Joel Ellefson should have a bit of an advantage when he tees off in this week’s Division 2 WIAA sectional golf tournament, competing for the right to advance and partipate in the state tournament at The University Ridge Course in Madison, June 5-6.
Ellefson, a senior at North Crawford High School and a member of the Viroqua/North Crawford High School boys golf team, played a key role in the selection of the Viroqua Hills Golf Course, the home course for the Blackhawks, as the site of this week’s sectional tournament.
The sectional, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 31, did not have a host site when Ellefson checked the WIAA website last summer, and according to VHS coach Aaron Cade, “Joel was instrumental in getting the sectional at Viroqua Hills. When Joel noticed the WIAA did not have a site selected he notified me as soon as he could and I asked Mr. Anderson (Eric Anderson, VHS athletic director) to submit the request and it was quickly granted by the WIAA, as we haven’t hosted a post season event in a few years.”
In order for Ellefson to compete in the sectional, the two-time Coulee Conference Player-of the-Year, had to make the cut at the WIAA regional played at Platteville Country Club Course, Wednesday, May 24. Ellefson made the cut but it was not easy, scuffling to card an 85 on the par-71 course, finishing in eighth place individually, but still managing to qualify for the sectional competition.
“Joel struggled with his game at Platteville, but was able to hold it together on the back nine well enough to qualify for sectionals,” Cade said. “I expect him to work very hard over the next few days to make sure he has his ‘A’ game when he tees off at his home course for sectionals. Joel will have a nice advantage, but will still be in for some stiff competition. I expect him to be in the mix, but he will have to play some of his best golf of the season and of his high school career to earn a trip to University Ridge.”
Senior Keenan Knight, in just his second year playing golf, scored a 97 at the regional, and junior teammate Jackson Roels, a first-year player, was right behind, carding a 98.
Host school Platteville used their home-course advantage to dominate the regional field, winning the team competition with a scorching 319, Richland Center and Dodgeville finished tied for a distant second with 370, followed by River Valley 371, Westby 387, Mauston 395, Wisconsin Dells, 410 and Prairie du Chien, 430.
Platteville’s Ethan Suits and Isaiah Altflillisch tied for medalist honors each with 78’s and Westby senior Trey Stendalen qualified for the sectionals, placing sixth individually, with an 83. The top four teams and top four individuals, not members of qualifying teams, at each of the three Division 2 regionals advanced to the sectionals.