Lady Timberwolves win golf sectional; capture state berth
After a four-year hiatus, the Tomah girls golf team is headed back to University Ridge Golf Course.
Freshman Brin Neumann shot the best round of the day at Stevens Point Country Club Tuesday, leading the Lady Timberwolves to the team title at the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 sectional.
Tomah edged host Stevens Point by just three strokes to qualify for the WIAA State Golf Championships for the first time since 2014.
“It feels wonderful,” said Tomah head coach Tonya Gnewikow, who led the Lady Timberwolves to three previous state berths in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
“The girls are super excited and I’m super excited for (Tomah senior) Sarah Peterson. She’s put in four years, and now she’s going to state,” she added.
Neumann topped the 48-player field with a 10-over-par 82 on the par-72 layout.
She opened her day with a four-over-par 40 on the front nine and came in with a 42 on the back for the Lady Timberwolves.
Sophomore Sophie Pokela fired a five-over-par 41 on the front nine and a 49 on the back to finish with 90 for Tomah, while Peterson and freshman Amelia Zingler both came in with a round of 94 to round out Tomah’s top-four scorers.
Junior Jayda Zhu finished with an 18-hole round of 103 for the Lady Timberwolves.
Tomah played a practice round at Stevens Point Country Club on Sunday, and Gnewikow said it went a long way in preparing her team for Tuesday’s sectional.
“To be honest, we had a very wonderful team practice on Sunday and the conditions Tuesday mimicked what we played in Sunday,” she offered.
“It was windy both days,” continued Gnewikow. “The greens gave our girls a round time. They were very fast and the largest and most undulating greens we’ve played all season.”
While the state berth marks another goal accomplished by the Lady Timberwolves this season, Gnewikow and her linksters won’t be satisfied with just making it to Madison.
“Honestly, our goal for state – I would love to see us finish in the top half (of the Division 1 field) – sixth or higher,” she said. “One, two or three will be tough to crack, but I think we’ve got a chance to finish in the top five or six.”
The Lady Timberwolves are young, but Gnewikow looks at that as a strength heading into state.
“This is a young team, so they don’t know what to expect,” she said, adding the pressure of competing at state may not have as big of an impact.
“We never give up practicing our short game, so we’ll do a lot of that this week,” concluded Gnewikow. “And we need to stay healthy – we’ve got half the team with colds this week. We’re all taking our vitamin C and drinking our cranberry juice. They will be ready to go.”
Tomah will head to University Ridge Golf Course in Madison to play a practice round on Sunday to prepare for the two-state state tournament.
Tee times for Monday and Tuesday have not yet been released by the WIAA.