Osceola golfers chasing New Richmond in Middle Border Conference golf raceThe Middle Border Conference boys golf contenders have been upping the pressure, but the New Richmond boys have been matching the improvements made by the other MBC teams.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The Middle Border Conference boys golf contenders have been upping the pressure, but the New Richmond boys have been matching the improvements made by the other MBC teams.
The Tigers maintained a six-point lead in the MBC standings after taking second place in one match and second in another match played last week.
In last Tuesday’s MBC round played at Bristol Ridge Golf Club in Somerset, the Tigers were defeated for the first time in the conference season. They finished in second place, three strokes behind Osceola.
The Tigers bounced back with an impressive effort, led by senior Kyle Montgomery, to win a match last Thursday at Pheasant Hills in Hammond.
Montgomery produced one of the best rounds in Tiger history at Pheasant Hills, shooting a 35. The Tigers all shot well, finishing with a team score of 159.
The team has surpassed the pre-season expectations of Coach Jim Saliny and they keep making progress.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” Saliny said. “They’ve got a good mindset.”
All the Tigers shot well at Hammond. Freshman Kole Hallmark finished with 38, sophomore Tanner Wisemiller 40, junior Ben Norman 41 and sophomore Connor McCann 44.
New Richmond finished five strokes ahead of Osceola, with Amery and Somerset tied for third at 165.
The Tigers didn’t play badly at Bristol Ridge, which is one of the tougher courses in the conference. Tuesday was windy and Bristol Ridge’s fast greens proved to be a challenge. Osceola’s Charlie Danielson, the defending WIAA state champion, was the only golfer to finish under 40, shooting a 38. Montgomery and Hallmark both shot 41, finishing among the golfers who tied for second place. Norman finished with 43 and McCann shot 48.
Over the weekend the Tigers played in the annual Scott Miller Invitational in Hayward. New Richmond took fifth place among the 23 teams in the tournament. The Tigers finished at 657 for the two-day event.
The team from Virginia, Minn., was the talk of the tournament. The boys from Virginia shot a 611, breaking the record for the best team score in the long-running tournament.
Wisemiller led the Tigers in the tournament with rounds of 78 and 79. His 157 score ranked 10th, putting him on the all-tournament team.
Montgomery finished at 167 in the tournament, Norman 167, Hallmark 170 and McCann 171.
If the Tigers can continue to rank among the top two teams in each MBC match, they can lock up the conference title this week. There are just two more matches left on the conference schedule. On Friday the final MBC nine-hole match will be played at the Amery Golf Course.
The MBC season wraps up next Tuesday, when the 2012 conference tournament will be played at Krooked Kreek Golf Course in Osceola.
An off day on their home course knocked the Spartans out of serious contention for the MBC title this season. In last Tuesday’s match at Bristol Ridge, the Spartans’ score ballooned up to 188, far higher than any of their other rounds in conference play this season. After being a top-four team in every previous match, the Spartans finished sixth last Tuesday.
Jake Green was the Spartans’ top finisher with a 45. Matt Skoglund and Hunter Iverson shot 47 and Danny Green shot 49.
The Spartans bounced back with a much better round in Thursday’s MBC match at Pheasant Hills. The Spartans tied with Amery for third place in the match, finishing with a 165. Jake Green was back in his normal scoring range, shooting a 36, which tied the Somerset school record. Skoglund finished at 41, Zach Bahr at 43, Danny Green at 45 and Iverson at 49.
Somerset’s boys played in the Scott Miller Invitational in Hayward on Saturday, ranking ninth among the 23 teams in the tournament. The Spartans finished with a team score of 699. The Spartans shot a 340 on the Hayward course on Friday, but the Spartans’ score elevated when playing the tighter Telemark course on Saturday.
The conference race got a bit tighter on Monday, when the New Richmond golfers placed third in a meet at Ellsworth. With Osceola winning, the margin between the Tigers and Chieftains stands at five points heading into Friday’s conference match at Amery.
Osceola won Monday’s match with a 160. Somerset moved up to second place by shooting a 167. New Richmond was third at 172, one stroke ahead of Amery.
Somerset was led by Bahr, whose 39 was the second best score in the meet. Jake Green finished at 40, Skoglund at 41 and Iverson at 45.
Powers said first and second in the final MBC standings may be out of reach, but the Spartans have set a goal to hold on to third place in the final standings.
New Richmond feared it would have one off round this season and it finally arrived on Monday. Wisemiller had a solid round, shooting a 40. McCann shot 43, Montgomery 44, Norman 45 and Hallmark 47.
Saliny suggested that the Tigers were getting fatigued after the heavy schedule last week, hoping the break until Friday’s match would help refresh the Tigers.