Senior Brayden Kline is Milton High’s No. 5 player on the boys golf team.
On Thursday morning, he was in the running for No. 1.
Kline hit his third shot on the 491-yard par-5 No. 10 to within 12 feet, which helped the Red Hawks defeat Mukwonago 21-24 in a one-hole playoff for the final WIAA Division 1 team state tournament berth.
Only the top four scores in matches count, so Kline is not depended on to be the Red Hawks’ top golfer. Sophomores Xander Wuetrich and Deegan Riley are listed as No. 1 and No. 2, freshman Brett Wieland is No. 3 and junior Zack Bothun is No. 4.
After Riley hit his third shot to within four feet, Kline chipped to within 12 feet, and Wieland chipped to within 3 feet on his fourth shot, the Red Hawks were sitting in the driver’s seat.
“We’re standing there with a 3-footer for par for Brett, a 4-footer for Deegan for birdie and a 12-footer for Brayden for birdie,” Milton coach Kirk Wieland said. “All the Mukwonago players were outside those, so we could see what they were going to do before we had to do anything.
“(Mukwonago) didn’t have a realistic birdie putt. When they ran those past, we knew we had a little bit of an advantage. But it’s so hard to tell with 10 players out there.”
The Milton coach said Riley’s third shot from 160 yards out to within 3 feet was the biggest shot of the day.
“That was the critical shot because we had a ball on the green 3 feet just to the right of the hole for birdie,” Wieland said. “It was the same putt he made on Tuesday to advance to what we thought was the individual state tournament.
“Everyone saw that,” Wieland said. “That was a really big shot.”
Kline provided all the underclassmen a chance to exhale a bit when his chip rolled to within 12 feet.
“That was a really good chip,” Wieland said. “That gave us two very realistic birdie putts before Mukwonago had any opportunities,” Wieland said.
While the one-hole playoff victory sent his team to the state tournament Monday and Tuesday at Wild Rock in Wisconsin Dells, Wieland said it was bittersweet for Mukwonago. The Indians had left Riverside on Tuesday believing they would go to state.
The coaching staff discovered the scoring error, immediately reported it to the WIAA and Wieland, and supported Milton when the WIAA originally denied a request for corrective action.
After the Indians lost their state team bid on the playoff hole Thursday, Mukwonago sophomore Tyler Schroeder had to play in a four-person playoff for the final individual qualifying spot from the sectional. Sun Prairie’s Tyler Schick won that.
So Mukwonago went from having its team qualify to not having anyone in the state tournament.
“As excited we are to be going to state, we feel that awful for Mukwonago,” Wieland said. “It was a scoring glitch. If we would have had the playoff (Tuesday), both teams would have been, ‘That’s too bad, but we had the opportunity.’
“This is just a tough pill to swallow. We can not say in Milton, how much respect we have for (Mukwonago coach) Jay Christiansen, (assistant) Lee Purdy, (assistant) Hannah Schultz, and the whole school district for bringing this to our attention.
“It wasn’t just Milton that contacted the WIAA. Mukwonago was right there with us in the Zoom meeting. It’s just hard.”