Zucker shines at state

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Andy Zucker finished 28th individually at the boys state golf championships./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

MADISON — Andy Zucker grew accustomed to leading a group of golfers this season.

Monday and Tuesday, Middleton’s standout junior golfer was forced into a ‘Lone Ranger’ type role.

But Zucker showed he can thrive under any scenario.

Zucker posted a two-day total of 157 at the WIAA Division 1 boys golf tournament held at University Ridge and finished in a tie for 28th place.

Middleton failed to qualify as a team for the first time since 2013. But Zucker advanced through sectionals and turned in an extremely solid two-day performance.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Zucker, who moved into the role of Middleton’s No. 1 player midway through the season. “Playing as an individual is a lot different.

“My mindset was to be more aggressive. I like being under pressure and I like a lot of people watching.”

Zucker certainly handled the pressure well, something Middleton coach Tom Cabalka took note of.

“Great experience,” Cabalka said. “His confidence just continued to grow and this was a wonderful experience for him.

“It’s tough when you’re an individual and you're used to playing with a team. But he handled it really well and he made some really good decisions.”

Zucker shot a first round 78 on a day his putter was red-hot.  On Tuesday’s second day, Zucker’s putter cooled off, but his wedge game and bunker shots were sublime.

“His confidence level really grew and he really became a team leader and that was great to see,” Cabalka said. “He played really, really well for two days.”

Zucker broke his wrist last June, missed most of the summer and struggled early on this spring. Over the last month, though, Zucker became one of the top players around.

That growth bodes well for a big 2018 season.

Middleton loses three starters from its lineup, but Zucker should lead a group that will have a world of talent.

“I’m so excited for next year,” Zucker said. “I think we are going to be one of the best teams in the state. I don’t want to say that to a lot of people, but I know we have a lot of players.

“I told everyone to get in as many tournaments as they can over the summer. It’s really going to be fun next year.”

Cabalka agreed.

“I think we’ll be better,” Cabalka said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of choices and a lot of good competition for the spots that are available. There’s only one solidified right now, but he’s going to be a pretty good leader.”

Something Zucker showed at the state tournament.

 

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