Spartan golfers finish in styleThe Superior High School boys golf team advanced to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sectional meet with a fourth-place finish at Wednesday’s Division 1 regional meet at the New Richmond Golf Course.
By: The Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
The Superior High School boys golf team advanced to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association sectional meet with a fourth-place finish at Wednesday’s Division 1 regional meet at the New Richmond Golf Course.
Hudson won the team title with a score of 323. Superior finished with a 341, one stroke ahead of Eau Claire North.
The sectional meet is next week at Eau Claire Memorial. The first two teams and the top three individuals who are not members of a qualifying team, qualify for the state meet June 8-9 at University Ridge in Madison.
Eau Claire North was already in the clubhouse Wednesday with a team score of 342 when Superior’s Joel Pettingill and Andy Heytens were playing the 18th hole. To force playoff, the Spartans needed two pars.
Heytens hit his ball on the 18th green 12 feet from the hole while Pettingill watched from the tee box. Pettingill decided the best way to make par was to play aggressively off the tee and use a driver on the tight finishing hole. He laced his drive 290 yards over the fairway bunker, which left him in perfect position only 130 yards from the pin.
As Pettingill and SHS coach Dan Schulz walked down the fairway, they saw Heytens drain his birdie putt to put Superior in position where a par from Pettingill would advance the Spartans to sectionals.
“Andy’s clutch birdie was huge,” Schulz said. “I can’t even describe how good that was under those circumstances. It lifted Joel’s spirit and provided the momentum needed to seal the deal.”
Pettingill placed his approach shot 20 feet below the pin and then nestled his birdie putt an inch from the hole to secure a spot in the sectionals for the Spartans.
“Petty’s in the No. 1 position for us because of how well he performs under pressure,” Schulz said. “He thrives in those situations. He’s done it for years in hockey and now he’s doing it in golf.”
All five SHS golfers carded scores in the 80s, led by sophomore Rob Kraft’s 81. Kraft tied with Sam Johnson of Eau Claire North and Scott Mahler of Eau Claire Memorial. Hudson’s Mike Sarno was the medalist with a 77. New Richmond’s Lance Bauer and Taylor Bottolfson tied for second with 80s.
“Rob Kraft played a great round of golf for us today, finishing third overall with an 81,” Schulz said. “Rob had an opportunity to shoot in the 70s, but on the difficult finishing hole he hit his three wood wayward off the tee into the woods, which led to a double bogey.”
Other Spartan scores were Heytens, 84; Pettingill and Tyler Austreng, 88s; and Mitchell Kontny, 89. Austreng is a senior and the other three are juniors.
“The hardest part as a coach was forcing our players to understand that all the scores were going to be extremely high (Wednesday) because of the swirling wind, cold temperature and the light drizzle,” Schulz said. “They were frustrated at times because they felt like they were falling behind the field. I just kept trying to reinforce to the kids the importance of playing one hole at a time and to keep battling for every par, which is exactly what we needed on the final hole.”
Division 1 Regional
At New Richmond Golf Course
1. Hudson 323, 2. New Richmond 330, 3. Eau Claire Memorial 335, 4. Superior 341, 5. Eau Claire North 342, 6. Chippewa Falls 344, 7. Menomonie 356, 8. River Falls 358.
1. Mike Sarno, H, 77; 2. (tie) Lance Bauer, NR; and Taylor Bottolfson, NR, 80; 4. (tie) Rob Kraft, S; Sam Johnson, ECN; and Scott Mahler, ECM, 81.