Piercen Hunt | 2019 Lake Arrowhead Invitational | boys champ

Piercen Hunt of Hartland, right, is congratulated by Mequon's Josh Teplin while Pewaukee's Drew Sagrillo looks on after Hunt wins the 2019 Lake Arrowhead Invitational.

TOWN OF ROME — There are a lot of tomorrows in Piercen Hunt's life, not to mention his golf schedule, but the Hartland golfer insists the one that went so well Tuesday wasn't motivated by the one that did not seven days earlier.

Rather, Hunt was triggered by a desire to get even with a pair of golf courses at Lake Arrowhead Golf Club that have had his number the last two years. He was also driven by a goal to qualify for the National PGA Junior Championship later this summer on his own merit, a rare gap on his decorated golf resume.

Hunt checked both boxes during Tuesday's final round of the Lake Arrowhead Invitational, the first major event on the summer junior golf calendar, but he logged overtime to do it. One week after falling short in his bid to become the first to win three WIAA state boys golf championships by the end of his junior year, Hunt outlasted fellow high school seniors-to-be Josh Teplin of Mequon and Cameron Huss of Kenosha and recent Milwaukee Marquette grad Drew Sagrillo of Pewaukee with a birdie 3 on the first playoff hole (No. 10 on the Lakes Course) as thunder could be heard rumbling in the distance. 

Hunt had his chances to put away his first Lake Arrowhead victory during regulation, playing his first 12 holes in 1-under only to bogey three of the next four holes en route to an even-par 72. His 36-hole total of 2-over 146 left him tied with Sagrillo, who followed up on his 77 on the Pines Course in Monday's opening round with a 69 — the low round of the tournament — in his first trip over the Lakes Course; Teplin (72) and Huss (72). Teplin, who played his final four holes in 2-under, parred the playoff hole to gain the runner-up distinction over Sagrillo and Huss, who both bogeyed the hole.

"I didn't come here meaning to prove anything like that," Hunt said of any perceived disappointment that might have come with his sixth-place finish last week at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison. "It might so happen to be that's what people take away. But I came here to prove to myself wasn't really anything to sweat about. It would have been nice (to win), but at the end of the day of the day it's just a tournament and you don't win many tournaments every year. To win this week, I look at it about the same as if I had won last week and not won this week, you know, finished sixth.

"They are more or less equal in my mind, 36 holes against just about the same field — it's a little bit smaller, but a lot of the same guys. There wasn't much I was trying to prove; just validating that I can play here, I guess."

WIAA Division 1 champion Russell Dettmering was not in the field at Lake Arrowhead, but will be next week's Wisconsin PGA Junior Championship in Milwaukee, an event that Hunt will skip. Among those chasing Hunt and fellow first-round leaders Thomas Kriewaldt of Middleton (fifth) and Ty Kretz of Marinette (13th) were WIAA Division 2 state champion Joe Forsting of Edgerton and Division 3 champion Drake Wilcox of Sheboygan.

The good news for all involved was that the wind died down compared to Monday's breezy opener, aiding the collective effort to keep it between the pines on the tree-lined Lakes Course. The bad news, however, was that the greens on the Lakes Course were just as demanding as ever and while it yielded four more sub-par rounds than the Pines Course did Monday — besides Sagrillo's 69, Wilcox and fellow Sheboygan golfer Max Schmidtke joined Tyler Cleaves of Kaukauna in shooting 1-under 71s — that made it difficult for anyone to pull away.

"In the back of mind, I was thinking it was probably going to go to playoff or get close to it," said Sagrillo, a Dominican (Calif.) University recruit who started on No. 16 in the shotgun start, birdied No. 18 three holes into his round and got to 4-under with a birdie at No. 3 and an eagle at No. 4.

"Actually, I'm riding back with a buddy and he put the clubs in the car and then had to bring them back out. It was fun going into the playoff."

Huss, a University of Wisconsin recruit, and Teplin were mildly surprised that their matching 72s was good enough to join playoff at the playing partners walked off their final green in regulation. "I thought someone in the (lead) group would go lower and I thought I left too many putts out there to get in a playoff so I was happy with the opportunity," Huss said.

Just as quickly as the opportunity opened, Hunt took it away.

The University of Illinois commit had 136 yards into a stiff wind that had developed with the approach of a passing storm that had cleared nearby Sand Valley Golf Resort a few miles away. "I took an 8-iron — the ball was a little above my feet — and I flighted it in there really nice and put it 15 or 18 feet past the pin," said Hunt, whose putt reminded him of one he had seen a playing partner negotiate during regulation. "I pretty much knew what it was going to do. There were only a couple cups of break to it. It wasn't the most complicated putt on the green. I hit it with a lot of pace, but it hit right in the middle of the hole, so I was happy."

And, truth be told, no one was terribly surprised.

 "As I was watching the putt, I saw it halfway there and I knew it was good," Teplin said. "It was tracking on line."

And, with his win, Hunt is tracking toward putting together another summer to remember. 

It will include a trip July 30 through Aug. 2 to Keney Park GC in Hartford, Conn., for the National PGA Junior Championship. He gained the field as an alternate two years ago and, in 2018, wrote a letter to the National PGA requesting a spot in the field after finishing sixth at Lake Arrowhead and being unable to try to qualify through the WPGA Junior.

"This is the first year that I've earned my spot outright and that's a big honor for me," Hunt said. "I'm able to go there knowing that I played well enough to earn my spot into the event instead of being the next guy in line or write something to the committee."

Green Bay's Jo Baranczyk will also be making a return trip to the national event after successfully defending her title in the girls division.

One day after taking a three-shot lead with a 76 on the Pines Course, the junior-to-be at Bay Port High School shot 78 on the Lakes Course and, at 10-over 154 after 36 holes, held off Franklin's Mallory Swartz (78) by four shots for the victory. Hartland's Jessica Guiser (81) finished third at 16-over 160.

"I definitely realized that they hit it far and their short games are amazing," Baranczyk said of the other girls in the field at last year's National PGA Junior, where she shot 84-79 and missed the cut. "When I was there, I had a great time. Obviously, I didn't play very well, but it's so amazing being able to play with the best juniors in the world. Hopefully, this year I'm able to keep up with them more this year."


Boys

Pos
Player
Total
Thru
Today
R1
R2
Strokes
Points
 
1Piercen Hunt  2020, Hartland, WI (p)+2F+27274146425 
2Joshua Teplin  2020, Mequon, WI+2FE7472146350 
T3Drew Sagrillo  2019, Pewaukee, WI+2F-37769146275 
T3Cameron Huss  2020, Kenosha, WI+2FE7472146275 
5Thomas Kriewaldt  2020, Madison, WI+3F+37275147200 
6Danny Sanicki  2019, Menomonee Falls, WI+4F+27474148175 
T7Lukas Heckmann  2019, Middleton, WI+5F+37475149145 
T7Drake Wilcox  2020, Sheboygan, WI+5F-17871149145 
T9Ansen Nomm  2020, Minocqua, WI+6F+27674150120 
T9Connor Brown  2019, Racine+6F+37575150120 
T9Zak Kulka  2019, Beaver Dam, WI+6F+27674150120 
12Tyler Cleaves  2019, Kaukauna, WI+7F-18071151100 
T13Ty Kretz  2021, Marinette+8F+8728015285 
T13Jacob Beckman  2021, Middleton, WI+8F+2787415285 
15Jamozzy Skenandore  2020, De Pere, WI+9F+5767715375 
16Jiseung Choi  2020, Houghton, MI+10F+8748015470 
T17Benjamin Pausha  2021, Delafield, WI+11F+5787715560 
T17Kyle Wille  2019, Edgerton, WI+11F+8758015560 
T17Jack Lutze  2020, Brookfield, WI+11F+5787715560 
20Maxwell Schmidtke  2019, Sheboygan, WI+12F-1857115650 
T21Maxamillian Xiong  2021, River Falls, WI+13F+4817615742.50 
T21Steven Sanicki  2019, Menomonee Falls, WI+13F+4817615742.50 
T23Simon Cuskey  2020, Rice Lake, WI+14F+8788015830 
T23Logan Lillehaug  2020, Frederic, WI+14F+9778115830 
T23Samuel Nielsen  2020, Fond Du Lac, WI+14F+7797915830 
T26Kyle Bengtson  2020, Woodruff, WI+15F+7807915917.50 
T26Marty Swab  2020, Menomonee Falls, WI+15F+5827715917.50 
28Maxwell Reis  2022, De Pere, WI+17F+8818016110 
T29Grant Wininger  2019, Racine, WI+19F+982811635 
T29Addison Raimer  2021, West Bend, WI+19F+685781635 
31Alex Borgen  2020, Neenah, WI+20F+1280841645 
32Matthew Raab  2019, Hartland, WI+21F+984811655 
T33Preston Cedergren  2020, Green Bay, WI+23F+158087167  
T33Joseph Forsting  2019, Edgerton, WI+23F+148186167  
35Ian Behringer  2019, Manitowoc, WI+24F+148286168  
36Alex Koenig  2023, Wales, WI+26F+158387170  
37Noah Kirsch  2022, Lancaster, WI+28F+178389172

Girls

Pos
Player
Total
Thru
Today
R1
R2
Strokes
Points
 
1Jo Baranczyk  2021, Green Bay, WI+10F+67678154425 
2Mallory Swartz  2020, Franklin, WI+14F+68078158350 
3Jessica Guiser  2024, Hartland, WI+16F+97981160300 
4Skye Two Hawks Skenandore  2024, De Pere, WI+18F+58577162250 
5Brighton Young  2021, Loves Park, IL+19F+88380163200 
6Meredith Boos  2020, Waukesha, WI+20F+128084164175 
7Elise Hoven  2021, Grafton, WI+21F+138085165150 
8Holly Murphy  2020, Lake Geneva WI+22F+78779166140 
T9Myranda Kotlowski  2020, Stoughton, WI+23F+138285167125 
T9Sadie Kelley  2020, Green Bay, WI+23F+118483167125 
T11Jolie Guyette  2021, De Pere, WI+31F+129184175105 
T11Sarah Balding  2022, Brookfield, WI+31F+178689175105 
13Grace Suter  2020, Oconomowoc, WI+34F+17898917890 
T14Ashleyjen Powell  2023, Appleton, WI+38F+20909218277.50 
T14Riley Pechinski  2023, Plover, WI+38F+20909218277.50 
16Lily Sheppard  2019, Sherwood, WI+39F+19929118370 
17Treva Dodd  2024, Brookfield, WI+40F+14988618465 
18Kallie Lux  2021, Janesville, WI+42F+17978918660 
19Madison Haugen  2024, Brookfield, WI+43F+23929518755 
20Grace Warrner  2019, Lakewood, WI+53F+309510219750 
21Emma Onesti  2020, New Franken, WI+54F+27999919845 

rob@killarneygolfmedia.com

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.