Windy conditions that made shots unpredictable at The Bull at Pinehurst Farms made things tough for golfers Saturday at the Sheboygan County Invite.
Sheboygan Falls sophomore Matt Bachmann pulled out a field-best 78 to lead the Falcons to a first-place 339. Josh Smies finished three strokes behind in the individual standings and led Oostburg to a third-place team finish (373).
Sheboygan North picked up solid strokes up and down its lineup — Ellis Kirchenwitz led the team with an 87 — to finish second with a 363.
Strong wind gusts wreaked havoc early in the day, though, slowing play considerably and forcing golfers into some uncomfortable situations early in the season.
“Wind was a big factor,” Sheboygan Lutheran senior Nathan Hasenstein said after finishing his round. “You didn’t really know where your shots were going before you hit them. You really had to factor that in on every shot pretty much, especially on drives with lower trajectory with the driver.”
The Falcons are hoping to contend for another Eastern Wisconsin Conference title and a trip to State after Bachmann helped lead them to a fourth-place finish at the WIAA Division 2 State Championship meet. Matt Andrews is the only other golfer who joined the team in Madison last year.
“Expectations are to go back, repeat, head to State,” Falcons coach Andrew Jagow said during Saturday’s meet. “We lost a few seniors but we have a lot of strong players in our sophomore class that I think can carry our team. Just looking to see some leadership and then some improvements in our younger guys and have a good season.”
The team will likely compete with Plymouth’s last season’s EWC runner-up, and a Campbellsport squad that “gave us a good run last year,” Jagow added.
“Personally I think my goal individually would be to win State,” Bachmann said after finishing his round. “I think my game is to the point where it needs to be.”
Sheboygan North pulled in strong score cards from its entirely scoring lineup. Behind Kirchenwitz’s 87 were Brett Pokrzywisnki’s 88, Lucas Scharrer’s 91 and Christpher Lacey’s 97.
And Oostburg, which finished in a tie for second place last season in the Central Lakeshore Conference, could leverage a strong roster with little turnover into a strong place again in the conference. Ray Kolocek scored a 90, Jerod TenPas carded a 98 and Joe Smies rounded out Oostburg’s four scorers with a 104.
Team scores: Sheboygan Falls 339, Sheboygan North 363, Oostburg 373, Plymouth 379, Kohler 388, Sheboygan Lutheran 404, Elkhart Lake 417, Sheboygan South 433, Howards Grove 436, Cedar Grove 437, Sheboygan Christian 441, Random Lake 452.
Sheboygan Falls (339) — Matt Bachmann 78, Tyler Beeck 83, Matt Andrews 86, Nick St. Onge 92.
Sheboygan North (363) — Ellis Kirchenwitz 87, Brett Pokrzywisnki 88, Lucas Scharrer 91, Christpher Lacey 97.
Oostburg (373) — Josh Smies 81, Ray Kolocek 90, Jerod TenPas 98, Joe Smies 104.
Plymouth (379) — Jake Willeford 87, Aron Schilsky 97, Jaryd Larson 97, Zach Gambrell 98.
Kohler (388) — Derek Egbert 88, Andrew Bryce 95, Amanda Egbert 101, Charlie Twohig 104.
Sheboygan Lutheran (404) — Nate Hasenstein 97, Nick Falconer 98, Josh Splitgerber 103, Isaiah Richardson 106.
Elkhart Lake (417) — Antonio Bett 90, Jake Shovan 95, Stephen Clemens 113, Elliot Van Oss 119.
Sheboygan South (433) — Carson Bieber 95, Jared Splittgerber 112, Jordan Pitsch 113, TJ Pitsch 113.
Howards Grove (436) — Matt Bagnall 93, Jake Fritz 109, Johnny Probst 111, Tyson Roth 123.
Cedar Grove (437) — Isiah Bauer 94, Justin Obbink 98, Stu Friberg 122, Will Deblaey 123.
Sheboygan Christian (441) — James Rasmussen 98, Thad Coulis 112, Caleb Kelley 115, Brayden Van Ess 116.
Random Lake (452) — Reid Rumack 98, Jacob Coeur 106, Nick Mueller 119, Jon Mudlaff 129.