The Rhinelander High School golf team was able to finally tee off for the first time on Tuesday in the Great Northern Conference opener. The Hodags fared well and finished third out o seven teams in the first leg o the GNC tournament held at the Inshalla Countrry Club in Tomahawk.
It also was the first time most of the GNC teams made it on the course this spring. On the day, the teams had to play on a modified nine-hole loop due to course conditions. Therefore on the front nine only holes one and nine were played and on the back 10-15 as well as 18 were played.
Reigning GNC champs, Lakeland placed first as a team shooting a 289 which marked a conference-record. The Thunderbirds had all five varsity golfers finish in the top seven and the freshman Kaeden Nomm earned the medalist with a 4-under 66. Mosinee placed second with a 335 and Rhinelander (366) beat out Antigo by one stroke to finish third. Tomahawk (384), Medford (402), and Northland Pines (403) rounded out the remaining conference teams
Rhinelander senior Nick Twite started the season strong for the Hodags and had the best RHS finish and recorded a 6-over 76 and tied for fifth out of 34 golfers. Last season Twite finished 13th in the individual GNC standings. He also shot two strokes better than he finished last year in regionals that advanced Twite to sectionals.
In his varsity debut, freshman Kole Gechas also had a solid day for the Hodags. He recorded a round of 88 for Rhinelander's second best finish and tied for 11th overall, just one position away from earning conference points. Junior Nick Schiek was the only other Rhinelander golf to card under a 100 and shot a 93 on the day. While Devon Gaber (109) and Neil Mathews (110) rounded out the Hodag varsity.
Without having much practice outdoors, Rhinelander showed plenty of positives to look forward to this season. But it was progress that they even got on the course despite the late spring snow.
The second leg of the GNC tournament was slated for today at Eagle River Golf Course, but has been postponed to May, 16th. Therefore Rhinelander added an nine-team invite on Friday afternoon at Medford. RHS will get back to their GNC on Tuesday and will travel back to Medford.