New Richmond senior Jessica Hagman played one of the best state tournament rounds in Tiger history on Monday when she shot a 78.
She did that, in spite of a putter that wasn’t cooperating. In the second round of the WIAA Division 1 state tournament on Tuesday, Hagman’s irons joined her putter in being difficult. That resulted in Hagman shooting an 88. Her 166 score left her tied for 18th in the final Division 1 state tournament results.
This was Hagman’s second try at the state tournament. Her 166 score topped the 172 she shot last year.
The 78 shot by Hagman is the second-best round ever shot by a Tiger at the state tournament. Only the 75 shot by Maggie Veenendall in the second day of the 2018 state tournament tops Hagman’s score. The same goes for Hagman’s two-day total. Only Veenendall’s score of 156 last year was better than Hagman’s score this year. The previous second-best score was the 168 shot by Megan Chelberg in 2013.
The golfers at the state meet had to deal with cold, wet and windy conditions. Tiger coach Neal Ziller said he wore four layers of clothes to battle the weather.
The wet weather here last week cut into Hagman’s practice chances. Ziller said they wanted to get her plenty of work on practicing downhill putts because of the speed and tilt of the greens on the state tournament course at University Ridge Golf Club in Madison. Ziller said Hagman putted well warming up on Monday, but then she lost her putting stroke and never got comfortable with the putter the rest of the tournament.
Hagman did produce one of the most exciting moments of the entire state tournament. She was one of two girls in the Division 1 tournament to score an eagle. In her 17th hole on Monday, Hagman hit a mammoth drive down the center of the par-4 fairway. From 50 yards out, she aimed at the front of the green, hoping to leave an uphill putt. Her iron shot landed just on the front edge of the green and rolled directly at the flag. The ball hit the flag and dropped in for the eagle. Ziller said Hagman jumped up and down excitedly, as the crowd watching the shot cheered for her.
Ziller said it is the first time a player he’s coached has gotten an eagle on a par-4 hole.
On Tuesday, Hagman’s irons also gave her trouble. After finishing in the top 10 on Monday, she couldn’t get everything working on Tuesday. Her drives were the only reliable facet of her game.
“Both days was the best I’ve seen her drive the ball,” Ziller said.
Hagman’s 166 would have tied for second place in the Division 2 tournament. Ziller said that fact didn’t provide Hagman any consolation.
“She gave everything she had,” Ziller said in praising Hagman’s competitiveness. “She really did fight the whole way. That’s a senior attitude.”
Hudson, River Falls
Hudson junior Paige Hillman moved up 17 spots on the second day of the WIAA Division 1 Girls State Golf Tournament at University Ridge in Madison Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 14-15, to finish 14th overall with a two-day total of 162.
Hillman opened with a 15-over-par 87 and was tied for 31st place after Monday’s first round before shooting a 3-over 75 Tuesday to finish all alone in 14th place. Only one other player-- individual champion Jo Baranczyk of Bay Port-- shot a lower score Tuesday with a 71. Baranczyk finished with a two day total of 149 to edge Brookfield Central’s Sarah Balding by one stroke for the individual title.
River Falls’ junior Jaden Woiwode, meanwhile, tied for 37th in her first state tournament appearance with a two-day total of 176 (90-86).
“I couldn't be happier for Jaden and her performance in a big venue with plenty of eyes watching every move,” Wildcat coach Gabe Van Pelt said “Considering she just started playing competitively as a freshman, I was really proud of the way she approached one of the toughest courses in the state and dealt with everything going on around her. She didn't force anything and took what the course had to offer, which is crucial in a venue like University Ridge. This experience is only going to make her stronger and I'm excited to see her grow and lead next year's squad.”
Middleton won the Division 1 team title with a total score of 651 while Brookfield Central was second with 664.