Wisconsin Rapids senior Joe Benbow shaved two strokes off his first-round score, and in turn moved up six places on the leaderboard.
Benbow shot 78 (40-38), to finish the 36-hole WIAA state tournament at University Ridge Golf Course and place 41st in the Division 1 competition. A year ago he finished 33rd.
“I was two strokes better than Monday, so I guess I’ll take it,” Benbow said. “I hit the ball well today but had trouble putting again. I had two birdies, and I feel like I should have had five or six if I would have made some short putts. I didn’t have much confidence at the end of my round.
“I feel like I recovered well when I got into trouble. I’m not upset with how I played, I just thought I would play better.”
Benbow’s birdies came on the second and 13th holes. No. 2 was a 515-yard par-5, and No. 13, a 316-yard par-4. He also shot par on nine other holes. Unfortunately, he did have one double-bogey, the same as Monday’s round.
The round was the final round of Benbow’s prep career. He qualified for the tournament three years in a row.
“I’m really happy I got to come here three years, and my 78 is the lowest I’ve shot here,” said Benbow, who will study physical therapy next fall at UW. “I really thought that this was my year to do something.”
Rapids coach Pat McDonald was proud of his golfer and was thrilled to be along for the ride.
“Not many coaches get three trips to Madison in a row,” McDonald said. “I’ve enjoyed watching Joe develop his game the past four years. I’ve learned a lot watching him play.”