Middleton golfers start strong

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Alexis Thomas and Middleton's girls golfers are off to a fast start./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

MENOMONEE FALLS — The overall numbers were impressive.

The top of the lineup was sublime. The others held their own.

But in the first week of the season, Middleton’s girls golf team also discovered that the rest of the state just might be better than anticipated. And that could make the Cardinals’ quest for a state title even tougher than first imagined.

Middleton finished second at the 19-team Madison Edgewood Invite held at Yahara Hills last Friday. The Cardinals then placed third at the two-day, 23-team Brookfield Central-Homestead Classic held Monday and Tuesday.

While most teams would have been thrilled with the start, these Cardinals have extremely high aspirations this fall and are gunning for the top of every event they enter.

“It’s a good start, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “We have a lot of lofty goals, so we definitely have to keep improving.”

Middleton was a close second at the Edgewood Invite with a 321, six shots behind champion Milton (315). Hartland Arrowhead (325), Verona (329) and Oregon (338) rounded out the top five.

Middleton’s dynamic duo of senior Loren Skibba and junior Alexis Thomas finished first and second, respectively.

“We can’t ask any more out of our top two right now,” Halverson said. “They’re playing great.”

Skibba, the defending WIAA Division 1 individual state champion, shot a 1-under-par, 71 at Yahara. Skibba made four birdies, three bogeys and was steady throughout.

“I’m playing pretty good,” said Skibba, who missed some early tournaments last season with a back injury. “It would be great to defend the individual championship, but I definitely want to win the team championship. I just need to work harder. Nothing is a given.”

Thomas was almost as impressive, carding a 2-over-par 74. Thomas notched a pair of birdies, played the back nine at even par and overcame an early double bogey.

“I worked really hard all summer,” Thomas said. “I made a lot of improvements in my short game and that’s really helped.”

Middleton also counted an 83 from junior Morgan Narowetz and a 93 from junior Morgan Miles and settled for second.

The Cardinals then had an impressive showing at the Brookfield Central-Homestead Classic.

The Cardinals were in third place, four shots behind first place Arrowhead after the first round held at Mee-Kwon in Mequon Monday. Middleton thought it could make a charge during Tuesday’s second round at Wanaki Golf Course in Menomonee Falls, but fell short.

Arrowhead won the team title with a 627, while Milton finished second at 644 and Middleton settled for third at 649. Franklin was fourth (676) and Kettle Moraine was fifth (678).

Skibba and Thomas were terrific again.

Skibba shot a pair of 74s and finished at 148, which was good for second place. And Thomas shot 74-79, and her 153 was good for sixth place.

Narowetz shot 87-84 for a solid 171. And Miles went 84-93 for a 177.

“This was really good for team bonding,” Thomas said. “It was a really fun tournament.”

Middleton played without junior Lindsay Callahan, who is out with a back injury. Callahan will have an MRI next week, where her upcoming availability will be determined.

“We’ve had to play with a new No. 5,” Skibba said. “So it’s a little more pressure for (Thomas) and I. But we’ll keep getting better.”

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