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High school golfers get tournament experience

Jonah Tczap has stepped up to be the leader of the St. Croix Central golf team. He’s shown during the round of 86 he shot at Pheasant Hills Golf Club on Friday.1 / 2
Hunter Iverson was Somerset’s top finisher in the weekend tournament. He shot an 80 at Pheasant Hills on Friday and followed it with an 82 at Bristol Ridge on Saturday.2 / 2

Area high school golfers got their chance to see plenty of competition during tournaments that were played over the past week.

The New Richmond and Somerset golf teams got to see some of the finest competition Minnesota can offer when they played in a tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Course in Stillwater last Tuesday. The five top-ranked Minnesota high school teams played in the tournament. The Wisconsin teams finished at the back of the pack, but their scores were in line with their recent scores.

Wayzata won the tournament, shooting an eye-popping 295 score. Hastings was second at 301 and Lakeville South was third at 306.

New Richmond and Osceola were almost even, just as they’d been in their season opening match. The Chieftains finished at 341 and the Tigers at 343. Somerset was the third of the Wisconsin teams, finishing at 362.

New Richmond was led by senior Tanner Wisemiller, who shot an 80. Kole Hallmark and Connor McCann finished at 86, Thomas McKinney shot a 91, while Charlie L’Allier and Joey Turnipseed both shot 94.

Hunter Iverson was Somerset’s top finisher, shooting an 87. He was followed by Wil Gauper at 91, Danny Green and Alex Lahde at 92, Brodie Olson at 93 and Zach Bahr at 102.

The New Richmond and Somerset coaches said playing the Stone Ridge course was an excellent opportunity. They said the extremely high level of competition should help their teams in the long run, by getting to see players performing at such a high level.

Golfers from 12 schools got to play in the new two-day Pheasant Hills/Bristol Ridge Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The golfers played Pheasant Hills on Friday afternoon. They teed off Saturday morning for their round at Bristol Ridge.

Somerset won the overall team championship, shooting a 677 two-day score. Osceola held a healthy lead after the opening day of the tournament, but the Chieftains only had three boys play on Saturday because of prom commitments. Osceola’s Dan Cronick was the medalist, finishing with a 156 score for the two days.

Somerset played largely mistake-free golf to win the tournament. Iverson was Somerset’s top finisher, placing fourth overall. He shot an 80 on Friday and came back with an 82 on his home course. Green was close behind, shooting 84 and 82 over the two days.

Somerset coach Bill Powers said the Spartans are showing real possibilities because of the strong early play from freshmen Gauper and Lahde. Lahde shot a 173 for the tournament and Gauper shot a 176.

St. Croix Central’s golfers finished in the middle of the pack in the tournament, placing seventh among the 12 teams. The Panthers are showing more polish in their golf skills this season, led by senior Jonah Tczap. Tczap shot an 86 at Pheasant Hills and a 94 at Bristol Ridge to finish at 180. He was followed by Tyler Anderson at 206 and Tyler Koats at 223.

The Panthers have already played in three Dunn-St. Croix Conference matches and they currently rank sixth among the six D-SC teams. Tczap is a big reason for the Panthers’ strong start. He’s been in the top six finishers in all three D-SC matches, including earning medalist honors by shooting a 40 in the match at Colfax on April 15.

Junior Tyler Anderson had been a consistent second finisher for the Panthers. His best round thus far was a 47 in the April 22 match at Mondovi.

One difference for the Panthers this season is the team has depth. For the weekend tournament, the Panthers were using three players who weren’t on the team last year. That includes junior Tyler Koats and freshmen Bryan Bresina and Drew Malecek. Isaac Larson and Ben Phillips have also shown they are capable of playing at the varsity level.

For Middle Border Conference golfers, the next match is a contest Thursday at Pheasant Hills, followed by a match on Monday at Durand. New Richmond will also be active over the weekend, playing at the annual Scott Miller Invitational in Hayward.

St. Croix Central’s next outing is on Friday at Glenwood City. There will be another D-SC match next Monday, which the Panthers will host.

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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