When it comes to big prep golf tournaments, the Gilmore brothers from Madison Edgewood don’t need any home cooking.
University Ridge has been like a second home for the Crusaders, who captured their third straight WIAA Division 2 state championship Tuesday, June 4.
It didn’t come easy. Edgewood had to deal with a 90-minute lightning delay that shortened the final round to nine holes instead of 18. The team also had its hands full with Minocqua Lakeland Union, winning by three strokes 464-467.
James Gilmore finished tied for third with a two-day score of 2-over-par-110 for 27 holes. He sank a five-foot putt for birdie on the 535-yard No. 9 to clinch the title.
James, a senior who is planning to walk on to the men’s golf team at Miami-Ohio, said pressure and expectations were high after he tied for fifth last year and came back to a senior-laden defending champion team.
“We just had to try to stay within our games and don’t get too cocky,” James said. “It’s pretty easy to do if you win a lot. You just have to stay humble and really lock in on your game, because those guys from Minoqua are really good players.”
Karl Gilmore shot a two-day score of 5-over-par 113 to finish sixth. Senior Brody Andes finished in a six-way tie for seventh (116), and sophomore Ethan Arndt carded a 125 to tie for 28th.
“It was a great win,” coach Joe Ring said. “We had three guys who had never played in the state tournament before. You never quite know how they will respond or react.
When play resumed after the lightning delay, James was disappointed the final round was being shifted to nine holes.
“I always like playing the back nine,” he said. “I just accepted the challenge.”
He talked with his brother Karl before heading back out on the course after the lightning delay.
We told ourselves to lock in and focus because the team really relied on us,” James said. “I’m glad to beat him, and he’s been playing really solid. Playing with him and winning the state championship was even more special.”
James birdied on No. 6, while Minoqua’s No. 1 player had a triple bogey – a four-shot swing.
“I think that won us the tournament in my eyes because we ended up winning by three,” he said.
James sunk a 40-foot shot for birdie on No. 6. He settled for bogeys on Nos. 7 and 8.
Karl, who was the No. 5 golfer for the Crusaders last season, emerged as one of the Badger South Conference’s top players.
Karl had an eagle on No. 6. He was looking forward to a full round of 18 holes.
“I was a little bit bummed out because it’s always nice to finish the round on 18,” he said. “Then, I was also thinking it doesn’t matter how many holes we play if we can get this thing done. I grinded as hard as I could and hit the best shots I could.”
Karl scored in the 70s three times in tournaments last year. He has scored in the 70s his last nine tournaments this season. He couldn’t envision a better way to end his junior year and send his brother to college.
“It means a lot,” Karl said of being part of another state title with his older brother. “I had to step up a lot because I was the No. 5 guy last year.”
Brothers James and Karl Gilmore shot a 1-over-par 73 in the first round as the Crusaders totaled a 305 and led Minocqua Lakeland by one stroke.
James got off to a tough start with a double bogey on No. 10. He rebounded, shooting a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine.
Karl posted four birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey on No. 10.
Andes carded a 77 and Arndt finished with an 82.
Edgerton’s Joe Forsting was the individual state champion, shooting a 41 after putting up a 5-under-par 67 on Monday. Forsting finished at an even 108, one shot ahead of runner-up Simon Cuskey of Rice Lake.