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Somerset golfers reach WIAA Division 2 sectional meet

Somerset senior Danny Green tries to knock in this par putt during the Middle Border Conference boys golf tournament last Tuesday. 1 / 2
Freshmen Wil Gauper (above) and Alex Lahde have developed into consistent varsity players for the Spartans this season. 2 / 2

Playing on their home course proved to be beneficial for the Somerset golfers in the WIAA Division 2 regional tournament at Bristol Ridge Golf Club in Somerset last Wednesday.

Somerset took third place in the tournament, earning them a spot in this Tuesday’s Division 2 sectional tournament in Cumberland.

Osceola was the winner in the regional tournament, finishing with a round of 330. Four teams were locked in a taut battle for the three remaining spots as sectional qualifiers. Altoona took second place at the regional with a 344 score and Somerset was third at 346. Ellsworth got the fourth spot at 348, with Amery two strokes behind the Panthers.

Somerset was led by senior Danny Green. Green tied for fourth place in the tournament by shooting an 80. Spartan junior Hunter Iverson and freshman Wil Gauper tied for ninth with an 86. Freshman Alex Lahde finished with a 94 and senior Zach Bahr finished at 96.

The Spartans knew they were in a battle to get out of the regional and they played strongly on their final holes to help lock in their place in the sectional field. Green finished his round with a par and a birdie and Iverson birdied the 18th hole. Gauper also played much better on the back nine to help the Spartans finish well.

“I was really proud of the kids, they gutted it out on the back (nine),” said Somerset coach Bill Powers. “No one knows the pressure these kids feel on playing golf.”

Powers said he believes the Spartans are the third best team in the sectional field, behind Osceola and Hayward.

“If we play well and one of them falters we could move up to one or two,” Powers said.

The top two teams advance to the state tournament. Powers said the Spartans have played the Cumberland sectional tournament course and all the boys played well.

St. Croix Central finished seventh among the 10 teams at the regional meet. The Panthers were hoping they could get senior Jonah Tczap through to the sectional level after he led the Panthers all season. Tczap shot a 90 at the regional meet, missing the chance to qualify for sectionals by one stroke.

Junior Tyler Dennis continued his recent improvement by shooting a 94 to be the Panthers’ second finisher at the regional. Freshman Drew Malecek shot 97 and juniors Tyler Anderson and Tyler Koats finished at 102 and 105, respectively.

“We did better than expected. Tyler Dennis and Drew Malecek came on strong at the end,” said Central coach Chris Buckel.

The Panthers are in their best position in several years to have a competitive team returning. Tczap is the only senior in the lineup and the Panthers have had a number of non-seniors who played at the varsity level at different periods during the season.

“I am very excited about next year,” Buckel said. “(Dunn-St. Croix Conference champion) Glenwood City returns most of their guys as well, but we should be more competitive both in conference and regionals. I also have a large group of freshmen that should contribute more next year when they are sophomores.”

WIAA Division 2 regional boys golf tournament

Team scores: Osceola 330, Altoona 344, Somerset 346, Ellsworth 348, Amery 350, Bloomer 356, St. Croix Central 383, Prescott 389, Baldwin-Woodville 417, St. Croix Falls 451

Somerset scores

Danny Green 80, Hunter Iverson 86, Wil Gauper 86, Alex Lahde 94, Zach Bahr 96

St. Croix Central scores

Jonah Tczap 90, Tyler Dennis 94, Drew Malecek 97, Tyler Anderson 102, Tyler Koats 105

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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