Piercen Hunt grew up before everyone's eyes on the golf course this year, but — until he's roaming collegiate fairways at the University of Illinois in the fall of 2020 — he won't be too old to rule the junior golf scene in Wisconsin.
The Hartland Arrowhead junior didn't play many WPGA Junior Tour events this past summer, but he made them count. He won the Wisconsin State Golf Association Junior Boys championship, the WPGA Players Tour event at Blackwolf Run in Kohler and the WPGA Junior Tour event at Rolling Meadows Golf Course in Fond du Lac — a veritable practice round for his 54-hole win at the WSGA Junior on the same track a month later — and padded his points total with stellar showings in men's amateur events the rest of the summer.
The result? Hunt amassed 1,630.50 points to edge Kaukauna's Brock Hlinak (1,430) and earn Wisconsin PGA Junior Boys Player-of-the-Year honors. Matthew Raab, a senior teammate of Hunt at Hartland Arrowhead, was third (1,052) while Milwaukee Marquette's Jack Lutze of Brookfield (964.14) and North Dakota State freshman Jed Baranczyk of Bay Port (945.50) rounded out the top five.
There were 329 boys who scored points in the WPGA Junior Tour points standings.
Hunt, 17, enjoyed an exceptional summer in which he made as much noise on the men's amateur scene as he did against golfers his own age.
He began his summer by becoming the first golfer to win WIAA state boys golf titles as a freshman and sophomore, edging Wauwatosa East/West's Adam Garski in a one-hole playoff. In addition to his three junior victories, Hunt shot 65-68-70-74 and finished tied for seventh at the Ray Fischer State Amateur at Janesville Riverside Golf Course before shooting 71-70-69-74 and finishing tied for fourth at the Wisconsin State Amateur at Minocqua Country Club.
Hlinak's resume in 2018 was as diverse as Hunt's, mixing top finishes in junior events — he finished third to Hunt at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament and fifth to him at the WSGA Junior Boys — with a statement showing at the Wisconsin State Amateur, where he finished third, three shots out of the seven-hole playoff Vanderbilt golfer Harrison Ott of Brookfield won over University of Minnesota golfer Thomas Longbella of Chippewa Falls.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Maxwell Reis of De Pere earned Wisconsin PGA Futures Tour Boys Player-of-the-Year honors for the second year in a row. He won six of the 10 Futures events he entered and compiled 432.5 points to edge Milton's Brett Wieland (333.56) for the top honor.