Mia Seeman wouldn’t trade places with anyone after the first round of the WIAA state girls golf tournament.
But the Milton High senior also knows her work is only halfway done.
Bolstered by an eagle on the par-5 16th hole at University Ridge Golf Course on Monday, Seeman shot a 1-under 71 and will take a one-stroke lead in the Division 1 field into today’s second and final round. Seeman helped the Red Hawks shoot 37-over 325 as a team, and they’re in second place, 13 shots behind Hartland Arrowhead.
“It feels good, but there’s still 18 more holes left,” Seeman said. “I still have to play well and play against par tomorrow.”
Seeman was the only player in the tournament, regardless of division, to play the University of Wisconsin’s home course under par Monday.
She’s one shot clear of Arrowhead’s Emily Lauterbach and Kettle Moraine’s Abby Cavaiani. Brookfield Central’s Emily Balding is fourth after a 75.
Playing the back nine first, Seeman parred the first six holes before her eagle on No. 16, a 434-yard right-dogleg hole with a green guarded in front by a maze of bunkers.
“I took my driver, and I was actually aimed a little more left, but it went a little more right and got over all the trees,” Seeman said. “I had a 6 iron from 160, and I struck that … and was like seven feet—downhill, though, and it broke a little bit—and I made it.”
She was three-under on University Ridge’s five par-5s.
Seeman bogeyed the par-4 18th but got that shot back with a birdie on No. 2. She bogeyed No. 4 and closed with five straight pars.
Her play paced the Red Hawks on what Milton coach Kirk Wieland said was a very good round. Junior Taylor parred her final five holes to shoot 39 on her back nine and is tied for 18th after an 81.
Sophomore Claudia Seeman played her first nine holes in just 1-over and finished with an 84. And Holly Gunnink was the fourth scorer for Milton, shooting an 89.
“That’s a pretty darn good score here,” Wieland said of the team’s 325. “We got off to a tremendous start. We definitely lost some momentum out there over a few holes, which really, really cost us, because other than a couple glitches, that’s a really strong round. We’re a little further behind than I’d like, but we’re in a position where if we have a good round, we’ll see what happens.”
The Red Hawks are at state for the seventh time in the last eight years. They finished a program-best second place in both 2010 and 2011.
Seeman is looking to become Milton’s second state individual champion. Ashton Stair won the title in 2010.
Lake Geneva Badger sophomore Holly Murphy, playing as an individual qualifier, was impressive in her state debut, firing a 7-over 79 to sit inside the top 10.
Janesville Parker junior Sophia Dooman, who also qualified as an individual for the first time, is tied for 42nd after an opening-round 89.
In Division 2, Aquinas shot 359 and leads Edgewood by a single stroke. Four players are tied atop the individual leaderboard after shooting 80.
Seeman and the Red Hawks know anything can happen today, especially after pristine conditions—blue skies and temperatures in the 70s—give way to cooler temperatures and the probability of rain today.
She’ll play alongside Lauterbach again today, while Cavaiani—who dropped jaws by shooting a round of 60 in her conference tournament recently—plays several groups ahead.
“It was really important to just not focus on anyone else I was playing with, just the scorecard,” Seeman said.
“I’m here for the pressure and the nerves,” she added. “I’m happy to have them.”
WIAA state girls golf tournament
At University Ridge GC (72; 5,216 yards)
Arrowhead 312, Milton 325, Brookfield Central 326, Onalaska 338, Franklin 340, Kettle Moraine 341,Middleton 351, Verona 355, Kaukauna 362, Bay Port 365, Green Bay Preble 389, Eau Claire Memorial 390
Mia Seeman (Mil) 71, Emily Lauterbach (Arr) 72, Abby Cavaiani (KM) 72, Emily Balding (BC) 75, Erin Ericson (Ona) 76
AREA TEAM SCORES
Milton—Mia Seeman 36-35—71, Taylor Hakala 39-42—81, Claudia Seeman 47-37—84, Holly Gunnink 47-42—89
Individual qualifiers—Holly Murphy (Lake Geneva Badger) 40-39—79; Sophia Dooman (Janesville Parker) 43-46—89
Aquinas 359, Edgewood 360, Fox Valley Lutheran 374, Catholic Memorial 375, Stanley-Boyd 395, Somerset 427
Erica Priebe (FVL), Sydney Brandt (CM), Grace Welch (Edg) and Kate Munro (Prairie School), 80 each