Middleton golfers roll at regionals

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Joey Levin captured medalist honors at the Middleton Regional Wednesday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

When they exited University Ridge Golf Course nearly 12 months ago now, Middleton’s boys golf team was extremely disappointed.

To most, a fourth place finish at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament would have been cause for celebration. To the Cardinals — who entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the state — it wasn’t enough.

“We definitely wanted more,” Middleton junior Joey Levin said.

Right now, the Cardinals are on their way to obtaining more.

Middleton began the postseason Wednesday hosting a regional at Pleasant View, and the Cardinals made an impressive statement.

Middleton fired a season-low 295 and rolled to a 29-shot victory over runner-up Waunakee (324). The Cardinals advanced to the Reedsburg Sectional, which will take place June 2 at the Reedsburg Country Club.

“A 295 is a great score for our team and it's what we’ve been aiming for all season,” Middleton junior Nils Arneson said. “I think this round is what we needed during this point in our season to give us a lot of confidence going into our sectional tournament.
“Everyone was very excited and the atmosphere in the clubhouse afterwards was something to remember, but we also talked about how we know we can play even better. So that is our goal for next Tuesday. I'm just very happy to be a part of this talented team and I hope that we can accomplish more of our team goals in the upcoming weeks!”

Junior Emmet Herb agreed with Arneson.

“Everyone was relieved after the round,” Arneson said. “We were obviously excited about the score, but we felt good after finally putting together four solid rounds. Our mindset is to continue the solid play leading into sectionals.”

Middleton had sensational performances from its “Fab Four” — Levin, Arneson, Herb and Brady Thomas — a quartet of juniors that have carried the Cardinals all season long.

Levin shot a blistering 1-under-par, 71, and captured medalist honors. Levin had three birdies in his first 11 holes and sat at 3-under-par. Levin took a double bogey at No. 13, but closed with five straight pars for a sensational round.

Levin hit 12 greens in regulation and played lights out golf nearly the entire day.

“I was hitting the ball so well, probably the best I have hit it all year,” Levin said. “I would say that today was a really good day for me and I hope to continue this type of play.”

Herb had quite a day himself.

Herb had a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 2 that gave him an early jolt. Then after making bogeys on No. 9 and 10, Herb made an eagle-3 at No. 11 on his way to a 74 that left him in a second-place tie with Arneson.

“I honestly didn’t hit the ball that great,” Herb said. “I only (hit) one fairway on the front nine … but my long putts are what saved me. I was able to get them close and even made a few, which really helped my score.”

Arneson shot a 40 on the front nine, then rebounded with a blistering 2-under-par, 34 on the back nine. Arneson drained 10-foot birdie putts on both No. 10 and No. 11 and stayed hot the rest of the back nine.

“My putter was definitely the best part of my game today,” said Arneson, who finished the day with just 28 putts. “Whenever I can have a round with less than 30 putts, I know I have a good chance to put up a decent score, which I was able to do today.

“My goal, as usual, was to go out and make as many pars as I could, which on the back nine I was able to do a good job of. My wedges were also working well today and I got many good birdie looks after I would hit a wedge to the green.”

Thomas had a solid day himself, shooting a 76 and tying for fifth place individually.

Now, it’s off to sectionals where the Cardinals will continue their state title quest.

“We were all smiles after the 295,” Levin said. “To me, it felt like there was a weight that was lifted by finally making it into the 290s. The best part is we are far from playing our best golf, because we all had some not so great shots or putts today that prevented us from being even lower.

“However, the job is far from over and all of us know that. This was a great step in the right direction, but we need a couple more steps in order to hoist up the trophy that has been alluding us for so long.”

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