Verona senior Andrea Schleeper finished two shots out of a playoff for the final individual state tournament berth Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the WIAA Division 1 DeForest Sectional.
Schleeper carded a 14-over-par 84 at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove, finishing ninth overall and recording the best score among all individuals not on teams competing at the sectional. She advanced to the DeForest Sectional after a strong performance at the Madison Memorial Regional on Friday, Oct. 4.
Schleeper earned first-team all-Big Eight Conference honors Thursday, Sept. 26, at the conference tournament, and paced the Wildcats in a dual against Janesville Craig on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
Verona capped a busy week of competition with an 11th-place finish at the 10th annual Crusade Fore A Cure Tournament on Monday, Sept. 16. The Wildcats also finished 11th at the Janesville Parker Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14, and 10th at the Balance and Believe Shootout on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Jefferson junior Courtney Draeger grabbed the final individual state-qualifying spot with an 82.
Schleeper played a practice round at The Oaks two days earlier, but the course’s fast greens and slow pace of the tournament proved to be tougher than expected.
“It was a hard course, and I did struggle,” she said. “It was emotional with it being my senior year. I wanted to go to state, but I’m happy to have made it to sectionals.”
Schleeper carded a 45 on the front nine, which is a par-36. She had double bogeys on the par-3 2nd hole and par-4 6th in between a birdie on the par-5 4th. However, a 9 on the par-4 8th hole was a crucial blow to her shot at state.
“My irons were pretty good and I got off the tee decent,” she said. “Putting was my biggest struggle.”
Schleeper played solid down the stretch with a 5-over 39 on the back nine. She had bogeys on the par-3 10th hole and par-4 10th and 12th, then had a double bogey on the par-4 16th before closing with two pars.
Verona did not qualify for the sectional as a team, which meant first-year coach Gabby Curtis could give shot-by-shot advice and encouragement to Schleeper.
“When I played, I thought it helped when you walked individually with your coach,” Curtis said. “It takes away the waiting and the mind games you can play with yourself. But it doesn’t help to have to wait after every shot.”
Middleton won the sectional title with a 324. The Cardinals will be joined by Waunakee (357) at the state tournament Monday, Oct. 14, and Tuesday, Oct. 15, at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona.
Stoughton junior Caylie Kotlowski shot a 4-over-par 74 to win the individual sectional title. She will be joined at state by her cousin and teammate Myranda Kotlowski (75) and Draeger.
Madison Memorial Regional
Schleeper tied for second with a 13-over-par 85 at Blackhawk Country Club in Madison. She started strong with a 40 on the front nine, and held on for a 45 on the back nine to tie Caylie Kotlowski.
Fellow Verona senior Alice Overland tied for 25th with a 118, as she improved four strokes on the back nine (61-57). Sophomore Audrey Stoetz was 35th with a 135, as she improved three strokes on the back (69-66).
The regional was pushed back three days due to inclement weather on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Madison Memorial won the regional title with a 376. Stoughton (394), Jefferson (425) and Fort Atkinson (432) also advanced to the DeForest Sectional.
Myranda Kotlowski earned medalist honors as the only player to break 80 with a 7-over-par 79.
Big Eight Conference Tournament
Schleeper shot a 16-over-par 88 to finish fifth at Evansville Golf Club.
“It wasn’t my best and I know I could have played a better round,” she said. “I did my best, and I’m happy I came back on the back.”
Schleeper had a quadruple bogey on the 6th hole when she smashed her drive, but the second shot proved disastrous, hitting a tree and sailing out of bounds
She birdied No. 8 and closed the front nine at 12-over-par 48 before getting on a roll on the back nine with a stretch of five straight pars.
“Putting was probably the biggest struggle,” Schleeper said. “I was probably nervous. The greens were also small and hard to read, but that’s no excuse.”
Verona rounded out the seven-team field with 444 strokes. Caitlyn Ott carded a 105, and Overland finished with a 124. Page Comstock rounded out the Wildcats’ counting scores with a 127.
Middleton cruised to the conference title with a 336. The Cardinals had three of the top four golfers, including individual champion Kate Meier (79) and runner-up Ellie Frisch (83).
Janesville Craig 408, Verona 476
Schleeper shot an 11-over-par 83 to win medalist honors in a Big Eight dual against the Cougars at Edelweiss Chalet Country Club in New Glarus.
Ott shot a 92, and Overland carded a 105. Stoesz rounded out the Wildcats’ counting scores with a 128.
Crusade Fore A Cure
Verona finished with 419 strokes in the fundraising tournament hosted by Madison Edgewood at Maple Bluff Country Club in Madison. All proceeds went towards the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Schleeper and Ott tied for 22nd with 92s. Comstock tied for 68th with a 116. Stoesz tied for 73rd with a 119.
Middleton won the team title with 329 strokes. Meier won the individual title with a 2-over par 76.
Janesville Parker Invitational
The Wildcats finished with 390 strokes at Riverside Golf Course in Janesville.
Schleeper shot a 12-over-par 83, while Ott wasn’t far behind with an 87, Comstock had a 106, and Overland shot a 114.
Middleton won the team title with a 313, eight strokes better than Kettle Moraine. Lake Geneva Badger’s Holly Murphy won the individual title with an even-par 71.
Balance & Believe Shootout
Schleeper shot a 6-over-par 78 to tie for fourth place at Blackhawk Country Club. She rallied from a tough start with 13 pars on the final 15 holes.
Verona took 10th out of 15 teams with 411 strokes. Ott tied for 32nd with a 93. Comstock tied for 66th with a 115, and Overland was 76th with a 125.
Middleton won the team title with a 323. Myranda Kotlowski shot a 2-over-par 74 and beat the Cardinals’ Glenna Sanderson in a one-hole playoff to win the individual title.