New Richmond golf team gets McCann, Hallmark to sectionals
New Richmond’s golfers knew they needed to pull off an upset to advance out of the WIAA Division 1 regional tournament they hosted last Wednesday at the New Richmond Golf Club.
There was clearly frustration among the Tigers when they fell three strokes short of the goal. The top four teams advanced from the regional meet to this Tuesday’s WIAA sectional tournament in Eau Claire. The Tigers finished fifth at the regional tournament, three strokes behind Eau Claire North.
The Tigers did manage to get two individuals into the sectional tournament. Junior Kole Hallmark and senior Connor McCann advanced by playing some of their finest golf of the season in the regional tournament.
Hallmark tied for fourth place in the tournament, shooting a 77. McCann tied for 12th by shooting an 80. Tiger freshman Thomas McKinney missed the chance to get into a playoff for the final individual sectional berth. The final sectional spot went to Rice Lake’s Sam Burdick, who shot an 82. McKinney finished with an 83. Senior Tanner Wisemiller shot an 87 for the Tigers and junior Jack Leverentz finished at 103.
Tiger coach Jim Saliny was downcast after the meet. He said the entire team was frustrated because they played well enough to be in contention, but if each had shot one stroke less, it would have been enough for the team to advance.
Saliny said that disappointment can’t take away from the performance it took for Hallmark and McCann to qualify for sectionals. The Big Rivers Conference teams that finished ahead of the Tigers: River Falls, Eau Claire Memorial, Hudson and Eau Claire North, have all played exceptional golf throughout the season.
“Connor and Kole are both playing their best golf of the season,” Saliny said.
Saliny said both Tigers will have to play their best rounds of the season to have a chance to qualify for state. The top two teams and the top three players who aren’t a member of those teams advance from the sectional level to the state tournament.
Saliny said he fully expects two of the Big Rivers teams to be the two teams that advance out of the sectional tournament to play in the WIAA state meet on June 9-10 at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison.
Hosting a tournament can cut into a coach’s time working with their team. Saliny said that assistant coach John Larson took charge of handling the tournament responsibilities so Saliny could concentrate on working with the golfers.
WIAA Division 1
boys golf regional
Team scores: River Falls 314, Eau Claire Memorial 317, Hudson 320, Eau Claire North 324, New Richmond 327, Superior 346, Chippewa Falls 347, Menomonie 371, Rice Lake 379
New Richmond scores
Kole Hallmark 77, Connor McCann 80, Thomas McKinney 83, Tanner Wisemiller 87, Jack Leverentz 103