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Tiger seniors bomb at golf sectionals

New Richmond's senior golfers halfheartedly joked that they picked the worst possible time to play their worst round of the season.

Expected to be one of the three teams in contention to be one of the two teams to represent this sectional in the state tournament, the New Richmond boys golf team flamed-out at the Somerset Division 2 Sectional Tournament last Tuesday, finishing in sixth place among nine teams.

Somerset's golfers had also hoped to make a run for a state tournament bid, but the Spartans finished seventh in the sectional meet, six strokes behind New Richmond.

Hayward and Northwestern were expected to be the two leading contenders, along with New Richmond, and neither of those teams faltered. Hayward and Northwestern tied for the sectional championship, both teams shooting a 320. Northwestern then won the playoff for the sectional title.

Northwestern's Jarred Botten was the sectional medalist, shooting a 73.

Individuals qualifying for the state tournament are Jake Dunn of GET with a 77, Alex Carlson of Amery with a 78, and Zach Lindfors of Cumberland with a 79. Lindfors was in a playoff for the final individual state qualifier spot with Somerset's Andy Westerdahl and Durand's Loren Churness, who also shot rounds of 79.

Tigers tumble

None of the four Tiger seniors played up to their expectations in the sectional. Only sophomore Brady Powers, the Tigers' fifth golfer, played well. Powers shot a 41 on each side of the course to finish with an 82, New Richmond's best score in the meet.

New Richmond coach Jim Saliny was at a loss to explain why his four seniors all struggled during their chance to get to the state tournament.

"Attitude is everything," Saliny said. "It's sad, it's upsetting in my eyes that they couldn't have been more focused."

Scott Meyer, the regional medalist, struggled on the front nine, shooting a 45. His play improved dramatically on the back nine, shooting a 39, but he'd dug too much of a hole to come back from. It had been two months since Meyer had shot over 40 in any round.

Josh Calleja shot 43 on both sides, to finish with an 86, including four-putting the 18th green.

Jeff Koop finished with an 88 and Black Gillen shot a 96.

Saliny said this should go down as a missed opportunity for the Tigers.

"The other coaches were scared of us," he said.

Westerdahl leads Spartans

The Spartans looked like they might be in contention for one of the state tournament slots after shooting a 166 on the front nine of their home course at the sectional tournament. Then a 180 on the back nine pushed the Spartans out of contention for a trip to the state tournament.

Westerdahl made an outstanding run at getting to the state tournament as an individual. Westerdahl shot a 39 on the front, then a 40 on the back to end with a 79. That put him into a three-way playoff to be the third individual to advance from the sectional meet to the state tournament. Cumberland's Zach Lindfors then won the playoff to get the third individual spot in the state meet. Westerdahl and Durand's Loren Churness bogeyed the first playoff hole while Lindfors parred to win the playoff.

Adam Henzler was second on the Spartans with an 85, followed by Ryan Schleusner with a 90, Jake Rorabeck with a 92 and Tim Peterson with a 95.

Somerset coach Bill Powers said this ranks as the best season yet in Spartan golf history.

"It's the best year Somerset had in boys golf: second in conference, third in regional, and we played for the first time ever in the Division 2 sectional," Powers said.

Somerset has also announced its team awards for the season, with Westerdahl earning the Most Valuable Player honors and Drew Baillargeon getting Most Improved honors.

2004 Somerset Division 2 Sectional Golf Tournament

Team Scores: Northwestern 320, Hayward 320 (Northwestern won playoff for sectional championship), Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau 333, Black River Falls 336, Spooner 336, New Richmond 340, Somerset 346, Medford 352, Ellsworth 358

New Richmond varsity scores

Brady Powers 82, Scott Meyer 84, Josh Calleja 86, Jeff Koop 88, Blake Gillen 96

Somerset varsity scores

Adam Henzler 80, Andy Westerdahl 81, Ryan Schleusner 90, Tim Peterson 91, Jake Rorabeck 102

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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