TOWN OF ROME — Every year Jo Baranczyk comes to the Lake Arrowhead Invitational, the Class of 2021 golfer from Green Bay feels her age in new and demanding ways.
This year is no different for the junior-to-be at Bay Port High School.
Not only is Baranczyk now among the oldest competitors in her fifth start here, she acknowledged Monday that she is also among those with the most at stake. And she played like it in the opening round at the Pines Course.
Baranczyk, 16, shot 4-over-par 76 and took a three-stroke lead over Jessica Guiser, 13, of Hartland in the girls division after one round of the 36-hole event. Marinette's Ty Kretz, Middleton's Thomas Kriewalt and Hartland's Piercen Hunt each shot even-par 72 and shared the lead in the boys division.
The final round is Tuesday with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. on the Lakes Course.
"It's definitely the most important (summer)," Baranczyk said. "I hope, by the end of the year, to have college figured out. This is the time. It's really important, these next few tournaments, I know I have to do my best and play well.
"Hopefully, that will work out."
Indeed, with a victory, the defending champion will earn one of two exemptions into the PGA Girls National Junior Championship, which is July 9 through 12 at Keney Park Golf Club in Hartford, Connecticut. The other berth will be awarded to the top eligible girl at next week's WPGA Junior Championship.
But first things first. Baranczyk has a lead to protect.
She got the lead after a bit of a bumpy start. Baranczyk opened with a birdie on No. 10 only to bogey her next three holes. She followed that up with eight straight pars ahead of a bogey at No. 4 and a double-bogey at the par-4 fifth hole. But Baranczyk finished with a flurry, playing her final four holes in 1-under thanks to a birdie on No. 18.
"In the beginning of the year, I had a few rough rounds and I think (college) might have gotten into my head," Baranczyk said. "I took a little (time) off from golf to focus on school and stuff. I just realized if I think about it, I'm not going to play well. Today was a lot of fun — I played with Elise (Hoven) and Jessica — and they made it a lot of fun so I didn't really worry about it."
This 32nd annual event certainly had a different vibe for those competing in the boys division than their last outing — the pressure-packed WIAA state tournament, where every team and individual seemingly had a horse in the race.
"It's weird because there is not that much of a burden or you don't have to pull your weight or anything like that," said Kriewaldt, who also didn't have to wear his school colors (cardinal and white), opting instead for an orange polo and gray shorts. "If you play bad, it's your fault. You don't have to worry about the team aspect. I was more just playing for me today instead of playing for the team. It's like a weight off your back almost. You feel more free; you don't have to take 4-irons off the tee to secure position. I was definitely a lot more aggressive than I was during the high school season."
That's a transition that hasn't come easily for Hunt, who shot 78-75 in this event a year ago and 80-72 in his debut in 2014. He, too, started strong with birdies on his first two holes only to offset those with back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 4 and 5 and make the turn in 1-over 37 after a bogey at No. 9. He then played his final nine holes in 1-under par with eight pars and a birdie on the par-5 11th.
In the last two years, I struggled in this event, I think, for that reason," Hunt said. "The change from high school golf to playing for myself or my parents or whatever I'm playing for that day, it's a lot different feeling than playing for four other guys and your coach."
Monday's feeling was also a lot more satisfying than the one he took with him last Tuesday from University Ridge Golf Course after his reign as two-time defending Division 1 state champion came to an end.
"I just left University Ridge feeling like I hadn't lived up to my own expectations of myself. I didn't really think about what anyone else would have expected of me. I just knew I under-performed from what I wanted to do. It's a matter of looking at your summer in a perspective where you can set your goals and put a plan in place that works for you. There was only a short time between last Tuesday and (Monday). I was able to get something in my mind for what I wanted to accomplish this summer and I'm off to a good start for the first round of (the summer)."
|T1||Thomas Kriewaldt 2020, Madison, WI||E||F||E||72||72|
|T1||Ty Kretz 2021, Marinette||E||F||E||72||72|
|T1||Piercen Hunt 2020, Hartland, WI||E||F||E||72||72|
|T4||Jiseung Choi 2020, Houghton, MI||+2||F||+2||74||74|
|T4||Joshua Teplin 2020, Mequon, WI||+2||F||+2||74||74|
|T4||Lukas Heckmann 2019, Middleton, WI||+2||F||+2||74||74|
|T4||Danny Sanicki 2019, Menomonee Falls, WI||+2||F||+2||74||74|
|T4||Cameron Huss 2020, Kenosha, WI||+2||F||+2||74||74|
|T9||Kyle Wille 2019, Edgerton, WI||+3||F||+3||75||75|
|T9||Connor Brown 2019, Racine||+3||F||+3||75||75|
|T11||Ansen Nomm 2020, Minocqua, WI||+4||F||+4||76||76|
|T11||Jamozzy Skenandore 2020, De Pere, WI||+4||F||+4||76||76|
|T11||Zak Kulka 2019, Beaver Dam, WI||+4||F||+4||76||76|
|T14||Drew Sagrillo 2019, Pewaukee, WI||+5||F||+5||77||77|
|T14||Logan Lillehaug 2020, Frederic, WI||+5||F||+5||77||77|
|T16||Benjamin Pausha 2021, Delafield, WI||+6||F||+6||78||78|
|T16||Simon Cuskey 2020, Rice Lake, WI||+6||F||+6||78||78|
|T16||Jacob Beckman 2021, Middleton, WI||+6||F||+6||78||78|
|T16||Drake Wilcox 2020, Sheboygan, WI||+6||F||+6||78||78|
|T16||Jack Lutze 2020, Brookfield, WI||+6||F||+6||78||78|
|21||Samuel Nielsen 2020, Fond Du Lac, WI||+7||F||+7||79||79|
|T22||Alex Borgen 2020, Neenah, WI||+8||F||+8||80||80|
|T22||Preston Cedergren 2020, Green Bay, WI||+8||F||+8||80||80|
|T22||Kyle Bengtson 2020, Woodruff, WI||+8||F||+8||80||80|
|T22||Tyler Cleaves 2019, Kaukauna, WI||+8||F||+8||80||80|
|T26||Maxwell Reis 2022, De Pere, WI||+9||F||+9||81||81|
|T26||Maxamillian Xiong 2021, River Falls, WI||+9||F||+9||81||81|
|T26||Joseph Forsting 2019, Edgerton, WI||+9||F||+9||81||81|
|T26||Steven Sanicki 2019, Menomonee Falls, WI||+9||F||+9||81||81|
|T30||Grant Wininger 2019, Racine, WI||+10||F||+10||82||82|
|T30||Ian Behringer 2019, Manitowoc, WI||+10||F||+10||82||82|
|T30||Marty Swab 2020, Menomonee Falls, WI||+10||F||+10||82||82|
|T33||Noah Kirsch 2022, Lancaster, WI||+11||F||+11||83||83|
|T33||Alex Koenig 2023, Wales, WI||+11||F||+11||83||83|
|35||Matthew Raab 2019, Hartland, WI||+12||F||+12||84||84|
|T36||Addison Raimer 2021, West Bend, WI||+13||F||+13||85||85|
|T36||Maxwell Schmidtke 2019, Sheboygan, WI||+13||F||+13||85||85|
|1||Jo Baranczyk 2021, Green Bay, WI||+4||F||+4||76||76|
|2||Jessica Guiser 2024, Hartland, WI||+7||F||+7||79||79|
|T3||Meredith Boos 2020, Waukesha, WI||+8||F||+8||80||80|
|T3||Mallory Swartz 2020, Franklin, WI||+8||F||+8||80||80|
|T3||Elise Hoven 2021, Grafton, WI||+8||F||+8||80||80|
|6||Myranda Kotlowski 2020, Stoughton, WI||+10||F||+10||82||82|
|7||Brighton Young 2021, Loves Park, IL||+11||F||+11||83||83|
|8||Sadie Kelley 2020, Green Bay, WI||+12||F||+12||84||84|
|9||Skye Two Hawks Skenandore 2024, De Pere, WI||+13||F||+13||85||85|
|10||Sarah Balding 2022, Brookfield, WI||+14||F||+14||86||86|
|11||Holly Murphy 2020, Lake Geneva WI||+15||F||+15||87||87|
|12||Grace Suter 2020, Oconomowoc, WI||+17||F||+17||89||89|
|T13||Ashleyjen Powell 2023, Appleton, WI||+18||F||+18||90||90|
|T13||Riley Pechinski 2023, Plover, WI||+18||F||+18||90||90|
|15||Jolie Guyette 2021, De Pere, WI||+19||F||+19||91||91|
|T16||Madison Haugen 2024, Brookfield, WI||+20||F||+20||92||92|
|T16||Lily Sheppard 2019, Sherwood, WI||+20||F||+20||92||92|
|18||Grace Warrner 2019, Lakewood, WI||+23||F||+23||95||95|
|19||Kallie Lux 2021, Janesville, WI||+25||F||+25||97||97|
|20||Treva Dodd 2024, Brookfield, WI||+26||F||+26||98||98|
|21||Emma Onesti 2020, New Franken, WI||+27||F||+27||99|| |