Cards survive Big Eight test
Despite ideal conditions, only four golfers broke 80 at the Big Eight Conference Meet.
Middleton, behind medalist Mitch Johnson, won the 10-team meet with a 316 total. Verona was second at 323, and Big Eight dual meet champion Madison Memorial was third with 327.
Janesville Parker finished fifth at 336 and Janesville Craig seventh at 349.
The Evansville course plays to a par-72, but with tricky pin placements on several greens, scores were high. Parker’s Taylor Braun and Dustin Richards both shot 80, along with Craig’s Ryne Clatworthy, for Janesville’s low scores.
“Playing this course comes down to course management because of the greens,” Parker coach John Zimmerman said. “If you’re not in the right position on a number of greens, you’re in trouble.
“You’re going to have some bogeys on this course, so you have to focus on the next shot. The main thing to take from today is how each player handles adversity. This course doesn’t allow you to build a lot of confidence moving forward.”
Johnson had nines of 38 and 37 to win medalist honors by two shots over Verona’s Matt Opsal.
Although Johnson was confident he could win a conference title based on the successful season he has put together, the senior didn’t think 75 would be good enough to win.
“Absolutely not,” Johnson said. “But I think everybody else probably realized the same thing I did. That the greens are really tough here, especially if you’re not below the hole.
“My game plan today was to stay below the hole and not put up any big numbers. I played pretty well except for off the tee the last three holes.”
Peyton Graham shot 81 and John Milner added 95 to complete Parker’s top four scores.
Jordan Gagg shot 85, Tommy White a 91 and Nolan Moran a 93 to round out Craig’s top four.
“We came in to today wanting to play well and look toward the regional and sectional meets that are coming up,” Craig coach Dominic Wiegel said. “Our scores were a little higher than what we had hoped for, but that’s true for everybody that played.
“Everybody played the same course, so it comes down to having to make adjustments.”
Craig and Parker compete in the WIAA Division 1 regional at Oak Ridge Golf Course in Milton on Tuesday.
Big Eight Meet
At Evansville Country Club (Par 72)
Middleton 316, Verona 323, Madison Memorial 327, Madison West 335, Janesville Parker 336, Beloit Memorial 346, Janesville Craig 349, Sun Prairie 351, Madison La Follette 363, Madison East 397.
1. Mitch Johnson (Middleton), 75; 2. Matt Opsal (Verona), 77; 3. Mike Wiebe (Middleton), 79; 4. Nick Kress (Sun Prairie), 79; 5. John Gillis (Middleton), 80; 6. Taylor Braun (Parker), 80; 7. Dustin Richards (Parker), 80; 9. Brad O’Loughlin (Memorial), 80; 10. Peter Webb (Memorial), 80. (Ties broken by individual hole scores starting on No. 18 and then going backward)
Middleton (316)—Mitch Johnson, 38-37—75; Eric Hagstrom, 44-38—82; Mike Wiebe, 41-38—79; John Gillis, 42-38—80.
Verona (323)—Tyler Reinecke, 39-41—80; Matt Opsal, 42-35—77; Caleb Baltes, 43-39—82; Matt Feller, 44-40—84.
Memorial (327)—Peter Webb, 39-41—80; Brad O’Loughlin, 40-40—80; Brett Oberg, 41-43—84; Kellen Rice, 42-41—83.
West (325)—Bryan Johnson, 43-44—87; Karsten Sladky, 45-41—86; Quentin Johnson, 44-37—81; Evan Brown, 40-41—81.
Parker (326)—Dustin Richards, 41-39—80; Taylor Braun, 41-39—80; Peyton Graham, 44-37—81; John Milner, 48-47—95.
Beloit (346)—Connor Day, 44-41—85; Kolton Kelley, 44-43—87; David Wandell, 47-39—86; Mason Lovaas, 47-41—88.
Craig (349)—Ryne Clatworthy, 40-40—80; Jordan Gagg, 45-40—85; Nolan Moran, 45-48—93; Tommy White, 44-47—91.
Sun Prairie (351)—Nic Martini, 43-45—88; Evan Andrew, 46-43—89; Mitch Willert, 52-43—95; Nick Kress, 39-40—79.
La Follette (363)—A.J. Chamberlain, 48-40—88; Scott Mogilevski, 48-42—90; Casey Mael, 45-47—92; Riley Prestigiacomo, 53-40—93.
East (397)—Austin Edwards, 50-45—95; Will Cooper, 49-43—92; Peter Conowall, 58-46—104; Michael Wanke, 57-49—106.
FINAL DUAL STANDINGS
Madison Memorial, 9-0; Middleton, 8-1; Verona, 7-2; Janesville Parker, 5-4; Madison West, 5-4; Janesville Craig, 4-5; Beloit Memorial, 4-5; Sun Prairie, 2-7; Madison La Follette, 1-8; Madison East, 0-9.