Craig High golfers take their depth to state
JANESVILLE Janesville Craig High School boys golf coach Domanic Wiegel understands that the competition in the WIAA Division 1 state tournament will be exceedingly difficult.
He also knows you can surprise some people with just a good day or two of golf.
After sneaking through the regional by a mere stroke, the Cougars qualified for the state tournament—where Hartland Arrowhead will be trying for a fifth straight Division 1 title Monday and Tuesday at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona—with an impressive second-place showing in last Tuesday’s sectional at Lake Geneva’s Hawk’s View Golf Club.
Paced by sophomore Jordan Gagg’s 79, the Cougars posted a team total of 327, six shots behind Lake Geneva Badger. It will be Craig’s first state appearance in boys golf since 2007.
“We had five guys play well at sectionals,” Wiegel said. “All it takes is that one day to get you there (to) state.”
Depth also can take you far in team golf, and that’s the trait that Wiegel, in his second season, likes most about his team.
Though no Cougar cracked the top five for medalist honors at the sectional, junior Ryne Clatworthy (84), senior Jim Leute (83) and junior Tanner Woodman (81) all turned in solid performances. In fact, senior Jordan Moss’ 85 was thrown out, a score that almost any team would be happy to count.
“(At the) beginning of the season we had a deep team. It was just, were enough guys going to step up?” Wiegel said.
In terms of order, Wiegel said there’s not much difference between how he lines up his golfers, but he does take personality and mental strength into account. That’s why Clatworthy, who Wiegel said has a propensity to play well against top competition, has been Craig’s No. 1 golfer all season.
“He isn’t intimidated by the other guys,” Wiegel said. “Some of the other number-ones, they step up to the tee and hit one 280 (yards) right down the middle. And Ryne is like, ‘Whatever.’ He’ll just go up and hit his down the middle and stick his second (shot) closer.”
Craig’s depth extends beyond its top five, too. Wiegel said his top five recently spent an afternoon walking around Riverside Golf Course transfixed by a playoff between two golfers competing for the team’s postseason alternate slot.
It’s that kind of depth and support that has brought the Cougars this far.
“For our seniors, it’s a great way to end their high school golf career,” Wiegel said. “For the underclassmen, it will give them that motivation to work extra hard over the summer.”