Thomas, MHS golfers start strong

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By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton senior Alexis Thomas captured medalist honors at last Friday's season-opening Madison Edgewood Invite./File photo

One year ago, Middleton and Hartland Arrowhead battled until the final putt of the season before the Cardinals edged the Warhawks for the state championship.

Early indications are 2016 could feature more of the same dramatics.

At the season-opening, 21-team WPGA/Madison Edgewood Invite held last Friday at Yahara Hills, Arrowhead shot a 312 and edged Middleton by one shot for the title.

Kettle Moraine was a distant third at 323, while Franklin (324) and Milton (326) rounded out the top five.

Last season, the Cardinals shot 321 at this same event, then won the state title two months later. So everyone on Middleton’s side was excited by the sensational start to the new year.

“I am so proud of the girls,” Middleton coach Becky Halverson said. “This is going to be another exciting season.”

Cardinals’ senior standout Alexis Thomas had a day to remember, shooting a 1-under-par, 71, and tying for medalist honors with Homestead’s Speedy Kent. Thomas then edged Kent for the individual title on the third playoff hole.

“It meant a lot winning the medalist (honors),” said Thomas, a North Dakota State recruit. “But it would have been a lot more exciting to have won the tournament as a team.

“With a lot of great, quality players at this tournament, I was really proud of myself for the way I played, but more proud of how my team and I finished.”

Thomas made birdies at No. 6 and 7 and shot 1-under-par on the front nine. Thomas also made two birdies on the back nine, along with a double bogey and shot even par on the second nine.

Thomas and Kent — both all-state players a year ago — were deadlocked after two playoff holes. Both birdied No. 10, their second playoff hole, including Thomas who drained a 10-footer to keep the thrilling playoff alive.

Finally on the third playoff hole, No. 9, Thomas made a par and Kent made a bogey.

Thomas wasn’t the only Cardinal to have a big day.

Junior Payton Hodson and senior Morgan Miles both shot 79s and tied for 12th individually.

“That was great for their confidence,” Halverson said.

Senior Morgan Narowetz added an 84, which was tied for 26th overall.

“From the start we didn't really know where we would stand,” Thomas said. “But I knew we could pull through and be up there in the rankings and hopefully finish up there towards the end of the season.

“It will be a close finish this year. There’s a lot of good competition, and I know my team and I will just take it one day at a time in order for us to get where we want to be in the end.”

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