Verona senior Andrea Schleeper finished two shots out of a playoff for the final individual state tournament berth Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the 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.
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. Waunakee (357) also advanced to 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 was joined at state by her cousin and teammate Myranda Kotlowski (75) and Draeger.