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WIAA DIV. 1 GOLF - Lingen, Viergutz advance; team nearly does too

Lingen, Viergutz advance; team nearly does too
Medford golfer Riley Viergutz follows through on a tee shot during Thursday’s GNC golf meet at Trout Lake Golf Course in Arbor Vitae. Viergutz finished second in that meet and kept his season alive Tuesday by advancing from the rain-shortened WIAA Division 1 Marshfield regional. BRETT LaBORE/THE LAKELAND TIMES
Lingen, Viergutz advance; team nearly does too
Medford golfer Riley Viergutz follows through on a tee shot during Thursday’s GNC golf meet at Trout Lake Golf Course in Arbor Vitae. Viergutz finished second in that meet and kept his season alive Tuesday by advancing from the rain-shortened WIAA Division 1 Marshfield regional. BRETT LaBORE/THE LAKELAND TIMES


Medford seniors Connor Lingen and Riley Viergutz extended their seasons by at least one more meet Tuesday, and the rest of the team very nearly followed.

The WIAA Division 1 Marshfield regional, held at RiverEdge Golf Course, was shortened due a nine-hole event due to persistent rain in the morning and early afternoon hours.

The shortened meet wound up keeping Medford in the mix for one of the four team sectional spots and the Raiders nearly got the last one. They fell one shot short with a score of 172. Merrill was fourth at 171. Marshfield (156), Wausau East (161) and Wausau West (166) got the other three team spots in WIAA Division 1 Hudson sectional, set for Tuesday, May 28 at Troy Burne Golf Club.

“We’ve talked all year about one shot at a time, every shot, every practice, every moment matters,” Medford head coach Matt Haase said Wednesday. “This kind of showed that. But moving up a division this year, we were still right there. Looking at the Division 2 regional, with our score, I think we would have finished second if we were in our normal regional.”

This year is the first since 2003 that Medford has been in Division 1 for the postseason.

Though some players had gone past nine holes Tuesday, all official individual scores were cut off after they had played the front nine. Haase said some players had gotten past nine when play was halted the first time when greens started to get saturated. Lightning caused a second delay and when play resumed again mid-afternoon the decision had already been made to just get every- one through nine.

Lingen, a Division 2 state qualifier last year, got through those nine holes at an even-par 36 with seven pars, a birdie on the par-3, 194-yard fifth hole and a bogey on the par-4, 397-yard eighth hole. That put him second among the meet’s 40 golfers and clinched the first of the four individual sectional berths that were up for grabs in Tuesday’s competition for players not on sectional-qualifying teams.

Lingen was one stroke behind the meet’s champion, Marshfield junior Keegan Fredrick and one shot better than Wausau East junior Ted Schlindwein.

“Connor came in very focused,” Haase said. “He was very well prepared for everything that comes with playing on a rainy day as a mature senior should be. He focused on his short game in warm-ups. He had his umbrella, towels and rain gloves ready and didn’t let the weather bother him. He had a lot of low-stress pars.”

Viergutz played 10 holes and was sitting at 43, but his official nine-hole score was scaled back to 39. That put him in a four-way tie for fourth place and gave him the second individual sectional spot. Marshfield’s Magnus Machtan and West’s Russell Harder were from sectionalqualifying teams. Rhinelander’s Brody Kowieski was the fourth golfer with a 39 and got the third individual sectional berth. The fourth went to Stevens Point’s Zach Hinchcliffe, who was part of a sevenway tie at 42.

Viergutz’s 3-over-par score on the front nine included five pars, a birdie on the 326-yard, par-4 sixth holes, two bogeys and a double on the par-3 seventh. He had parred the 10th hole.

“Riley had a birdie, he got up and down on eight and nine, which was good,” Haase said. “He was very focused as well. That was good to see.”

Senior Aidan Ball finished his run in high school golf with a nine-hole score 47 that put him 33rd. He actually got through 15 holes as part of the first group that teed off at 8 a.m. Ball parred the par-3 seventh and had five bogeys in his nine official holes. Junior Alex Wanke tied for 36th with a 50 that included a par on the par-4, 265-yard third hole and three bogeys. Senior Cameron Bull was 40th with a 56. that also included a third-hole par and four bogeys.

Stevens Point (173), D.C. Everest (174) and Rhinelander (176) rounded out Tuesday’s field in Marshfield.

Teamwise for Medford, it’s been an upand- down season, which was not totally unexpected. But Haase said he saw some good things, especially toward the end.

“With our bigger team this year, things were really more competitive than maybe they’ve ever been from about the fourth man to the 12th man,” Haase said. “All of those players started getting to be very close. Their averages were about 3-4 strokes apart from the fourth to the 12th and I really could’ve put about any one of them in the four and five spots on varsity.”

The other Division 1 regional was scheduled for Wednesday in New Richmond. Lingen and Viergutz will play a practice round at Troy Burne Monday. The first group in the Hudson sectional meet will tee off at 9 a.m. on Tuesday with the top two teams and top three individuals from non-qualifying teams advancing to the WIAA state championships at Black Wolf Run in Kohler June 3-4.

Great finish for seniors

The Great Northern Conference season ended Thursday with Lingen and Viergutz taking first and second in their final league meet, which was hosted by Lakeland at Trout Lake Golf Club.

Both four-year varsity players for Medford, Lingen won the meet with a 1-over-par 73 on the 6,352-yard course, while Viergutz’s 76 put him two strokes ahead of GNC champion and Player of the Year, Jack Rubo of Lakeland. There was a four-way tie for fourth at 79 between Mosinee’s Alex Steppke, Ryder Will of Northland Pines and Lakeland’s Matt Haggart and Gray Wagner.

Lingen clinched second place in the GNC’s individual standings with 57 points, nine behind Rubo. Lingen earned his second consecutive spot on the All-GNC first team. He was on the second team as a sophomore and got honorable mention as a freshman.

Viergutz’s nine points Thursday gave him 17 for the season, good for eighth place overall and a spot on the All-GNC second team for the second straight year. He got honorable mention two years ago.

The Raiders were fifth Thursday for the fourth time in seven GNC meets and that’s where they finished in the final team standings. With 21 points, Medford was ahead of Tomahawk (15) and Antigo (8) in the final standings. Lakeland won its sixth straight GNC title, winning all seven meets for 49 points, followed by Mosinee (40) and Rhinelander and Northland Pines, who tied for third with 31.5 points.

Thursday’s team scores were: 1. Lakeland, 316; 2. Mosinee, 335; 3. Northland Pines and Rhinelander, 342; 5. Medford, 354; 6. Tomahawk, 368; 7. Antigo, 396.

Lingen started his round on the 14th hole and had two pars, two bogeys and a birdie on the par-5, 463-yard 16th to start. He shot a 1-over 37 on the front nine, including birdies on the par-5 fourth and seventh holes. Another birdie on the par-4 10th followed by three pars to close out the round helped him shoot an even-par 36 on the back nine.

Viergutz started his round on hole 13. He got off to a shaky start and was 6-over after six holes, but a birdie on the 361yard first hole got him going. He birdied the par-3 third and par-5 fourth and added birdies on the seventh and ninth holes, both par-5s, to shoot a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine. His sixth birdie of the day came on the par-5, 481-yard 11th hole.

Bull was 29th individually for Medford with a score of 101. He notched pars on the par-5 11th and 16th holes. Cooper Klingbeil was 30th with a 104. He carded back-to-back pars on the 15th and 16th holes and added one on seven. Ball tied for 32nd at 107 with seven bogeys and a par on the par-3 fifth.

Lingen joined Rubo (66 points), Mosinee’s Jett Walters (44.5), Haggart (44.5) and Wagner (32) on the All-GNC first team.

GNC #6 In the sixth GNC meet, held May 15 at Bass Lake Country Club outside of Antigo, Medford placed fifth with a score of 355, beating Tomahawk (368) and Antigo (391). Lakeland won with its best score of the league season at 301, well ahead of Mosinee (336), Northland Pines (339) and Rhinelander (351).

Lingen had a good meet, taking third with a 5-over-par 76, two shots behind Rubo and three behind the day’s winner, Haggart. Starting on hole six, Lingen birdied two of his first five holes, the 517-yard, par-5 seventh and 306-yard, par-4 10th, and then parred four straight before bogeying six straight holes.

Lingen jumped over Walters into second place in the conference’s individual standings. Lingen entered the meet a halfpoint behind Walters, who tied Will for eighth in this meet with an 81.

Viergutz had a big moment for Medford with an eagle on the 10th hole. He added a birdie on the par-5, 523-yard fourth hole as part of his 88 that tied him for 16th place.

Bull was back with the varsity and tied for 24th with a round of 95. He birdied the par-3, 136-yard 12th hole and notched five pars. Ball was 26th with his 96 that was solid except for two quadruples that offset his three pars. Grant Neubauer was the team’s fifth scorer at 111.

Lakeland’s Jeremy Hensen and Wagner tied for fourth place with 77s.

Medford senior Aidan Ball drops a short putt for bogey on the par-3 15th hole at Trout Lake Golf Course Thursday. BRETT LaBORE/THE LAKELAND TIMES

Medford’s Connor Lingen finished second in the GNC standings and earned All-GNC first-team honors, while Riley Viergutz placed 8th in the final standings and is a member of the All-GNC second team. They finished first and second in Thursday’s final GNC meet of the season, hosted by Lakeland. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY MATT HAASE