Friends for years since playing junior golf, Madison Edgewood sophomores Alex Weiss and Al Deang have established a solid 1-2 combination at the top of the Crusaders’ formidable lineup this season.
That again was true Tuesday at the WIAA Division 2 Madison Edgewood boys golf regional at Odana Hills Golf Course.
Edgewood No. 2 golfer Deang fired a 1-over-par 73 and claimed medalist honors and Weiss, the Crusaders’ No. 1 golfer, was runner-up with a 75 in leading their team to the regional title.
“They have played a lot of junior golf,” Edgewood coach Joe Ring said. “That’s where it helps coming here. They have the experience in competitive golf.”
Deang, from a family well-known in Madison for its athletic ability in numerous sports, said he was the only one among his siblings who continued in golf after being introduced to the sport as a youth.
“I love everything about it,” said Deang, 16, who also plays basketball. “I like the satisfaction of hitting good shots.”
Weiss loves the challenge each golf course presents. Even though Edgewood was host, the Crusaders don’t play at Odana Hills often and it’s not considered one of their home courses.
“Every course you go to is going to be different and trying to figure that out I think is really cool about golf,” Weiss said. “It’s like a puzzle almost. You have to solve every course.”
The Crusaders certainly solved Odana Hills.
Edgewood, top-ranked in Division 2 in the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin poll, had all five of its players shoot in the 70s, which was a first for the team this season, and they all placed among the top six golfers. Senior Ethan Arndt finished third (76) and freshman Michael Yesbeck (79) and senior Elliot Caulum (79) tied for fifth.
“Everyone played great,” Deang said.
Edgewood was a runaway winner with a 303 total (the top four scores are included), ahead of runner-up Hartland Lake Country Lutheran (331).
“We are still trying to get better. … That is what we are striving to do,” Ring said.
Seventh-ranked Lodi, led by junior Haley Thoeny’s 83, finished third with 345 and Lakeside Lutheran was fourth (373). Those four teams advanced to the Prairie du Chien sectional June 8. Players from nine teams competed Tuesday.
Deang and Arndt were the leaders after nine holes with 37 totals. Deang then shot a 36 on the back nine.
“Everything just came together,” said Deang, whose round included four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey. “My chipping and putting were really good, and my driving was the strongest. That led me to be in good spots to hit pretty good iron shots. That’s what mostly carried my game.”
Weiss said his game has rounded into form in the past few weeks.
“At the beginning of the year, I was struggling a little bit, shooting in the 80s,” Weiss, 15, said. “These last few weeks, I have really been able to bring it together and bring the scores down. Today, I was sort of all over the place – a double (bogey) on 3, I lost a ball on 10. … But it was nice to erase those mistakes with birdies.”
Four players from non-qualifying teams also advanced to the sectional: Delafield St. John’s Northwestern Academies junior Gabriel Fernandez (82), Lake Mills senior Joey Toepfer (85), Columbus sophomore Tyler Schluter (89) and Watertown Luther Prep senior Ryan Boggs (90).
Waunakee, ranked eighth by state coaches, knocked off third-ranked Middleton by one stroke, 309-310, in a Division 1 sectional at Pleasant View Golf Course.
Ninth-ranked Madison Memorial took third at 321 and 10th-ranked Verona earned a team sectional berth with a 323 score.
Waunakee junior Max Brud won medalist honors with a 1-over-par 73, finishing two strokes in front of Middleton senior Jacob Beckman and Memorial junior Isaac Schmidt.
Waunakee junior August Johnson and Middleton junior Alec Sosnowski tied for fourth at 76.
Madison West junior Jack Morgan (85) and sophomore Finn Jackson (88) qualified for next Monday’s Madison Memorial sectional at Blackhawk Country Club. Also qualifying as individuals were Mount Horeb sophomore Sonny Lombardo (88) and Sauk Prairie senior Brandt Wilson (89).
Monona Grove had four players shoot 88 or better to total 346 and win a Division 1 regional at Portage Country Club. Junior Jordan Hilbner led Monona Grove with an 84, and junior Jacob Frederickson shot 86.
Sun Prairie took second (351) and sophomore Tyler Schick won individual medalist honors with a 10-over-par 81.
Oregon senior Nicholas Kipp shot 83 to lead his team to a third-place finish, and Stoughton took fourth to advance to the Janesville Parker sectional June 8.
Second-ranked Hartland Arrowhead shot 321 for a 19-stroke victory over Slinger at Washington County Golf Course. Beaver Dam took sixth and Watertown eighth, with neither team advancing an individual to the sectional.
NEW GLARUS REGIONAL
Edgerton swept the top four individual spots in a Division 2 sectional at Edelweiss Chalet Country Club, led by senior Clayton Jenny’s 7-over-par 79 for medalist honors.
New Glarus finished 44 strokes back but advanced to the sectional at Prairie du Chien Country Club, along with Monticello/Belleville and Evansville.
The host Dodgers shot 339 for a 36-stroke victory over West Salem in a Division 2 sectional at Dodge-Point Country Club, with River Valley advancing to sectionals with a third-place score of 379. Junior Eli Johnson led the Blackhawks with a 9-over-par 79.