VERONA — Monday’s round was a mixed bag for Lukas Heckmann.
The Lakeside Lutheran golfer made three birdies and had numerous other good looks at both eagle and birdie.
In contrast, the senior also made three bogies and three doubles bogeys.
Heckmann posted 39’s on each side to finish with a six-over-par 78 and is tied for 14th place after the first round of the WIAA Division 2 state golf championship at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona.
“I hit the ball pretty well,” said Heckmann, the defending WIAA Division 2 state champion. “I hit 15 greens in regulation which is really good. I could not putt. I putted well and hit my lines. They just weren’t going in today and sometimes that’s how it is.”
Edgerton’s Joe Forsting made two eagles and shot a five-under 67 to take a four-shot lead into the second round.
Edgewood shot 305 as a team and holds a one-shot advantage of Minocqua Lakeland Union.
Heckmann started on the back 9, making two pars early on and hit a solid approach to 25 feet on the 154-yard, par-3 12th hole.
After a close bid at birdie, Heckmann couldn’t convert a four-footer for par.
He seemed poised to get the shot back at the uphill par-4 13th that played 316 yards. After blasting a low cut to within forty yards of the green, Heckmann hit a crisp, low pitch out of a sand-filled divot to five feet. The hard left-to-right breaking putt went begging on the low side.
“It was a short putt, but that was a tough putt that broke a lot,” Heckmann said. “It was tough to commit to a line like that.”
Two well-struck shots led to 20 feet for birdie at No. 14. Heckmann hit the first putt by on the high side and lipped out the par attempt, dropping to two over through five holes.
“On 14, I still don’t really know what happened there,” said Heckmann, a University of New Orleans recruit. “I hit it right on my line and it went the other way. I just misread that one, it wasn’t a bad putt.
“It definitely hurts when you’re missing those. Sometimes the best you can do is hit it in on your line and they’re not going to go in, that’s just the way it is.”
After just missing birdie at 15, Heckmann launched a tee shot on the downhill, downwind par-5 16th relegating the 533-yard hole to a driver and an iron. He narrowly missed a sliding 30-foot look from the fringe but picked up a stress-free birdie.
The momentum halted on the next three holes as Heckmann made a double bogey on the par-3 17th, par on the par-4 18th and a six on the par-4 1st, dropping to five-over.
“He drove the ball very well and was a good ball-striker,” Lakeside Lutheran boys golf coach Drew Willems said. “He had trouble on the greens which is unlike Lukas. I haven’t seen him play that way up here at state in the last three years. It’s just something we can try and work through. We can get him to grind and keep being positive with it. He hit a couple of putts but missed more than he usually does.”
The lefty took advantage of the reachable par-5 third and had a tap-in birdie after a good run at eagle from 20 feet.
Heckmann came up short of a front right hole location on the par-3 third and took two attempts to get out of the bunker after his tee shot was imbedded before two-putting to make five.
He took an ultra-aggressive line at the next and had less than 50 yards in on the 354-yard fourth. After a low bump-and-run to 15 feet, Heckmann converted his longest effort of the day, a slick downhill putt, to card his third circle of the round.
“That was an aggressive play and it worked out,” Heckmann said of the tee shot.
After carding a quadruple bogey on the fourth last year at state, Heckmann opted for driver off the tee to take the trees on the left side out of play.
“He has a history with No. 4 of hitting iron and being too far left in the weeds,” Willems said. “I asked him right after he double bogeyed No. 3 ‘How are you going to play this one? We should be aggressive. He goes driver.’ He had already made up his mind, that’s kind of the aggressive player he is.”
The Warrior had looks for birdie on each of the five holes coming in. Heckmann two-putted No. 5 and No. 6 before three-putting the seventh. He finished the round par-par, with two putts on both holes. “I’m hitting the ball well,” Heckmann said. “The putts are eventually going to fall, you would think.”
Heckmann finished fifth at this event as a sophomore before winning it as a junior. He has some work left to climb into the top five again.
“Lukas is a very aggressive player,” Willems said. “He always feels he should win the day. Last year he had a first-round 68. If he shoots a 68 tomorrow, he’ll be right at the top of the leaderboard. He’s not out of it by any means.”
As University Ridge prepares for a PGA Tour Champions event in just over two weeks, the green speeds seem to be about ready for the professionals.
“The greens are a little trickier then they were last year,” Willems said. “They are a little faster, getting ready for the American Family Insurance Championship. 16 of the 18 pins are tight to the front of the green and that made it hard to access.”
Heckmann will start round two at 7:09 a.m. Tuesday off hole No. 1.