Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Lancers girls golf team states case
MENOMONEE FALLS – If this was the last high school event at Wanaki Golf Course, Brookfield Central finished on a high note.
The Lancers girls golf team, in the midst of perhaps one its best seasons ever, dominated the sectional there Monday, earning the championship with a four-player score of 313. That was 33 strokes better than Arrowhead, the second-place team.
Central senior Sami Krutz shot a 1over 72 to claim the medalist honors. Four strokes back in third place was the Lancers' standout sophomore, Sarah Balding.
The two played as if they felt at home with good reason. Wanaki is Central's long-time home course, an advantage they may have enjoyed for the last time. Waukesha County plans to close the course at the end of the season.
“We've played here so many times since freshman year that coming here is like a second home,” Krutz said. “You feel comfortable and it's a good feeling.”
The top two teams and top three individuals who were not part of a qualifying team advanced to the state tournament Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison.
Wauwatosa senior Rachel Kauflin (74), Oconomowoc senior Grace Suter (76) and Catholic Memorial senior Meredith Boos (78) were the individual qualifiers. All are veterans of the state tournament.
Brookfield Central and Arrowhead are well versed in the state-tournament experience as well. This will be Central's 10th straight appearance. Arrowhead will make its 17th straight trip.
The finish rang true to the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin state rankings. Central is ranked second in the state. Arrowhead is fifth despite finishing second, 18 strokes behind Catholic Memorial at the regional last week.
On Monday, Arrowhead displayed more of the game that has become expected of it. The Warhawks' top four players senior Ellie Kaiser (83), sophomore Lauren Peterson (84), junior Jada Chang (88) and freshman Kaitlyn Amtmann (91) – finished among the top 22 overall.
Compared to some of its recent teams, this Arrowhead team was young. Peterson and Kaiser were the only players back with state experience.
“We talked last week about just play your game,” Arrowhead coach Mike Breaker said. “Just worry about what you can control. … Understand during a round there are going to be some bad shots. It happens. You're high school kids.”
Brookfield Central, on the other hand, returned four of its five players from its 2018 state tournament appearance. This season began with high expectations and the Lancers delivered, winning every Greater Metro Conference meet and placing four players among the top six of the league's player of the year standings.
Monday the group started fast. Krutz, Balding, junior CJ Romero and junior Kyley Wipper all shot 40 or better on their first nine holes.
“They found a place to get comfortable early,” Brookfield Central coach Brian Scrobel said “Some of them struggled. There were a couple of runs of bogeys, a couple of short, missed putts, but they were really able to get some confidence going on that front nine and it allowed them to get to a good play. That's important for that psyche.”
Krutz had a slow start by her standards.
Starting on the back nine, she birdied her first hole but had bogeys on Nos. 13, 15, 16 and 17. Her back nine was a different story, though. She shot 2-under, rarely missing a putt. She had just 11 putts on the nine holes., the fewest putts she remembers having on that stretch of the course.
She said she had never putt so well. The run was symbolic of not only the team's play on Monday but for the entire season.
“All of us work super hard and we're so close to each other, always picking each other up and being positive,” Krutz said. “It's a special bond that we have that is unlike any other team.”