The MHS golf team battled elements in two more legs of the Valley Meet last week before taking in summer-like conditions on the home course on Saturday.
“Beautiful weather welcomed the 8th annual Bluejay Golf Invitational,” Merrill coach Joe Mertens said. “Merrill’s four-man team of Mike Pagel, Kevin Lee, Philip Guenther and Brett Woller scored a season low 341 and finished fourth as a team.”
Pagel fired a season-best 77 to tie for third individually, and he teamed up with Lee (89) to tie for fifth in the best ball at 74. Guenther (81) and Woller (94) carded a best-ball 77.
Guenther made a hole in one on the par 3, 155-yard 17th hole, when he flew his wedge into the cup on the fly.
The Bluejays competed a second team with freshmen Cody Vonderheid (93) and Tad Pike (90) teaming up for a best ball of 84, and sophomore Connor Kleinschmidt (112) and senior Dakota Monti (107) scoring 98.
East’s Matt Tuman/Jake Wolfgram prevailed in a playoff for first over Lakeland’s Curtis Geiger/Dan Donovan, after both teams scored 69. Tuman (74) edged Marshfield’s Brandon Nikolai (75) for medalist honors.
Standings–Wausau East 331, Marshfield #1 333, Marshfield #2 339, Merrill #1 341, Lakeland 356, Wis. Rapids 373, Antigo #1 374, N. Pines 400, Merrill #2 402, Rhinelander 404, Antigo #2 433.
WVC #3
Merrill fought wind and cold the previous day in the third leg of the WVC to place sixth at Pine Valley. Pagel scored an 82 to pick up seventh-place points in individual standings.
“Mike has been trending toward better golf lately and his game overall is improving, in particular his long game, driving the ball and irons to the greens,” Mertens said. “Ryan fired a fine 43 on the front only to find trouble on the back nine.”
MHS–Mike Pagel 40-42–82, Philip Guenther 45-46–91, Kevin Lee 49-46–95, Ryan Marsceau 43-57–100, Brett Woller 54-49–103.  
Standings– SPASH 329 (overall team points 20), Wausau East 331 (12), Marshfield 333 (18), Wausau West 355 (9.5), Wis. Rapids 355 (12.5), Merrill 368 (6), D.C. Everest 382 (6). 
WVC #2
The Bluejays turned in their top placing performance in last Tuesday’s second leg of the conference meet at fifth place, but their score of 369 left them wanting more.
“The team was not pleased with the outcome as they know they are capable of so much better, but just didn’t seem to manage the course as well as they would have liked yesterday,” Mertens said. “Philip, Ryan Marsceau and Brett Woller posted scores within their expected range and not bad overall having not played the course before. 
“Mike Pagel’s 89 was above his average as he struggled to master the fast and sloped greens of the country club, the very same course in which Mike shot 74 last year. This scoring variation from day to day attests to the challenge of playing golf and the goal of consistency that only daily practice can provide.”
The event was held at the Wausau C.C.
MHS–Mike Pagel 44-45–89, Philip Guenther 45-44–89, Ryan Marsceau 45-50–95, Brett Woller 47-49–96, Kevin Lee 48-54–102.
Standings–Marshfield 330, SPASH 342, Wis. Rapids 356, Wausau West 347, Merrill 369, D.C. Everest 375, Wausau East 387.