Waunakee's Sean Murphy

Waunakee's Sean Murphy

Wisconsin.Golf photo/Jim Kelsh

Looking back

2017 conference champion

Sean Murphy parred the final hole to shoot 80 as Waunakee (334) defeated DeForest by one shot to take the Badger North tournament title at House on the Rock Resort GC in Spring Green. However, DeForest claimed the overall title based on dual meets and conference tournament results.

2017 conference medalist

Dylan Brown of Reedsburg (73) topped DeForest's Matt Unger (79) to take the individual title.

Top 2017 WIAA finishes

Team: Waunakee shot 333-321 and finished tied for 11th at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament, 52 shots behind champion Hartland Arrowhead. Individual: Waunakee sophomore Sean Murphy shot 78-75 and finished tied for 12th at the WIAA Division 1 state meet, his 9-over 153 total leaving him 12 shots behind champion Piercen Hunt of Hartland Arrowhead.

Looking ahead

Preseason top three

1, Waunakee; 2, Reedsburg; 3, Mount Horeb.

Preseason all-conference

First team: Dylan Brown, sr., Reedsburg; Hunter Dersham, sr., Baraboo; Kasen Fager, jr., Mount Horeb; Zak Kulka, jr., Beaver Dam; Sean Murphy, sr., Waunakee.

Second team: Andrew Hasik, sr., Waunakee; Joe Guerrera, jr., Waunakee; Dane Hinz, so., Baraboo; Ryan Johnson, jr., Waunakee; Mason Wood, sr., Portage.

What to watch

If the 2017 postseason didn't create enough drama for Waunakee, which won the Badger North Conference and advanced to WIAA Division 1 sectional and state competition by a combined five strokes, things could be even more intense in 2018. Beaver Dam enters the league after finishing fifth out of eight teams in the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference last season and brings a conference medalist threat in junior Zak Kulka. But Waunakee is also wary of what returns at Baraboo, Mount Horeb and Reedsburg, who all bring back enough experience to make the Warriors think about what's behind them. Meanwhile, a new format for regular-season competition is ahead of them as the conference has scrapped the nine-hole dual meets in favor of four, 18-hole mini-meets to be hosted by DeForest (Tuesday), Portage (April 20), Baraboo (April 24) and Waunakee (May 1) leading up to the end-of-season conference tournament in Spring Green.

Circle these dates

April 10 — DeForest mini-meet (Lake Windsor GC-Windsor). April 12 — Beaver Dam Invitational (Old Hickory GC-Beaver Dam). April 13/14 — Wisconsin Dells Invitational (Trappers Turn GC/Christmas Mountain Resort GC).  April 14 — Hartford Invitational (Washington County GC-Hartford). April 12 — Madison Edgewood Invitational (Blackhawk CC-Madison). April 18/19 — Sheboygan North Invitational (Blackwolf Run GC-Kohler). April 19 — Watertown Invitational (Watertown CC). April 20 — Portage Mini-Meet (Portage CC). April 23 — Lake Geneva Badger Invitational (Geneva National GC-Lake Geneva); Sauk Prairie Invitational (Lake Wisconsin CC-Prairie du Sac). April 24 — Baraboo Mini-Meet (Baraboo CC). April 26 — Nekoosa Invitational (Lake Arrowhead GC-Nekoosa). April 27 — Fort Atkinson Invitational (Blackwolf Run GC-Kohler). April 28 — River Valley Invitational (House on the Rock Resort GC-Spring Green); Waunakee Invitational (Meadows of Six-Mile Creek GC-Waunakee); Sparta Invitational (River Run GC-Sparta). May 1 — Waunakee Mini-Meet (Meadows of Six-Mile Creek GC-Waunakee). May 2 — Green Lake/Princeton Invitational (GCs of Lawsonia). May 3 — Adams-Friendship Invitational (Northern Bay Resort/Castle Course-Arkdale). May 5 — Fond du Lac Invitational (Rolling Meadows GC-Fond du Lac). May 7 — Waukesha West Invitational (Legend of Merrill Hills CC-Waukesha). May 11 — Reedsburg Invitational (Reedsburg CC).  May 14 — Madison Memorial Invitational (Blackhawk CC-Madison).  May 15 — Badger Conference Championship (House on the Rock Resort-Spring Green).  May 16 — Badger Challenge (House on the Rock Resort-Spring Green).