(MS) Rory Gierhart.JPG

Madison Edgewood's Rory Gierhart

Wisconsin.Golf photo/Jim Kelsh

Looking back

2017 conference champion

Rory Gierhart (76), Matt Phelan (77) and James Gilmore (78) all broke 80 as  Madison Edgewood (311) topped Milton (320) to win the team championship at House on the Rock Resort GC in Spring Green. 

2017 conference medalist

Stoughton's David Graffin shot 73 to edge Gierhart and Monroe's Devon Boeck by three shots for the individual title.

Top 2017 WIAA finishes

Team: Madison Edgewood shot 310-313 at University Ridge GC and won the WIAA Division 2 state championship with a 623 total — 22 shots ahead of runner-up Lodi. Individual: Madison Edgewood senior Ben Gilles shot 72-75 and finished second at the WIAA Division 2 state meet, six shots behind champion Hunter Pipik of New Berlin West (74-67). Monona Grove's Jake Schroeckenthaler shot 73-76 and finished fourth at the WIAA Division 1 state meet, eight shots behind champion Piercen Hunt of Hartland Arrowhead (72-69).

Looking ahead

Preseason top three

1, Madison Edgewood; 2, Milton; 3, Fort Atkinson.

Preseason all-conference

First team: Rory Gierhart, sr., Madison Edgewood; A.J. Gray, jr., Milton; John Klus, jr., Oregon; Matthew Phelan, sr., Madison Edgewood; Jake Schroeckenthaler, sr., Monona Grove.

Second team: Drew Arndt, sr., Madison Edgewood; Ryan Candell, sr., Oregon; Tucker Dunk, sr., Milton; James Gilmore, jr., Madison Edgewood; Alex Thompson, sr., Watertown.

What to watch

With five of its top six golfers back from a team that won the WIAA Division 2 state title by 22 strokes, Madison Edgewood is poised for its first repeat state championship since 2010. But how will the Crusaders handle two new wrinkles to the Badger South Conference? First, Watertown joins the Badger from the Wisconsin Little Ten where it finished seventh out of eight teams a year ago. Then, the conference is shifting its regular-season format from nine-hole dual meets to four 18-hole mini-meets, to be hosted this year by Oregon (Tuesday), Edgewood (April 17), Fort Atkinson (April 24) and Monroe (May 2). The Crusaders have the most depth of any team in the conference, if not the state, but Milton, Oregon, Monona Grove and Fort Atkinson have enough talent and experience at the top of their line-ups to make a run at Edgewood if they can find capable Nos. 3 and 4 golfers.

Circle these dates

April 6/7 — Wisconsin Dells Invitational (Trappers Turn GC/Christmas Mountain Resort GC). April 9 — Stoughton Invitational (Stoughton CC). April 10 — Oregon mini-meet (Foxboro GC-Oregon). April 12 — Beaver Dam Invitational (Old Hickory GC-Beaver Dam). April 14 — Hartford Invitational (Washington County GC-Hartford). April 16 — Madison Edgewood Invitational (Blackhawk CC-Madison). April 17 — Madison Edgewood Mini-Meet (Yahara Hills GC-Madison). April 18/19 — Sheboygan North Invitational (Blackwolf Run GC-Kohler). April 19 — Watertown Invitational (Watertown CC). April 21 — Milton Invitational (Oak Ridge GC-Milton). April 23 — Lake Geneva Badger Invitational (Geneva National GC-Lake Geneva); Sauk Prairie Invitational (Lake Wisconsin CC-Prairie du Sac). April 24 — Fort Atkinson Mini-Meet (Koshkonong Mounds CC-Fort Atkinson).  April 27 — Fort Atkinson Invitational (Blackwolf Run GC-Kohler); Evansville Invitational (Evansville GC). April 28 — River Valley Invitational (House on the Rock Resort GC-Spring Green); Waunakee Invitational (Meadows of Six-Mile Creek GC-Waunakee). May 2 — Monroe Mini-Meet (Monroe CC). May 5 — Hartland Arrowhead Invitational (Erin Hills GC-Erin); Fond du Lac Invitational (Rolling Meadows GC-Fond du Lac). May 11 — Reedsburg Invitational (Reedsburg CC). May 12 — Janesville Parker Invitational (Riverside GC-Janesville).  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).