Bluejay golfer Russell Dettmering’s impressive freshman season ended at the Marshfield sectional Tuesday in a playoff for the last state qualifying spot.
After 18 holes, Dettermering carded a 79, tying him for fourth place with Wausau West’s Josh Yang and Eau Claire Memorial’s Zach Bernhardt. As only the top five advance to state, the trio went into a playoff round.
After four playoff holes, Bernhardt was awarded fourth place in the tiebreaker, leaving Dettmering and Yang to battle for fifth. On the second playoff hole, Yang secured that last qualifying position with a par to Dettmering’s bogey.
Eau Claire Memorial’s Matt Fladten took top honors with a 76, followed by Matt Tuman of Wausau East (77) and Derek Michalski of Marshfield (78). Dettmering had bested Tuman, Michalski and Yang for the Wisconsin Valley Conference championship to end the regular season.
“It was tough out there today,” Merrill coach Joe Mertens said of the section meet at River Edge Golf Course. “It was windy and wet, and played long. Russell had a couple back to back double bogeys on the back nine which cost him. Otherwise he made lots of pars and kept grinding through. Russell fought hard today, He played like a real champion for Merrill.”
On Tuesday, May 23, the Bluejay varsity golf team competed at their Regional qualifying site as the first leg of the state tournament.
The event was held at the tight and demanding Northwood Golf Course in Rhinelander. The top four teams out of eight qualify for sectional play, as do the top four individuals; outside of the qualifying teams which advance to sectional competition with the hope of qualifying for a trip to Madison and the state championship.
The Bluejays as a team did not fare very well, finishing 8th with 381 stokes. Stevens Point won the event with 337 followed by Wausau West, Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids – all of which advance. Individuals to advance were led by Merrill’s own WVC Champion Dettmering, taking medalist honors with a two-under par round of 70, followed by Tuman of Wausau East with a solid 76. Two other individual qualifiers outside of the teams that advanced included Ben Peloquin of DC Everest, with an 84 and Mike LaPree of Wausau East with 87. Other Merrill scores included Hunter Wallace (89), Nicolas Roman (109), and Mitchael Cammack (113).
“The Northwoods Golf Course is undisputedly the toughest track in the area due to the tight fairways, undulated greens and penalties for any shot off course,” comments head coach Joe Mertens. “The Northwoods Golf Course is well known as one of the most demanding tracks in the area, but on this day it was get-able for Russell Dettmering. After a conservative 38 on the front nine, Russell dominated the back-side with birdies on the difficult 12th and on the long par three 15th, to bring him even par for the day; just in time to pitch in for eagle on the par-5 16th to take a six shot victory to the house,” he adds.