Middle Border Conference golfers trying to keep pace with Osceola
If any Middle Border Conference boys golf team is hoping to overtake Osceola for the conference title, they’ll have to step up to match the blistering pace the Chieftains have set in the early matches.
Osceola recorded a pair of victories in MBC matches last Wednesday and Thursday. New Richmond was second in both matches, but the Tigers are suddenly being challenged for the second spot in the MBC race by rapidly improving Somerset and Ellsworth teams. This gives Osceola wins in all three MBC matches played this season.
Osceola won a match last Wednesday on its home course of Krooked Kreek Golf Club in Osceola. This match was scheduled to be played at the New Richmond Golf Club but the NRGC grounds were too wet. So home matches were swapped, with New Richmond now scheduled to host the MBC match that will be played this Friday.
The Chieftains won comfortably on their home course, shooting a 147, to beat second place New Richmond by 20 strokes. Somerset was third at 173 and Ellsworth was fourth at 175.
New Richmond had five solid rounds at Krooked Kreek, but nothing like the scores being logged by the Chieftains. Senior Connor McCann led the Tigers with a 40. Kole Hallmark and Charlie L’Allier both shot 42, Tanner Wisemiller 43 and Thomas McKinney 45.
Somerset also had a 40 as its top scorer, provided by Danny Green. Alex Lahde finished at 43, Hunter Iverson and Wil Gauper at 45 and Bryce Hanson at 54.
The competition was much closer at Pheasant Hills on Thursday. Osceola won with a 152. Osceola’s fifth golfer, Austin Byl, was medalist by shooting a 36.
New Richmond was seven strokes behind the Chieftains. The Tigers were led by Hallmark and Wisemiller, who both shot 39. McKinney finished at 40, L’Allier 41 and McCann 43.
New Richmond coach Jim Saliny is trying to keep his players’ focus where it needs to be.
“We can’t worry about the other teams,” Saliny said. “We’ve got to do what we can to improve.”
Somerset achieved a rarity in program history, getting three players to shoot in the 30s. Green and Iverson both shot 38. Zach Bahr, who had sat out several recent meets working on his swing, came back with a 39. This is the first time Somerset has had three golfers shoot in the 30s since 2010, when Somerset qualified as a team for the WIAA state tournament.
Lahde shot 46 and Brodie Olson shot 47 as Somerset’s fourth and fifth scores.
“We have a couple of guys who typically are going to shoot among the leaders,” Somerset Bill Powers said of Green and Iverson.
Powers said he expects Bahr to return to his role as the team’s third player. He said Lahde and Gauper are showing promise as the leaders of next wave of young players. Powers said they are among a group of players who are battling for the fourth and fifth places in the varsity lineup.
New Richmond fell further off the MBC lead on Monday at Rolling Greens Golf Course in Durand. Osceola, Somerset and Ellsworth tied for the match victory with scores of 167. New Richmond was fourth with a 170.
Wisemiller and L’Allier led the Tigers with 41s. McCann and Hallmark shot 44 and McKinney finished at 47.
Saliny said this loss makes Friday’s home match crucial. He said other teams have played their best on their home course and the Tigers need to do that as well.
Somerset continued its recent upswing, led by a 39 from Bahr. Green and Iverson both shot 42. Lahde finished with a 44 and Olson shot a 50.
Scott Miller Invite
The New Richmond golfers showed how they rank regionally, placing third in the 23-team Scott Miller Invitational in Hayward on Friday and Saturday.
Unfortunately, the two teams that finished ahead of the Tigers were Eau Claire Memorial and Eau Claire North, which are both in New Richmond’s Division 1 regional tournament.
“Our regional is going to be very tough to get out,” said Saliny.
Wisemiller had an outstanding tournament, tying for the second best overall score. He shot a 74 on the opening day and an 80 on Saturday. His 154 score was two strokes behind tournament champion Indiana Thompson of Chetek-Weyerhaeuser.
Hallmark finished with rounds of 78 and 86 to shoot a 164. McCann shot a 166, McKinney a 171 and L’Allier a 178.
The golf schedule remains busy. New Richmond will play in a tournament at Rice Lake on Thursday, before hosting an MBC match on Friday. Another MBC match will be played Monday at Amery, followed by an MBC match at Bristol Ridge Golf Club in Somerset next Tuesday.
MBC boys golf match at Pheasant Hills on May 1
Team scores: Osceola 152, New Richmod 159, Somerset 161, Ellsworth 163, Amery 169, Baldwin-Woodville 196, Prescott 206, Durand inc.
New Richmond scores
Kole Hallmark 39, Tanner Wisemiller 39, Thomas McKinney 40, Charlie L’Allier 41, Connor McCann 43
Danny Green 38, Hunter Iverson 38, Zach Bahr 39, Alex Lahde 46, Brodie Olson 47