Some big numbers and inconsistent play off the tee proved to be the undoing of the Portage boys golf team, as the Warriors finished in sixth place at the eight-team Badger North Conference Tournament with a 361 at the House on the Rock Resort in Spring Green on Tuesday.
The sixth-place finish also landed Portage in sixth place overall in the final conference standings, which also takes into account the four conference mini meets played during the regular season.
Leading Portage on Tuesday was Mitchell Thorn with a 14-over-par 86. The senior had a hard time stringing together good holes. His front nine did include five pars, but he also triple-bogeyed the par-5 fourth hole.
“Mitchell just couldn’t get any consistent streaks going,” Portage head coach Ed Carlson said. “He had several good stretches and hit a lot of good shots, but it was just one of those days where he couldn’t score today. I really thought he played better than his score would indicate.”
Thorn wasn’t the only Portage player to have his score punished by a big number. As a team, Portage had 25 scores of double-bogey or worse on a hole.
“We did a nice job of bouncing back from those mistakes on many occasions, but making those type of big numbers in the conference tournament is hard to recover from,” Carlson said.
Tristan Wood shot a 90 for Portage. Wood had a strong back nine round going, as he played holes 10-14 at even par. But Wood struggled on holes 15-18, playing them at 9 over, including a quadruple-bogey on the par-3 17th and a triple-bogey on the par-4 18th.
Carlson said part of the trouble Portage had on Tuesday came from missing the fairway off the tee box.
“The rough played extremely tough today, and the conditions really put a premium on finding the fairway off the tee,” Carlson said. “We struggled in that area today, and on a course like this getting out of position will really cost you strokes. It was tough for us to build any kind of momentum.”
Portage’s third lowest score was a 92 by Jake Eichline, whose 42 on the front nine was a team-best on that half. The Warriors also got a 93 from Mason Wood and a 95 from Marcus Herwig.
According to Carlson, the Warriors are putting the conference meet behind them as they prepare to compete in the Division 1 DeForest Regional, which will be played Tuesday at the Lake Windsor County Club.
“We are already looking forward to the regional,” Carlson said. “The guys are still very driven and they know they have an opportunity ahead of them in the regional.”
BADGER NORTH CONFERENCE MEET
Team scores: Waunakee 314, Reedsburg 315, Mount Horeb 326, Beaver Dam 334, Baraboo 344, Portage 361, DeForest 361, Sauk Prairie 375.
Final conference standings: Waunakee 47 (points), Reedsburg 40, Mount Horeb 37.5, Baraboo 25.5, Beaver Dam 25, Portage 21, DeForest 14, Sauk Prairie 6.
Top 5 individuals: *Joe Guerrera, Wau, 75; Zak Kulka, BD, 75; Hunter Dersham, Bar, 75; Dylan Brown, Reed, 76; Ben Leis, MH, 77; Ben Fuhrmann, Reed, 77.
<&SPAGEm>*won playoff for medalist honors.</&SPAGEm>
Waunakee: Joe Guerrera 75, Jacob Werlein 79, Sean Murphy 80, Ryan Johnson 80, Andrew Hasik 81. Reedsburg: Dylan Brown 76, Ben Fuhrmann 77, Will Fuhrmann 78, Zach Arneson 84, Carson Beyer 90. Mount Horeb: Ben Leis 77, Kasen Fager 81, Tyler Crubaugh 83, Tommy Winkler 85, Will Kealy 87. Baraboo: Hunter Dersham 75, Dane Hinz 82, Jack Rath 92, Noah Andersen 95, George Fitzwilliams 97. Beaver Dam: Zak Kulka 75, Emmett Lyons 86, MJ Hallman 86, Ben Nortman 87, Connor Smith 102. Portage: Mitchell Thorn 86, Tristan Wood 90, Jake Eichline 92, Mason Wood 93, Marcus Herwig 95. DeForest: Andrew Doucette 80, Joe Brethouwer 91, Jack Creger 92, Sam Galvin 97, Tristan Mack 105. Sauk Prairie: Jake Vieth 86, Tyler Ramaker 90, Aaron Frey 99, Jake Zimmerman 101, Drew Rachein 106. At House on the Rock, par 72.