Rhinelander’s Nick Twite putts on the par-4 10th hole during a Great Northern Conference golf match at Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander Friday, May 10. Twite shot 85 and placed sixth overall. (Jeremy Mayo/River News)
5/14/2019 7:33:00 AM Hodag golfers tie for second in home GNC match
Historically, th Rhinelander High School golf team has had its share of ups and downs when it hosts home Great Northern Conference meets. On Friday, however, it was mostly up for the Hodags.
Rhinelander shot 374 and tied for second in the fifth leg of the conference tournament at Northwood Golf Course.
"Tied for second was awesome," coach Adam Schmidt said. "Northwood is a hard course. I'm always saying that. The scores are usually higher, but the boys came through. Tied for second this year, I basically consider that a win. Lakeland is just so good. For the rest of the conference, I'd say tied for second was pretty awesome."
Already arguably the conference's toughest course, Northwood's teeth were sharpened by cold conditions and gusty winds that gave all the conference teams fits.
"(The greens) were definitely fast, definitely firm. The pins were in some tough spots and the boys just came out and played well," Schmidt said.
Rhinelander tied with Antigo for the runner-up spot and was one stroke ahead of fourth-place Mosinee.
The Hodags weren't necessarily immune to trouble on their home course. Nick Twite posted Rhinelander's lowest round as an 85 was good enough for sixth place on the game. He shot a 41 on the front nine that included a triple-bogey 7 on the fourth hole. He still sat at eight over through 15 holes, but closed bogey-bogey-triple to shoot 44 on the second nine while battling what Schmidt said was a sore back.
"It wasn't his best round, but his back was pretty sore," Schmidt said. "He was playing hurt. He was toughing it out, but he was grinding."
Kole Gechas was second on the team, and tied for 14th overall with a round of 95, his round included seven double bogeys. Both Devon Gaber and Neil Mathews finished strong to turn in rounds of 97. Gaber, who started on the fourth, made bogey or better on his final seven holes. Mathews, who started on the fifth, was 17-over through his first six holes but recovered to play the final 12 holes in plus-8, which included a birdie on the par-5 16th hole.
"Neil was the talk of the day," Schmidt said. "He's been trying to get a birdie all year and he comes in and he's like, 'Coach, I got a birdie! I chipped it in!' He was super excited. For Neil to shoot that 42 on the back, that's what really put us over the top. He was able to put it all together."
Freshman Garrett Kulhanek, filling in for Nick Schiek in the No. 3 spot, shot 110.
Lakeland swept the top four positions on Friday to win the meet with a total of 315 strokes. The T-Birds have won 12 straight conference matches and can wrap up the conference title by placing ahead of Mosinee at today's GNC round at Bass Lake Golf Club in Antigo. Antigo remained 1 1/2 points ahead of Rhinelander for third place in the conference standings.
Lakeland's Ansen Nomm shot 77 to earn medalist honors Friday, two strokes ahead of teammates Kyle Bengtson and Kaeden Nomm. Bengtson still holds a 4 1/2-point lead over Kaeden Nomm in the conference standings. Twite slipped to sixth in the conference standings, bypassed by Lakeland's Adam Lazaroff, who finished fourth Friday.
The Hodags were a late scratch from the Merrill Best Ball invite on Saturday.
Jeremy Mayo may be reached at email@example.com.
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