesha South/North/West’s Paige Schmidt, who fired a 78.
Sockness, a senior, picked the perfect time to fire her career-low round. Thanks to a chip-in birdie on the par-3 third hole, Sockness got off to the kind of start she was hoping to have.
“I thought about how I’m a senior and I might as well make the most of it,” Sockness said of her strategy coming into the round. “I shot 85 on this course last year, and I wanted to come out today and beat that.
“It feels great knowing that I’m going to get to play at state my senior year, and that Ashton made it, too.”
Stair just missed qualifying for state a year ago after losing in a playoff for the final spot. The sophomore avoided any extra drama this year, thanks to two solid nines.
Although most of her round was played in the rain, Stair said the conditions didn’t bother her too much.
“I actually don’t mind playing in the rain,” Stair said. “I wanted to make sure I focused on each shot, and then see how things went from there.
“Kind of like Whitney, I made birdie at No. 3, and that kind of set me off for the rest of my round.”
Craig put together its lowest team total of the season in finishing fifth. The Cougars were led by junior Lindsey Beals, who fired an 82.
Parker hoped to earn the school’s first trip to state, but the Vikings couldn’t put together back-to-back solid nines. Junior Molly Rozeboom led the Vikings with an 85.
“We had an average day, and you can’t have an average day at the sectional,” Parker coach John Zimmerman said. “There were too many good teams here, and we knew we were going to have to shoot a very good score to get through.
“But I’m very proud of my team and the way they played this year. We’ve got everybody back next year, and we’ll just keep working to get better.”