Rhinelander’s Nick Twite hits his approach shot into the 12th hole at Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua during the fourth leg of the Great Northern Conference tournament Tuesday, May 7. Twite shot 83 Tuesday, finishing seventh on the day. (Brett LaBore/Lakeland Times)
5/9/2019 7:31:00 AM Hodag golfers tie for fourth at Lakeland
The Rhinelander High School golf team appears to have settled into the middle of the pack in the Great Northern Conference.
The Hodags shot 377 and tied for fourth place in the fourth leg of the GNC tournament, hosted by Lakeland Tuesday at Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua.
Rhinelander tied with Medford for the fourth spot - the Hodags third consecutive fourth-place finish in the GNC after taking third in the opener.
Coach Adam Schmidt said the Hodags struggled on the greens at Timber Ridge as all four of his players took at least 36 putts.
"A lot of them struggled putting. We had a lot of putts today," he said.
Nick Twite shot an 11-over par round of 83 that included a string of three double bogeys on the back nine. That was still good enough for seventh place on the day and he remains tied for fifth overall in the GNC standings with three conference meets to go. The top five golfers at the end of the season will receive first-team All-GNC honors.
"Nick, he had a few mistakes putting, otherwise he hit nine fairways and nine greens," Schmidt said. "I looked at his scorecard and pretty much every time he hit the fairway, he hit the green. But then he had 36 putts. You think about that if you get that down to 32, that's four strokes and (he shoots) 79. He was definitely there, he just couldn't get the flat iron working."
Kole Gechas was second on the team with a round of 91. Schmidt said the highlight of his round came with birdies on the 12th and 14th holes before struggling on Timber Ridge's tough stretch of closing holes.
"He struggled with those last couple holes. Hole 16 is that long par 3. He bogeyed there. Then I think 17 is the hardest hole on the course. You're second shot, you've got to hit a 200-plus yard second shot and that green's pretty tight. I think he got like a double or something, but he shot 91, which is very good for a freshman," Schmidt said. "We put a freshman in, make him play varsity and he's really rose to the occasion."
Devon Gaber, back on varsity following a couple of meets on JV, turned in his best performance of the year, shooting 94.
"Watching Devon, when I came up on him, he was pretty excited," Schmidt said. "He started with a birdie. Then he had a few rough holes but shooting 94, that's awesome for him. I think the last time he played varsity he shot 110 or something. It's exciting to see him come around a little bit."
Neil Mathews shot 109 Tuesday and the Hodags played without a fifth player after Nick Schiek was a late scratch due to illness.
GNC-leading Lakeland placed four golfers in the top five Tuesday, shooting 296 to win on its home course. Individual conference leader Kyle Bengtson shot a 2-under par round of 70 to take medalist honors. Lakeland's Ansen Nomm and Mosinee's Standford Swid tied for second, three shots back.
The Hodags come home Friday to host the fifth leg of the GNC tournament at Northwood Golf Club.
"The guys will be looking forward to that," Schmidt said. "Statistically, we don't always play our best at our home course, but maybe this year will be different."
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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