Joe Forsting was 3 under par through only three holes, but he kept having the same thought:
Just keep making birdies.
No high school boys golfer in any division went lower during the first round of the WIAA state tournament than Forsting. The Edgerton High senior made two eagles on the way to a 5-under-par round of 67 Monday at University Ridge.
He’ll have a four-shot lead on the rest of the Division 2 field when the second round begins Tuesday morning.
And Forsting is not the only local leader. Lake Geneva Badger senior Blake Wisdom fired a 2-under 70 to take a one-shot lead midway through the Division 1 tournament.
Forsting said he had his irons dialed in Monday, giving him full confidence to play aggressively.
“Most of the round I was feeling pretty solid,” said Forsting, who tied for 13th at the state tournament a year ago. “I was honestly just trying to think about getting more birdies.”
Starting on the back nine, Forsting eagled the par-five 11th by finding the green with a 4-iron from about 235 yards out. He followed with a birdie on the par-three 12th and added birdies at the par-four 15th and par-three 17th on the way to an opening nine of 4-under 32.
Forsting bogeyed all three par threes on his second nine, but another eagle at the par-five sixth helped negate those struggles. Forsting said he hit a 3-wood from about 270 yards to the green and made his putt. He also closed with a birdie on the par-five ninth to get to 67.
He leads Lakeland Union’s Kyle Bengston and Marinette’s Ty Kretz by four strokes.
“We knew we could play really well, but I was just focused on having fun,” Forsting said.
“Now I’m just going to go out (in the second round) and play like nothing happened today.”
Forsting’s low round has Edgerton in third place in the team race after shooting 26-over 314 as a group. Senior Kyle Wille shot 79, while Bryce Tate and Braden Hurst each added rounds of 84.
Edgewood shot 305 to lead Lakeland by a shot. Edgewood is the defending state champion in D2, while Edgerton was runner-up a year ago.
Wisdom leads in D1
Lake Geneva Badger has been here before, and the Badgers are using past experiences to their advantage.
Senior Blake Wisdom shot 2-under 70 in the first round to lead the Division 1 field. Wisdom, who finished tied for seventh a year ago, leads five different players by one stroke.
The Badgers, making their fifth straight appearance at state, shot 18-over 306 to sit in third place, 10 shots back of leader Marquette University.
“We have four guys coming back from last year, when they shot 317 on the second day,” Badger coach David DeShambo said. They know they can play the course well, and I think that eases things. When your team has been to state five straight years, it makes it a little more comfortable.”
Badger got a round of 75 from its No. 4 player—Luke Abram—who also shot 75 at sectionals. TJ Walton shot 80, and Ben Rademaker had an 81.
Wisdom made three birdies—at the par-five second, the par-four seventh and the par-four 15th—and just one bogey in what was a very clean round.
“This is something he’s looked forward to all year and a goal that he’s had,” DeShambo said. “Today he went out and took the first step toward that.
“He made some great par saves, and that’s important to keep momentum going. He made a 25-footer on No. 8, and he hit his tee shot at the par-three 12th in the bunker but got up and down.”
Two-time defending state champion Piercen Hunt, of Hartland Arrowhead, is part of the five-player pack a shot back.
DeShambo said the key for Wisdom in the second round will be knowing when to get aggressive and when to play it safe and go for the middle of the green.
Individual qualifiersMilton’s AJ Gray shot a 37 on the front nine on the way to a round of 6-over 78. He’s tied for 32nd individually in the Division 1 field.
Janesville Parker sophomore Kadin Kleman was 5 over through 13 holes and finished with an 85 to sit tied for 78th.
Division 2 tee times begin at 7 a.m. today, with Edgerton’s players starting off No. 1 beginning at 8:12. Forsting tees off at 8:48.
Division 1 play begins at noon, with Badger going off No. 1 beginning at 1:12. Wisdom begins play at 1:48.
WIAA state golf tournament
Monday-TuesdayAt University Ridge (72)Division 1
TEAM SCORESMarquette University 296, Middleton 303, Badger 306, Wauwatosa East/West 310, Kaukauna 315, Menomonee Falls 315, Hudson 317, Arrowhead 321, Holmen 322, Mukwonago 324, Bay Port 324, Homestead 326, Kettle Moraine 328, Fond du Lac 334, Franklin 335
INDIVIDUAL LEADERSBlake Wisdom (Bad) 70, Jack Blair (Mar) 71, Piercen Hunt (Arr) 71, Preston Cedergren (BP) 71, Nick Schroeder (Muk) 71, Russell Dettmering (Merill) 71, Brock Hlinak (Kau) 72, Kasen Fager (Mount Horeb) 72
AREA RESULTSBadger—Blake Wisdom 34-36—70, Ben Rademaker 42-39—81, Luke Abram 37-38—75, TJ Walton 41-39—80
Milton—AJ Gray 37-41—78
Janesville Parker—Kadin Kleman 42-43—85
TEAM SCORESMadison Edgewood 305, Lakeland Union 306, Edgerton 314, Rice Lake 317, Kewaskum 321, Marinette 321, Winneconne 349, Lake Country Lutheran 353
INDIVIDUAL LEADERSJoe Forsting (Edger) 67, Kyle Bengston (LU) 71, Ty Kretz (Mar) 71, Simon Cuskey (RL) 72, James Gilmore (ME) 73, Karl Gilmore (ME) 73
AREA RESULTSEdgerton—Joe Forsting 35-32—67, Kyle Wille 39-40—79, Bryce Tate 41-43—84, Braden Hurst 42-42—84
TEAM SCORESRoncalli 330, Abundant Life/Madison Country Day 335, Sheboygan AL 342, Pacelli 358, Osseo-Fairchild 364, Spring Valley 381, Coleman 384, Luck/Frederic 389
INDIVIDUAL LEADERSDrake Wilcox (She) 70, Ian Behringer (Ron) 76, Jack Rollins (AL) 76, Doyle Kelly (St. Mary’s Springs) 76