Johnson's heroics power MHS golfers

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Rob Reischel
Middleton’s Dain Johnson finished second individually at the Madison Memorial Regional Monday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time moments. 

Or in the case of Dain Johnson, they make big-time putts.

Johnson, a standout junior golfer at Middleton, drilled a long par putt at No. 18 Monday during the WIAA Division 1 Madison Memorial Regional held at Blackhawk Country Club. Memorial senior Charlie Erlandson then missed his par putt.

That sequence of events allowed the Cardinals to win the regional title, 297-298, over the Spartans. Middleton’s 297-team score was its second-lowest of the season.

“Our guys seemed to be more focused and it was fun to see some really good play,” Middleton coach Tom Cabalka said. “A 297 is a great team score.”

The top four teams advanced to Tuesday’s Waunakee Sectional, which will be held at The Meadows of Six Mile Creek. That meant Middleton, Madison Memorial, Waunakee (312) and Madison West (330) moved on, while Mount Horeb (332), Verona (333), Sauk Prairie (343) and Madison East (422) fell short.

The top four individuals from non-qualifying teams also advanced to sectionals.

Middleton, ranked No. 3 in the state, and fifth ranked Memorial, were neck and neck throughout the round. The Spartans led, 147-149, at the turn, but Middleton roared back to win by one.

“They all performed well on the back nine,” Cabalka said of his group that shot 148 on the back nine.

Johnson shot an even-par 72 and finished second individually behind Memorial’s Erlandson (68).

Johnson was a model of consistency with three birdies, three bogeys and 12 pars.

Johnson made a birdie at the par-4, 397-yard eighth hole, which helped him make the turn at 37. Johnson made birdies at No. 10 and 12 and got himself back to even par, then finished with six straight pars to cap off one of his better rounds of the year.

Junior Charlie Jambor and freshman Sam Forslund both tied for third individually with 74s.

Jambor was 4-over par through 13 holes, then he made birdies at No. 14 and 17 — a pair of par-4s.

“Charlie’s birdie on 17 was huge for us as the scores between us and Memorial were really tight,” Cabalka said

Forslund made birdies at No. 2 and 6 and played the front nine in even-par 36. He made a double bogey at No. 10, but steadied the ship with four straight pars, then birdied No. 15 and 16 to pull back to even-par overall.

Forslund double bogeyed No. 17, but still finished with a terrific 74 that was critical in the Cardinals capturing the team title.

And senior James Baker was a picture of steadiness and shot 77. Baker made 11 pars, one birdie and six bogeys. He largely stayed out of trouble and delivered an extremely solid round.

“Dain, Charlie, Sammy and James all had great scores,” Cabalka said.

• Big Eight Conference tournament: Madison Memorial won the team title with a 315 at Evansville Golf Club on May 18.

Spartans’ senior Charlie Erlandson made a birdie putt on the final hole to lift the Spartans to a one shot win over Janesville Craig (316). Middleton was third at 322.

Erlandson also shot a 70 to capture medalist honors, while Middleton’s Dain Johnson was second at 75.

“Dain played really well,” Cabalka said. “His last few weeks have been some great golf for him.” 

The Cardinals also counted an 81 from Sam Forslund, an 82 from Reis Von Ruden and an 84 from James Baker.

‘The guys were disappointed at Evansville,” Cabalka said. “It's not an easy course, especially if you are seeing it for the first time, like our two freshmen. 

“We've had such a busy couple of weeks, it was too much to ask them to spend another day on the course. Evansville is probably the longest course that we play all year with some unique holes, but a great course. We had too many punch outs from trees to put up a solid team score.”


May 22

WIAA Division 1 Madison Memorial Regional

At Blackhawk CC

Par 72

Team scores: Middleton 297, Madison Memorial 298, Waunakee 312, Madison West 330, Mount Horeb 332, Verona 333, Sauk Prairie 343, Madison East 422.

Top five individuals: 1. Charlie Erlandson, MM, 68; 2, Dain Johnson, Mid., 72; 3 (tie). KC Nickel, Waun, Sammy Forslund, Mid, and Charlie Jambor, Mid, 74.

Middleton scores: Dain Johnson 72, Sammy Forslund 74, Charlie Jambor 74, James Baker 77.


May 18


At Evansville Golf Club


Madison Memorial 315, Janesville Craig 316, Middleton 322, Verona 334, Madison West 340, Sun Prairie East 340, Beloit Memorial 343. Sun Prairie West 344, Madison La Follette 350, Janesville Parker 381, Madison East 417


1. Charlie Erlandson (MM) 70. 2. Dain Johnson (M) 75. 3. Tyler Schick (SPE) 76.

Middleton scores: Dain Johnson 75, Sam Forslund 81, Reis Von Ruden 82, James Baker 84.



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