The high school careers of three Madison Abundant Life/Country Day golfers came to a happy end on Tuesday.
Seniors Jack Rollins, Boomer Zierath and Blake Perkins were the top three finishers as the Challengers earned their second consecutive WIAA Division 3 runner-up trophy in their third consecutive trip to the state tournament.
The Challengers shot a nine-hole total of 169 at University Ridge Golf Course on Tuesday to finish at 504, coming in 11 strokes behind champion Manitowoc Roncalli.
Tuesday’s round was shortened to nine holes by the WIAA following a thunder delay.
What’s more, Rollins earned individual runner-up honors, shooting 36 on the back nine to finish at 112, three strokes behind Sheboygan Lutheran junior Drake Wilcox.
Rollins started with a birdie 3 on Hole No. 10, took a bogey on No. 14, followed it with a birdie 3 on No. 15, and bogeyed No. 17 before finishing at even par.
Also for Abundant Life, Zierath shot 44 to finish at 124, tied for 12th, and Perkins shot 43 and finished at 126, good for 18th place.
“This year we had a lot of high hopes,” Zierath said with a smile. “(Jack) delivered, but I choked. But, like Jack was telling me a couple of minutes ago, you’re not going to achieve your best round every day.”
Zierath had only two pars on the day, along with six bogeys and a double-bogey 6 on No. 14. Perkins had three bogeys and two double bogeys.
You have free articles remaining.
Individual qualifiers from the area made strong showings. New Glarus senior Matt Hach shot 42 to finish at 120, alone in seventh place, and Mineral Point junior Simon Mitchell matched the best Division 3 round of Tuesday with a 36 to finish at 122, tied for ninth.
Rollins and Zierath were key players in all three Abundant Life state tournament runs. The Challengers finished third when they were sophomores and second the last two years.
“The first year at state, I don’t think much was expected of us,” Rollins said.
“We didn’t even get through sectionals, and we wound up winning sectionals,” Zierath said.
“I think we finished third that year. I had an (85) on the first day, but I turned it around and shot a 70 on the second day,” Rollins said. “I had never broken 80 before. The second day was our lowest team score that we ever had, it was 333.”
“The next year (2018), we had high hopes,” Zierath said. “We ended up winning at sectional. (Rollins) and I both shot really good the first day (78s), but the second day we were tired or something.”
Rollins shot 83 and Zierath 85 on the second day last year.
Rollins and Zierath both plan to attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall, but Zierath said they would focus on academics and, at most, play club golf.