ROUND OF THE DAY
Jo Baranczyk, Bay Port. The Pirates junior shot the only sub-par round of the 2019 WIAA state girls golf tournament, firing a 1-under-par 71 in the final round Tuesday and rallying from six shots behind to win her second straight Division 1 state championship with a 5-over 149 total — one shot ahead of first-round leader Sarah Balding of Brookfield Central (72-78). Baranczyk is the first repeat state champion in Division 1 since Verona's Jessica Reinecke (2012, '13) and kept alive her quest to become a three-time state champion, a feat accomplished in a single- or large-school division just once (by Racine Case's Heather Suhr in 1996, '97 and '98). After a rollercoaster summer and fall, Baranczyk put it together at the right time, making five birdies, two bogeys and one double-bogey in her final-round comeback. "Nerves got to me," Baranczyk said, when asked the source of her struggles. "Other years I didn't have as many nerves and, this year, they got to me a little bit. This tournament, I realized it was the last one of the year and I pulled it together."
TEAM OF THE DAY
Middleton. Junior Glenna Sanderson (77), senior Kate Meier (78) and sophomore Ellie Frisch (79) shot three of just 14 sub-80 scores during the final round Tuesday as the Cardinals shot a 321 (the lowest round of the tournament) and, with a 36-hole total of 651, pulled away for a 13-stroke victory over Brookfield Central (327) for the Division 1 state title. It was Middleton's largest margin of victory among its three state championships after edging Oregon by one stroke in 2009 and Hartland Arrowhead by one stroke in 2015. "Being colder, it always plays a little tougher because the ball doesn't fly as far," Meier said of University Ridge. "With the pressure of state and the increased crowds and all the teams here, everyone is on edge. I'm glad we could all come together and keep in mind our goal of winning and we did. It was pretty perfect."
COMEBACK OF THE DAY
Ava Wittstock, Sheboygan North/South. The Golden Raiders sophomore improved 17 shots with her second-round 84 and vaulted 18 spots up the Division 1 leaderboard into a tie for 51st at 41-over 185 total. And it could've been better. After making nine bogeys over her first 17 holes, Wittstock made a triple-bogey 7 to finish and keep her comeback from reaching 20 shots.
STAT OF THE DAY
Sami Krutz, Brookfield. After yielding two eagles and a hole-in-one during Monday's opening round, University Ridge proved far less generous Tuesday with none of the above although don't tell that to Krutz. The Lancers juniors made two birdies that must have felt like eagles because they were the only ones on the par-4 10th hole and the par-4 13th during the final round.
FEAT OF THE DAY
Holly Carlson, Ellsworth. The Panthers senior knew something special was happening Tuesday when she started her final round on the 10th hole and parred every hole on the back nine and made the turn in even-par 36. She struggled a bit on the back nine, closing with four straight bogeys to shoot 78 and move up seven spots to finish tied for sixth in Division 2, 15 shots behind champion Grace Welch of Madison Edgewood but high enough to walk away with an individual medal. "That's my best (ever)," Carlson said after bouncing back from an opening-round 95. "I've never shot in the 70s before, never shot in the 30s before. This was a round to remember. I'm a senior so this is the last time I'll ever be golfing in high school. First time ever making it to state. It was one spectacular round."
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Maya & Ava Heckmann, Lakeside Lutheran. Ava Heckmann was the last of Matt and Amy Heckmann's four children to take to the idea of competitive golf and Tuesday, two months after shooting 68 in her first match of her freshman season at Lakeside Lutheran, the youngest Heckmann is happy she did.
Ava matched her season-low for 18 holes Tuesday with a closing 91 at the WIAA Division 2 state tournament and finished tied for 17th with a 36-hole total of 193. She finished 33 shots behind Division 2 champ Grace Welch of Madison and 11 shots behind junior sister Maya in their friendly battle for lowest Heckmann after Maya shot 86 to finish tied for 11th at 182.
"At the beginning of the season, I was thinking about doing volleyball and I did not like golf ... at all," said Ava, who played golf from first through sixth grade before gravitating toward basketball and soccer, her two favorite sports. "It was just a really frustrating sport and I wasn't very good, so that made it worse. But throughout the season I shot a lot better and it's a lot more fun when you do a lot better than 68, which is what I shot the first meet for nine holes. It was bad. I've come a long way."
In fact, Ava and her older sister made WIAA history by becoming the second tandem in their family to qualify for a state golf tournament as individuals.
In 2017, their brothers Isaac and Lukas qualified for the state tournament as individuals and finished third and fifth, respectively. The following year, Lukas qualified by himself, shot 68-79 and won the Division 2 state championship.
"It was so fun," said Maya, who finished 12th a year ago. "I love being here. It's a privilege to be here. And, with my sister, she made it 10 times better.
"I got to watch her play. And then we got to practice and warm-up together. It was super-fun."
It is also a far cry from what Maya thought it would take to compete in a state tournament when she was watching her older brothers — both left-handers like their sisters — at University Ridge.
"I thought they had to be amazing, like parring every hole just to like get to state," Maya said. "Girls golf is a lot different. It's definitely less stressful than boys golf. My mom was always so nervous if my brothers missed one putt for par and I'm over here like bogeying it up. ... It's a lot different, but I'm glad we both made it."
And now? They can't get enough of it.
The Heckmanns have an upcoming family trip to New Orleans to visit Lukas, who is a freshman on the University of New Orleans men's golf team. And, of course, golf is on the agenda.
"We'll see how that goes; I'm really excited for that," Ava said. "Last time we played on a vacation, I wasn't very good because I'd just gotten new clubs and I'd just started the season. I think this time will be a lot more fun. ... Now that I'm better, I kind of want to play with them so they have some better competition."
CROSSING THE TEES
Baranczyk said her struggles this summer will likely require her to delay plans to make a college decision this winter. ... Scores were slightly better in both divisions Tuesday. In Division 1, the average score was 89.01 (down from 89.76 in Round 1) while the Division 2 average (97.95) was down from 100.18 in Monday's opening round. The 2020 girls golf season will begin Aug. 10. The 2020 WIAA state tournament is Oct. 12 and 13 at University Ridge GC.