Verona senior Austin Gaby received a bad omen when he cracked his 4-iron on his second shot in a Big Eight Conference match at Pleasant View Golf Course in Middleton last week.

Verona suffered its first Big Eight Conference loss Wednesday, May 1, the same day Gaby cracked his 4-iron after splitting a double dual against Middleton and Madison Memorial. The Cardinals outdueled the Wildcats 301-321. The bad luck continued one day later as Verona shot a 332 to finish fifth in the Morgan Stanley Invitational at University Ridge.

“I hit it on my second shot and it cracked on the face,” Gaby said. “I don’t think winning it was the expectation, but playing better than we did today was something we expected to do.”

A trio of golfers including junior Cale Rufenacht, senior Ryan Mirwald and Gaby took a bag of balls and went right to the driving range to work on chipping and fine-tuning their swings after their round.

Gaby said he wanted to get more consistent hitting accurate shots. The Morgan Stanley Invitational was played on the same site as state at University Ridge.

Gaby said it definitely helps to play University Ridge before state.

“They have made some changes to bunkers and it’s good to see that,” he said. “We will see that and have a better understanding of what the course will do. It’s definitely an advantage.”

Verona bounced-back from two tough rounds to win the Portage Warrior Invitational on Friday, May 3, at the Portage Country Club.

The Wildcats then shot a season-high 350 to take fifth at the Stevens Point Invitational on Saturday, May 4, at the Stevens Point Country Club.

Stevens Point invite

Gaby shot a 1-over-par 73 to win medalist honors on Saturday at the STevens Point Invitational.

He tied Merrill’s Russell Dettmering with a 73, but was awarded medalist on a scorecard tiebreaker.

Veronma shot a 350 to take fifth at the 10-team invite. DC Everest shot a 330 to clip Stevens Point for the team title by one stroke.

Verona sophomore Brock Prough carded an 86, one of his best rounds this season. Bryce Fornetti finished with a 95 and Andrew Aune carded a 96.

Portage invite

Verona had the top three golfers and outdueled the field to win the Portage Warrior Invitational on Friday.

The Wildcats shot a 309 to edge Mount Horeb for the team title by one stroke. Gaby and Mirwald tied for meadlist honors with each shooting a 3-over-par 74s. Rufenacht took third with a 4-over-par 75. Sophomore Jake Rebholz rounded out the top four carding an 86.

Morgan Stanley Invite

Rainy and wet conditions made it tough for Verona to read the greens on Thursday in the Morgan Stanley Invitational at University Ridge.

Verona finished fifth with a season-high 332, just ahead of Oregon (334).

Madison Edgewood and Middleton both shot a 310 to tie for first. The two teams played two playoff holes and the Cardinals edged the Crusaders for the team title. It snapped Edgewood’s two-year run as champions of the tournament.

Waunakee took third (318) and Sun Prairie was fourth (329).

Gaby took eighth after shooting a 7-over-par 79. Mirwald finished tied for 10th with a an 8-over-par 80. Gaby birdied No. 16, but wasn’t satisfied with his performance.

“It was a struggle,” he said. “I was not hitting good shots.”

Sophomore Brock Prough carded an 86 and Rufenacht shot an 87.

Edgewood’s James Gilmore shot a 1-over-par 73 to earn individual medalist.

Triple dual

Gaby won medalist honors shooting a 1-over-par 73 on Wednesday at the Pleasant View Golf Course in Middleton, but the Cardinals knocked off the WIldcats 301-321.

Verona finished ahead of Madison Memorial (344). Both Rufenacht and Mirwald shot an 81. Sophomore Brogen Prough carded an 87.

Everyone of the golfers for Middleton shot in the 70s led by Tommy Kierwaldt who carded a 74.