He is the first golfer to win WIAA Division 1 state championships as a freshman and sophomore. He won the WSGA Junior Boys Championship this past summer and came within five shots of winning the Wisconsin State Amateur, too. He orally committed to NCAA Division I power Illinois.
Hartland Arrowhead junior Piercen Hunt has established himself as one of the most decorated junior golfers in Wisconsin history. So maintaining his spot as the No. 1 golfer among the boys Class of 2020 in the third Wisconsin.Golf ranking of his class is barely a blip on his resume.
Then again, Hunt stands at the head of a class that deserves to be noticed not just for the star power of its No. 1 golfer, but the depth that is developing behind the two-time state champion.
The talent criss-crosses the state among this year’s juniors. It spans from No. 2 Jack Lutze of Milwaukee Marquette, No. 3 Drake Wilcox of Sheboygan Lutheran, No. 4 Cameron Huss of Kenosha Tremper and No. 8 Marty Swab of Menomonee Falls in southeastern Wisconsin to No. 5 Russell Dettmering of Merrill and No. 10 Kyle Bengtson of Minocqua’s Lakeland High School in northern Wisconsin to No. 6 Logan Lillehaug of Luck/Frederic and No. 8 Simon Cuskey of Rice Lake in northwest Wisconsin to No. 7 Preston Cedergren of Bay Port in northeast Wisconsin.
Lutze should catch ample attention from college coaches. After leading Milwaukee Marquette to the WIAA Division 1 state championship with a seventh-place showing (six shots behind Hunt), Lutze finished four shots ahead of Hunt at the Lake Arrowhead Invitational. He shot 68-71 to win the WPGA Morgan Stanley Junior Tour Championship at Washington County Golf Course in Hartford after losing to Huss in the 16-and-under finals of the Wisconsin Junior Masters.
Huss might have jumped Wilcox, the 2017 WIAA Division 3 state runner-up who finished third this past June, had he not run into a buzzsaw at the WIAA Division 1 Franklin sectional. Huss shot 78 and missed qualifying for the state meet by two shots in a sectional where each of the top three finishers nabbed state berths individually because their teams did not advance.
As it was, he and Wilcox waged a spirited battle for the No. 3 spot throughout the summer.
Huss edged him by two shots at the Lake Arrowhead Invitational, they tied for 11th at the WPGA Junior Championship (five shots ahead of Lutze, no less). WIlcox edged Huss by two strokes at the WSGA Junior Boys Championship; Huss edged Wilcox by one at the Tour Championship.
At No. 5, Dettmering might be the hidden gem in this class. A low-mileage golfer, Dettmering played in just two WPGA Junior points events during 2018, but was impressive in both.
He was one shot behind Hunt after an opening 70 at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament at University Ridge, closed with a 76 and finished fifth. He won his only other start, shooting 75-71 on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits in Haven to win the College Showcase by six shots.
How college coaches view Dettmering as his recruitment heats up remains to be seen. He has played six WPGA Junior points events over the last two years, finished in the top five of each of them and won three, fashioning a 73.6 average with no score higher than a 76 in the process.
If his volume of tournament play and the rigor with which he schedules remain quiet, there are no fewer than 15 golfers behind him in the rankings update capable of jumping into the top five over the next 12 months. If Dettmering does become more of a presence and more of a factor in the so-called majors on the summer calendar, Hunt could have company at the head of the class.