MHS, THS golfers meet up in Merrill Best Ball

Mark Twain once called golf, ‘A good walk, spoiled.’
Well, Saturday’s Merrill Best Ball Tourney hardly fit that description.
First off, the walk was far from pleasant, with blustery, cold and rainy conditions greeting the nine teams. Secondly, the Merrill and Tomahawk squads ranked 3rd and 4th overall, taking it out of the realm of spoiled.
“The weather today allowed us to get in our tournament this year after last year’s snow-out,” MHS coach Paul Strand said. “The format of this meet is different than other meets, so that is a nice change-up for the players.
“With three competitions going on (individual, team, and 2-person best ball) it keeps the players on their toes not knowing exactly how others are doing.”
The Jays scored 361 to trail Antigo (331) and Wausau West (359). The Hatchets tallied 370.
Tomahawk’s Troy Salews­ke (37-45-82) trailed only Antigo’s Joe Fronek (35-42-77) for medalist honors. He was backed up by Joe Hinz (40-46-86), Ole Hanson (52-47-99) and Alex Tollison (55-48-103).
Merrill was paced by Adam Yirkovsky (40-46-86), Michael Pagel (42-45-87), Jared Hoffmann (42-51-93) and Mitchell Finnegan (48-47-95). The White team scored with Phillip Guenther (47-53-100), Travis Baacke (51-56-107), Kiefer Kleinschmidt (55-59-114) and Jake Yonke (58-60-118).
“Adam is getting much more experienced and consistent,” Strand said. “Michael struggled a bit with the long game but still used his short game to save a lot of strokes.”
GNC #5
The Hatchets hit 326 to finish a single stroke back of first place Rhinelander in Friday’s GNC #5 at Bass Lake.
“This was by far our best round of the year as a team,” Gerstenberger said. “Our number 2-5 golfers really played well today. Ole and Alex both had personal best 18 hole rounds. Joe shot 37 on the back nine and recorded 11 pars on the day.”
Hinz led the team with 43-37-80, and Salewske stayed in first overall in the series with a 39-43-82 despite fighting illness. Hanson (37-45) and Tollison (39-43) shot 82, and Troy Timm carded 43-43-86.
Salewske has a 5-1/2 point lead with two matches to go. Tomahawk was in 4th, a point behind Mosinee and 3-1/2 back of Antigo heading into Tuesday’s meet at Rhinelander and Friday’s closer at Tomahawk.
GNC #4
Troy Salewske (37-38-75) placed second overall, and Hinz (39-43-82), Hanson (43-41-84), Tollison (49-45-94) and Timm (47-47-94) closed out a tie for 4th with Medford at Timber Ridge. Antigo was just 3 strokes better at 332.
“Troy hit 11 greens in regulation and converted on four birdie putts,” Gerstenberger said. “Joe was very sharp around the greens. Ole Hanson did a nice job of putting his tee shots in play.”
WVC #4
The Bluejays notched their best round of the conference series at home last Tuesday with a 346, but trailed Wausau East by a single stroke for 6th.
Pagel (38-47-85), Coty Guenther (44-42-86), Hoffmann (42-45-87) and Yirkovsky (41-47-88) and Finnegan (45-45-90) played.
“All our golfers used their home course knowledge to keep them in play on almost all holes,” Strand said. “A bit more accuracy on their approach shots is all that is needed to start breaking 80 for each of them.”
Point hit 315 to win by 13 strokes over Rapids.
WVC #5
Short-handed Merrill struggled in Friday’s meet at tricky Greenwood Hills, placing last with 419.
“Four of our top six golfers were not able to play today and the inexperience showed up today,” Strand said. “For the younger players, this experience will be a learning one for next year when we again play this golf course as part of our conference rotation.”
Yirkovsky (49-49-98), Finnegan (50-49-99), Travis Baacke (57-50-107), P. Guenther (53-62-115) and Noah Connor (63-57-120) competed. West (330), Rapids (332), Everest (333) and Point (334) battled for first.

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