There is something to be said about a home field advantage in golf.
The Red Hawks placed fifth out of eight teams at a Badger South mini-meet on Tuesday, April 23, at Nakoma Golf Club in Madison.
Led by senior AJ Gray’s 68, Milton also placed fifth at the team’s Badger South mini-meet on Monday, April 29, at Oak Ridge Golf Course in Milton.
“That’s his low round of the season, for his career,” Milton head coach Kirk Wieland said. “He was the low guy for the day, the only guy under par. He played really well.”
Milton collected 351 strokes, just six strokes behind second-place Monroe (345).
Madison Edgewood cruised to first in their home meet with 308 strokes.
“We played really well collectively,” Wieland said.
Gray carded a 78, four strokes off the first-place pace.
Gray was consistent throughout the day, shooting 39s on both the front and back nine. Although Gray did not birdie any holes, he also did not make any big mistakes. He never scored worse than a bogey on any hole.
Freshman Zach Bothun finished 12th overall with 84 strokes.
“He played really well,” Wieland said.
Sophomore Brayden Kline and Tanner Brown were one stroke apart with scores of 94 and 95, respectively.
Senior Alec Revels fired a 108.
The Red Hawks recorded 335 strokes at their home conference meet on Monday, a 16-stroke improvement from Nakoma.
“Our expectations should be higher, it’s our home course,” Wieland said.
Edgewood once again took first place with 293 strokes.
Gray’s 68 was good for first overall in the 40-player field.
Gray was right at home in Oak Ridge. He birdied the 14th, 15th and 18th holes and eagled 16th.
“He’s not going to shoot a 68 every time and it shouldn’t be like, see you can shoot 68 every time,” Wieland said. “But he should know he can do it. He knows he can compete with the best players when he plays well and he did. He’s a senior and he’s getting tougher and he’s more mature now. I was really happy to see him have a gratifying round, especially at home in front of his finally.”
Bothun carded an 84 with 42s on the front and back nines.
Kline fired the third best score for Milton and a season low with an 87. Revels and Brown rounded out the Red Hawks’ scores with a 96 and 99, respectively.
“The rest of the boys played well too,” Wieland said. “We just have too clean up some of the wasted strokes.”
Milton was scheduled to compete in the Legend Clubs Invite on Tuesday, April 30, but results were not available by publication. The Red Hawks will golf in an invitational on Friday, May 3, at Krueger-Haskell Golf Course in Beloit at noon.
Wieland noted that the combination of weather and course difficulty will make for a brutally tough schedule for his team this week.
“It’s good for our young and inexperienced team,” he said. “We’ll take our lumps now, that’s OK. People can beat us badly now, but hopefully we can learn from it and get better.”