D1 - Jo Baranczyk, Bay Port

Jo Baranczyk, of Bay Port, hits a drive off the 10th tee during WIAA action on Tuesday at University Ridge. 

Jo Baranczyk was halfway home to Bay Port Tuesday when she hit the short-iron jackpot to close out an epic comeback on the final day of the WIAA Division 1 state girls golf tournament and win her first state championship.

For the record, a 7-iron, a pitching wedge and a putter can comfortably cover the 250 yards from the temporary forward tees on No. 4 along the far eastern edge of University Ridge GC. We know this because that was the combination Baranczyk used to make her sixth birdie of the day with a life-changing 5-foot putt that gave the Pirates sophomore a closing 70 and a one-shot win over Emily Lauterbach (70), the 2016 champion from Hartland Arrowhead.

"I was not sure," Baranczyk said, when asked if she knew the importance of her final hole at the end of a day she began on No. 3 in the rare shotgun-start format employed to avoid late-afternoon storms in the forecast. "My coach (Jeff Johnson) kept me updated a couple of times, but I didn't want to know a couple of times. On that last hole, I hoped that birdie would save me."

Baranczyk was still working her way up the fourth fairway as Lauterbach left her finishing hole at No. 18 with tears in her eyes, knowing she had let this one get away. A pair of three-putts late in her round, she feared at that very moment, might keep her from becoming a two-time WIAA state champion.

"I'm just disappointed in myself," said Lauterbach, a University of Wisconsin recruit who birdied three of four holes starting at No. 2 to turn in 3-under 33 and added another birdie at the par-5 11th hole to take a four-shot lead with seven holes to play before things started to go south. "I three-putted (Nos.) 15 and 16 (and) I lost by one so those were just kind of sad three-putts."

They weren't nearly as sad as the look in Lauterbach's eyes as she came to grips with her fate. 

Baranczyk won her first state championship with a 2-under 142 total while Lauterbach wound up at 1-under 143 for 36 holes. It is the first time in the event's 47-year history that two Division 1 golfers have finished below par in the same championship, but — for Lauterbach — it was also the first time in any competition for the Warhawks this fall that she did not come out on top.

"And it's state," Lauterbach said. "I've won every single meet and then, the one that mattered, just kind of slips away, I guess."

Maybe. After her sizzling start left left her 3-under after five holes, Lauterbach then missed a pair of 5-foot birdie putts on Nos. 8 and 9 or she would have shot 31 on the front nine. She bogeyed No. 12 after her last birdie one hole earlier, but the two three-putts near the end of her round were just partly to blame for falling short.

But the rest was Baranczyk's doing. She got hot at the right time — after bogeying three of four holes around a birdie at No. 9 that left her 4 shots behind — and made four birdies over a six-hole stretch on the back nine that she played in 3-under. 

Her back-to-back birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, combined with Lauterbach's bogey at No. 15, left the two golfers tied. Ultimately, the state championship came down to the fourth hole, a par 4 that Lauterbach drove earlier in the day and made a two-putt birdie.

"I used an iron off the tee and I had a pitching wedge in," Baranczyk said. "I was just hoping to give myself a chance. I put that to about 5 feet and made that putt."

Baranczyk made it sound easy afterward. But as she stood over the 5-footer?

"I was shaking," she said. "I don't know what was going to through my head, ... but I was hoping it would be (for) the win."

Kettle Moraine didn't let things get that tight in completing its wire-to-wire victory. Middleton, behind Katherine Meier's fifth-place finish, put a 325 on the board and halved the 16-stroke deficit with which it began the day and, at 659, finished eight strokes behind the Lasers (333-651), who counted an 81 from Julia Schilling, a pair of 83s from Jenna Anderson and Elizabeth Mantey and an 86 from Madeline Koenig to collect its first state championship.

"I looked (at live scoring) about four holes into the back nine and tried not to look again," Kettle Moraine coach John Sams said. "Word does travel. I will say coming down to (Nos.) 17 and 18 I did take a peek just to see where they were at and just knowing they were giving a chase, it got a lot closer at the end. We just tried to keep them calm, get them to finish and it's really impressive to see them close the door.

"I can't say we finished as strong as we wanted to, but knowing that we set ourselves up (Monday) with a very strong lead made it a little easier for us."

Team/Player Leaderboard
University Ridge Golf Course - WIAA Girl's Championship D1 Par: 72 Yardage: 5216
Verona, WI US
Oct 8-9, 2018
Pos.Team/Player (seed)Rd 1Rd 2Total
1Kettle Moraine318333651
T11Julia Schilling (2)7881159
T14Jenna Anderson (3)8083163
T20Madeline Fiebig (5)7889167
T25Madeline Koenig (1)8286168
31Elizabeth Mantey (4)8783170
5Katherine Meier (1)7877155
18Glenna Sanderson (3)8283165
T20Ellie Frisch (4)8582167
T34Makenzie Hodson (2)8983172
T60Danielle Callahan (5)9695191
2Emily Lauterbach (1)7370143
T28Ellie Kaiser (3)8881169
T43Caroline Kroeninger (4)9088178
55Lauren Peterson (2)8697183
T60Kierra Schmitz (5)9893191
4Brookfield Central348334682
T14Sami Krutz (3)8182163
T20Bonnie Jin (1)8681167
39Sarah Balding (2)9182173
T53CJ Romero (5)9389182
T56Kyley Wipper (4)9095185
5New Richmond352343695
T6Maggie Veenendall (1)8175156
T34Jessica Hagman (2)8092172
T34Lannie Veenendall (3)8785172
T64Ashley Swiggum (4)10491195
72Sydney Nolan (5)10793200
T20Sam Soulier (1)8978167
T40Elena Maier (5)8689175
T43Brooke Ehle (3)8989178
T45Aly Kinzel (2)8891179
73Sydney Grimm (4)101101202
T25Emily Anderson (3)8583168
T34Lily Sheppard (2)8488172
T45Emma Moore (1)9089179
58Ally Isselmann (4)9394187
T64Hannah Kihl (5)10689195
9Taylor Hakala (1)8275157
T25Claudia Seeman (2)8781168
T56Grace Weiss (3)9491185
T62Reagan Moisson (4)9895193
T62Callie Hakala (5)9796193
9Bay Port356370726
1Jo Baranczyk (1)7270142
T45Avery Dudra (3)8495179
T69Courtney Koeberl (4)98101199
75Madelyn Peters (2)107104211
77Abbey Beranek (5)102114216
T32Alyssa Achenreiner (1)9081171
T32Amber Nguyen (2)8487171
T64Malia McGarry (4)9699195
T67Allison Balduzzi (3)10890198
74Kiya Bronston (5)105102207
10Holly Murphy (1)8375158
T45Annie Murphy (2)9089179
T69Kayla Kerns (4)98101199
T69Kimmy Chappell (5)97102199
76Kristine Walczynski (3)109106215
T28Elise Hoven (1)8980169
T53Morgan Benskin (4)9191182
59Maddie Wilke (2)10387190
T67Annika Jahr (3)10593198
78M Getschow/ M Benskin (5)131109240
Pos.Player (Team)Rd 1Rd 2Total
3Rachel Kauflin (Wauwatosa East/West)7377150
4Caylie Kotlowski (Stoughton)7379152
T6Sydney Brown (Eau Claire North)7581156
T6Mallory Swartz (Franklin)7977156
T11Lexi Meade (Eau Claire Memorial)7881159
13Kendra Swanson (Beaver Dam)8378161
T14Sophia Dooman (Janesville Parker)8380163
17Klairissa O'Reilly-Dye (Monona Grove)8282164
19Meredith Boos (Catholic Memorial)8482166
T20Grace Suter (Oconomowoc)8681167
T28Kallie Lux (Janesville Craig)8485169
T34Abby Nickel (Stevens Point)8884172
T40Ellie Schneider (De Pere)8986175
T40Veronica Parco (Union Grove)8788175
T45Lauren Craig (West Bend East/West)9287179
50Carly Moon (Baraboo)8694180
T51Rylie Severson (Ashwaubenon)8497181
T51Olivia Reichardt (Appleton East)9883181


Rob started covering the Wisconsin golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison & has been the only reporter covering all levels of state golf. He joined Killarney Golf Media in Sept. 2015 & helped launch Wisconsin.Golf in Jan. 2016.