BREAKING -- Badgers recovers, grabs third straight sectional title
June 02, 2010 | 05:01 PM
Elkhorn -- Hawk's View. Grand Geneva. Heck, even Hillmoor.
What do these three golf courses have in common?
Well, they have helped the Geneva Lake area build a rich tradition of golf, and it has bled over to the Badger golf squad.
On Wednesday afternoon, the boys shot a whopping 149 on the back-9 at Evergreen Golf Course en route to a third straight sectional championship. Badger's total score of 312 bested its regional mark by five strokes and handily defeated Sun Prairie (320) and Beloit Memorial (321).
The star of the day for the hometown bunch was Brendan Gruenwald-Schmitz. Normally the team's No. 5 player, Gruenwald-Schmitz stepped up when it mattered, firing one under par on the back-9 for a total of 74. It was the second-best score of the day, only trailing Monona Grove's Colin Winistorfer. Coach Dave DeShambo said the junior has earned it.
"Brendan has been working hard all year," DeShambo said. "He was solid all the way around. He was making routine pars and a few birdies on the back-9. That's what's unique about our team. We are good enough to be able to rely on our No. 5 guy for a low score."
DeShambo said his team caught fire on the back-9 after a shaky 163 on the front-9. He said all his team needs sometimes is momentum to really turn it on.
Alex Gaugert, who shot a 70 in regionals, salvaged a rough front-9 to finish with a 77. Chad Henry hit a 79, and Tyler Cuculi added a 79. Ryan Garske's 84 was dropped.
DeShambo said this group of kids has helped catapult the program to an elite level in recent years. He attributes a now-defunct course, Hillmoor, to some of the success.
"We've had a core group of seven or eight guys," he said. "They've all been playing together since they were six or seven years old back when they played at Hillmoor. That place was like a second home to them. Also, we've had the Gaugert brothers, Alex and Austin, as a good foundation to build from."
DeShambo isn't really thinking yet about state, which is Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison.
"Getting into the top five is a good place to start," he said. "But you never know. We'll have to see how our first day goes and go from there."
Along with Badger and Sun Prairie, individuals who qualified for state were Jamison Vaughn of Portage and Drew Liner of Elkhorn. Both shot a 77.
Evergreen Golf Course, par 72
Team scores -- 1, Badger 312; 2, Sun Prairie 320; 3, Beloit Memorial 321; 4, Monona Grove 327; 5, Beaver Dam 328; 6, Fort Atkinson 329; 7, Janesville Craig 335; 8, Watertown 360.
Individual qualifiers -- Colin Winistorfer, MG, 70; Jamison Vaughn, Portage, 77; Drew Liner, ELK, 77.