Parker's Milner, Craig's Gagg headed to state golf tourney
LAKE GENEVA John Milner probably could have gone out and played another 18 holes in the time he spent waiting on Tuesday afternoon.
The Janesville Parker sophomore golfer teed off early at the Badger sectional and fired a six-over-par 78, a score that he didn't feel would qualify him for next week's WIAA Division 1 State Tournament.
Instead, roughly three hours later he found out that he, Janesville Craig senior Jordan Gagg and three others would play off with three state berths on the line.
Gagg and Waterford's Tyler Egnarski advanced with birdies on the first playoff hole and Milner advanced to state by parring the second.
"I tend to do better under pressure and focus more," said Milner, who went to state as the No. 5 player when Parker qualified as a team last year. "It makes me hit the shots that I want to."
Beloit Memorial won the team title, shooting 323, and advanced to state as a team along with Fort Atkinson, whose Nate Gilbert won the individual title on the second playoff hole. He, teammate Mitch Strom and Beloit Memorial's Kolton Kelley each shot 73.
Milner missed a handful of three-foot putts during his round of 78 and immediately went to the practice green, sinking 80 putts in a row from that distance.
Prior to the playoff, he stayed loose by playing a game of PIG around the chipping green with his dad.
Sure enough, the second playoff hole—the par-4 13th—came down to a chip, which Milner hit to tap-in range.
"Before my chip, my dad was like, 'This is what we were doing on the practice green, so here you go,'" said Milner, who finished tied for 73rd at state last year.
Gagg, a senior, will make his third trip to state, but he didn't make it easy on himself.
After shooting 41 on his opening nine, Gagg needed to go low on the back nine and shot 37 to make the five-man playoff.
There, on the opening (12th) hole, he drove deep down the fairway and hit a pitch from less than 100 yards to within eight feet. Ironically, the shot left him with the same putt that he made to par the hole during regulation.
"It was the same exact putt twice," Gagg said. "I was thinking, 'Just make par. Or give yourself a chance to make a birdie putt, and if it drops it drops.'"
Gagg started off hot at state last year and finished tied for 30th.
"It's cool as a senior to have that one last shot at it," he said. "I led through 16 last year there, so I'm hopefully looking to do that again and add on to it."
The state meet is Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge in Madison.
High school boys golf
WIAA Division 1 Lake Geneva Sectional
AT HAWK'S VIEW (72)
(Top two teams advance to state)
Beloit Memorial, 323; Fort Atkinson, 325; Watertown, 326; Portage, 332; Milton, 340; Burlington, 341; Janesville Craig, 353; Madison La Follette, 361.
*Nate Gilbert (FA), 73; Mitch Strom (FA), 73; Kolton Kelley (BM), 73; ^Jordan Gagg (JC), 78; ^Tyler Egnarski (Wat), 78; #John Milner (Janesville Parker), 78; Tony Stang (Bur), 78; Eric Jahnke (Wat), 78.
*Gilbert won top individual honors on the second playoff hole; ^Advanced to state as individuals on the first playoff hole; #Advanced to state as an individual on the second playoff hole.
Janesville Craig (353)—Jordan Gagg, 41-37—78; Nolan Moran, 45-47—92; Tommy White, 44-47—91; Troy Lipker, 49-43—92.
Madison La Follette (361)—Cole Thalacker, 38-46—84; Riley Prestigiacomo, 45-47—92; Casey Mael, 40-40—80; Austin Chappell, 51-54—105.
Burlington (341)—Brian Dankle, 37-43—80; Tony Stang, 41-37—78; Ben Gieger, 49-45—94; Scott Vyhanek, 43-46—89.
Portage (332)—Ben Herwig, 42-40—82; Alec Gaffney, 42-42—84; Drew Ringelstetter, 42-37—79; Ty Magnum, 47-40—87.
Milton (340)—Joe Meyer, 38-41—79; Drew Johnson, 44-40—84; Jacob Hauser, 42-45—87; Devin Haun, 46-44—90.
Fort Atkinson (325)—Nate Gilbert, 37-36—73; Mitch Strom, 39-34—73; Kyle Schneider, 44-47—91; Bentley Glass, 42-46—88.
Beloit Memorial (323)—Kolton Kelley, 37-36—73; Connor Day, 43-38—81; TJ Polglaze, 42-39—81; John Polglaze, 44-44—88.
Watertown (326)—Tyler Egnarski, 42-36—78; Eric Jahnke, 37-41—78; Scott Jahnke, 44-41—85; Jonathan Kaufmann, 40-45—95.
Individual qualifiers—John Milner (Janesville Parker), 37-41—78; Joey Scherer (Delavan-Darien), 40-39—79; Jordan Ray (DeForest), 39-41—80; Max Toso (Monona Grove), 39-42—81; Nils Arneson (Madison East), 41-41—82; Peter Conowall (Madison East), 41-43—84; Landon Schramski (Delavan-Darien), 45-43—88; Alex Hall (Elkhorn), 48-47—95.