Janesville Craig’s Gagg fires opening-round 74

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
— Craig High’s Jordan Gagg was moving along singing a song Monday at the WIAA Division 1 state boys golf championship at sun-splashed University Ridge.

Gagg hummed to the top of the leaderboard, sitting cozy at 3 under through the first 15 holes, but he hit sour notes on the way home with a bogey and two straight doubles to settle for a 2-over-par 74 (35-39).

“We were talking on 17 tee, and (Jordan) said he could have easily been 7 under,” Craig coach Dominic Wiegel said. “Just a little break here and a little break there, but then it if he doesn’t make a couple 20-foot par putts, it could have been the other way.’’

Teammate Ryne Clatworthy posted a 7-over 79, while Nolan Moran added an 83 and Tommy White finished with 99 to give Craig a 335 first-round total. Nick Kyle finished with a 110 for Craig.

Wiegel announced a lineup shift for today. D.J. Mussey will take Kyle’s No. 5 spot.

Dustin Richards shot a 5-over 77 to lead Parker. Freshman John Milner carded an 81, Taylor Braun added an 84 and Peyton Graham had an 89 as the 10-place Vikings posted a 331, four shots ahead of 12th-place Craig. Charlie Grafft added a 91 for the Vikings.

“The boys gutted it out again,” Parker coach John Zimmerman said. “They always put out a 100 percent effort. They had adversity and they just kept going.’’

Richards had his ups and downs for the Vikings, but managed to notch the second-lowest round for Janesville golfers.

“My putting wasn’t great,” Richards said. “I had 38 putts, so I was struggling a littler bit.”

Richards said Parker, which is making its first state appearance since 1999, could rebound with a better round today.

“We’ve got a good team going this year,” Richards said. “We have a solid top four or five.’’

Holmen fired a 17-over 305 to take the Division 1 team lead into today’s final round. Arrowhead trails at 307, and Marquette is third at 308.

Jordan Niebrugge, an individual qualifier from Mequon Homestead, fired a 2-under 70 to take a one-stroke lead over Arrowhead’s Matt Ross into today’s final round.

For Gagg, the day started on a strong note.

The Craig junior nearly holed a chip shot for an eagle at the 515-yard par-five second hole, but he gladly took a birdie, and his game fell sweetly into place from there.

“From that point on, my approach shots and my driver were consistent,” Gagg said. “I was just basically on cruise control for a while there.’’

Gagg birdied No. 7 and stood 1 under at the turn after he three-putted for a bogey at No. 9. Gagg added birdies at 12 and 13 to drop to 3 under and added two pars before running into problems with the flat stick at the 16th hole.

“I ended up three-putting there,” Gagg said as his 3-under round elevated to 2-under with more calamities on the way.

At 17, a blocked four iron off the tee and a bad chip added up to a double bogey. At 18, a solid tee shot wound up with a bad fairway lie, which forced an awkward approach shot that landed in a trap en route to his double-bogey six.

“I hit my drive, and I thought it was going to be

really good,” Gagg said. “I ended up having about a baseball stance for one of the tougher shots of the day.’’

Gagg enters today’s final round four shots off the pace and in a six-way tie for eighth.

“The plan (for today) is to keep hitting the driver straight and keep hitting the irons well and hope I can make a few more putts,” Gagg said.

Despite the his missteps on his last three holes, Gagg, who fired an 87 in a first-round state appearance as a sophomore last season, was pleased with his round.

“I can’t be disappointed with a 74,” he said. “It would have been nice to finish a little stronger, but it’s definitely something I can’t complain about.”

Last updated: 8:51 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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