Lincoln County golfers mix up conference meets with best ball

A gorgeous day greeted the Bluejay and Hatchet golf teams to the Merrill Best Ball Invite at the Merrill Golf Club on Saturday.
Neither squad cracked the top three in best ball standings, although Tomahawk placed third, while the Merrill #1 team ranked fourth and Merrill #2 was sixth in the 8-team field.
The Hatchets’ Turner Wegener also ranked fourth indiviually at 39-41-80, while Joe Hinz (47-40-87) and Ole Hanson (42-44-86) ended up team tops in the best ball. Alex Tollison (46-47-93) shot with Wegener.
“Turner has been hitting the ball well lately,” THS coach Garth Gerstenberger said. “He said he hit the ball right down the middle of the fairway.
“Neither Joe or Ole played great individually, but they just happened to play well at opposite times, which is what you need to do for a best ball.”
Philip Guenther led the Bluejays’ individual scoring with 39-45-84, followed by his brother Coty Guenther (42-43-85), Jared Hoffmann (43-44-87), Evan Connor (44-45-89), Travis Baacke (47-46-93), Kevin Lee (46-46-92), Mike Pagel (50-46-96) and Mitchell Finnegan (48-50-98).
“The event is fun for all the teams, playing in this best ball competition is something many of the schools and players have not done before in high school competition,” MHS coach Joe Mertens said. “The Bluejays are proud to have this invitational open to any team wanting to play and are happy to see the event grow each year.”
Antigo’s Mike Shinners and Nick Bolen shared medalist honors with 77. Marshfield’s Craig Serchen and Kyle Hoffman won the best ball at 73.
Team standings-Antigo 1 330, Marshfield 335, Tomahawk 346, Merrill 1 357, Wis. Rapids 358, Merrill 2, 369, Antigo 2 413, Wausau East inc.
WVC #4
The Bluejays hosted last Tuesday’s leg of the Valley meet, but blow-up holes took away their home course advantage.
Merrill scoring was paced by sophomores Kevin Lee (44-43-87) and Mike Pagel (46-42-88), and seniors Jared Hoffmann (45-46-91) and Evan Connor (44-48-92).
“We did not have our best day,” Mertens said. “When I review the score cards, they boys played a lot of good holes, but continue to find trouble putting up big numbers on a few holes that elevate their scores. We have got to be more consistent and balance out the performance.
“Despite the higher team score, the boys are feeling confident they are making progress and their games are improving.”
Wausau East’s Alex Schremp was the medalist with 72.
Team standings-SPASH 300, D.C.E. 329, Marshfield 343, Wausau East 344, Wis. Rapids 347, Wausau West 355, Merrill 358.
WVC #5
The Bluejays stumbled to last place in Friday’s fifth leg of the conference meet held at River Edge Golf Course in Marshfield.
“Obviously the boys performance was not what they wanted, but their spirits remain high and have a goal of finishing strong in the two remaining conference matches,” Mertens said. “Jared started birdie, par, birdie before taking a 10 on a hole to eliminate his great start, but overall, he was pleased with his remaining round.
“Mike’s round included the unthinkable to golfers when the 15th hole gobbled up three of his tee shots into the out bounds en route to a very high score. It happened again a few holes later, which lead to his unusually high back nine score. Evan posted his best front nine score, experiencing similar problems on that back nine. Kevin Lee said he just couldn’t get anything going right.”
The Jays counted on Hoffmann (40-44-84), Connor (39-52-91), Lee (50-47-97) and Pagel (39-60-99).
West’s Matt Sandquist and Everest’s Larry Wetzel shared top honors by shooting 76.
Team standings-SPASH 319, D.C.E. 337, Wis. Rapids 338, Marshfield 341, Wausau West 361, Wausau East 368, Merrill 371.
GNC #6
The Hatchets ended up fifth in Friday’s sixth Great Northern event, but just eight strokes out of second and 11 out of the overall win. They still are third in the overall team standings, trailing Mosinee by 1-1/2 points for second and four ahead of Medford.
“Joe Hinz and Turner Wegener both played well for us today,” Gerstenberger said. “Joe’s round included 6 pars and 3 birdies and only 27 putts. I was pleased with the way we putted and hit out of the sand today. The top two guys did fine, the other guys just could not seem to get anything going today.”
Hinz fired a 37-41-78 to rank fourth on the day, and Wegener hit 41-43-84. But Tollison (48-45-93), Hanson (45-49-94) and Chad O’Brien (48-46-94) struggled.
Team standings-Antigo 338, Medford 341, Rhinelander 341, Mosinee 342, Tomahawk 349, Pines 354, Lakeland 371.
Hinz was ranked seventh individually after this meet with Friday’s GNC #7 at Rhinelander’s Northwoods remaining. The top five earn First Team All-GNC, and the next two sets of five are Second Team and Honorable Mention.
GNC #5
The Hatchets also competed in the fifth conference meet at Antigo’s Bass Lake last Tuesday and used balance to score third place as a team.
They counted on scoring from Hinz (43-41-84), Wegener (44-44-88), Hanson (44-45-89), Tollison (42-48-90) and Chad O’Brien (44-48-92).
“Alex Tollison holed out from 79 yards away on the fourth hole for eagle,” Gerstenberger said.
Team standings-Antigo 343, Mosinee 348, Tomahawk 351, Rhinelander 357, Medford 358, Pines 359, Lakeland 380.
Regional warm-up
The Bluejays ranked a solid fourth of six squads in last Monday’s look at their WIAA Regional site for this year.
The Jays were paced by Lee (42-42-84), Pagel (47-38-85), Connor (47-40-87) and Hoffmann (50-42-92).
“Kevin Lee’s scoring is improving as a result of his confidence,” Mertens said. “He is finding that he can play at the varsity level. Mike Pagel, our #1 man, again had to salvage his round with a comeback score on the back side. Mike tends to show his true ability and skill when he settles down and becomes comfortable with his game.
“Evan showed promise last night as well by shooting his low competitive back nine score of 40.”
Team standings-Marshfield 321, Antigo 331, D.C. Everest 342, Merrill 348, Wausau West 356, Wausau East 377.

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