Rhinelander High School junior Nick Twite appeared to be in good shape in the first nine holes on Tuesday in the WIAA Division 1 golf sectionals held at Stevens Point Country Club. But the back nine proved to be a struggle and Twite missed qualifying as an individual by 11 strokes. The top three finishers who are not on a state-qualifying team advanced to the state tournament held at the University Ridge in Madison.
On the day Twite carded an 86 overall and finished 30th in the individual standings. Twite started strong shooting a 38 in the first nine but after a double-bogey on the par-4 10, he finished the back nine with a 48 and missed the cut-off for state.
Twite had a 2-over-par 38 put him tied for sixth place and only three strokes off from the overall lead in the front nine. On the opening hole he a three-putt bogey he came back with a birdie in the second and in the third and would be 1-under-par.
But unfortunately, the tides would change in the final nine when he double-bogeyed on the par-4 10 after coming up short to the green. Twite would again double bogey on 11 and would triple bogey on 16 to finish the final nine with a 48 which put him out of range for state.
Eau Claire Memorial (296) and River Falls (315) finished as the top two teams in sectionals and both advanced to the WIAA state tournament. Junior Evan Thomas of Stevens point earned the individual medalist with a 70. While junior Billy Peterson and senior Matt Fladten of Eau Claire Memorial tied for runner-up, each carding a 73.
He was Rhinelander's only golfer to advance to sectional and also marked Twite's first trip to sectionals. It proved to great learning experience that he can learn and grow from and will look to have a shot at state for his senior season in 2019.
Rhinelander High School junior Nick Twite who just barely missed sectionals last season, came through this year and qualified for the 2018 WIAA Division 1 sectional golf tournament. Twite finished 6-over-par on a round of 78 at Merrill Golf Club on Tuesday to advance. As a team, Rhinelander finished seventh in regionals with 355 strokes.
The Hodags finished 11 strokes shy of the final team qualifying position. Marshfield earned the last spot in fourth place. Stevens Point (328), Wausau West (329), and D.C Everest (343) were the top three teams at regionals. Merrill sophomore Russell Dettmering earned the individual medalist with 1-over par 73.
The top four players who didn't already qualify for sectionals earned individual invites to participate in sectionals next Tuesday that will be held at Stevens Point Country Club. Twite was second best of the players who were not on a team that qualified for state and tied for fourth place in a field of 40 golfers.
On the day, Twite had a solid day of golf which was highlighted by three birdies, nine pars, and had no double bogeys. Overall Twite had plenty of cushion down the stretch and would finish seven strokes better then the cutoff.
For the rest of Rhinelander, they finished an average day of golf. Senior Zach Olds would play in his final high school match but would miss making the final sectional position by only two strokes. Olds struggled in the beginning but rallied in the back nine and finished shooting an 87.
Olds was no the only senior to play in the final high school match, Will England and Jacob Mahner also have wrapped up their high school golf careers. England finished with a 94 and Mahner wasn't far behind, carding a 96.
Now Twite will prepare for the WIAA sectionals that will be held at Stevens Point Country Club on Tuesday. Tee-off is set for 9:00AM.
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