MCW golf trio falls shy of state bids

TOWARD THE CUP — Martin County West’s Dawson Weber taps a putt toward the No. 4 cup at North Links Golf Course in North Mankato during final-round Section 2A golf action on Monday. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

NORTH MANKATO — The end of a coaching era, the passing of the family putter, a sectional/state team champion dethroned and an impressive individual streak continued during Monday’s Section 2A golf meet at North Links Golf Course.

After 31 years of teaching the game as both an assistant coach with retired Martin County West legendary mentor Jeff Ross and as the Mavericks’ head coach, Rick Stenson watched nostalgically as Day 2 qualifiers — senior Dawson Weber, eighth-grader Mitchell Weber and seventh-grader Hunter Schmidt — exited the 18th green one final time in North Mankato.

“I’ve had the opportunity to coach some outstanding golfers during my time, but it’s time to retire,” said Stenson, who played a key role in coaching all six of the legendary Weber siblings.

Unfortunately for Stenson, he will not return to Pebble Creek Golf Course in Becker for the Class A state meet June 11-12.

“We knew that Dawson would have to go really low today to qualify for state again,” said Stenson.

Dawson Weber, who tied for 13th place at the 2018 state golf tournament with a two-day total of 159, fired a Day 2 round of 45-41-86 en route to a combined sectional total of 170 to finish five strokes away from a playoff for the fifth and final individual state bid on Monday.

“It (not advancing to state) stings now, but it is what it is,” said Dawson Weber, who produced 10 pars during Monday’s round. “I’ll be playing golf at Iowa Lakes (Community College) next season, so now I’ll be able to put more time into the sport — working on chipping and putting — during the offseason, and getting into the weight room.”

Mitchell Weber, who tied for 36th place at last spring’s Class A state golf meet with a 171, carded a second-round of 44-42-86 to finish the two-day sectional at 175.

“A 163. That’s what I shot last year to qualify for state,” lamented Mitchell Weber, who connected for six pars on Monday. The MCW eighth-grade phenom, however, still has four more seasons on the golf course, following in the legendary footsteps of siblings Broc, Jarvis, Cordell, Logan and Dawson.

“I’ll just keep working on my game,” Mitchell Weber said with a smile.

Hunter Schmidt, another grade-school golf phenom for MCW, closed with a 46-50-96 on Monday to pencil in a two-day sectional total of 184 during his varsity debut season.

“He (Schmidt) is not intimidated by playing with the big boys, so he’s got a good high school career ahead of him,” said Stenson.

While the skilled MCW trio fell short in their state golf quests, New Ulm Cathedral freshman Kayla Goblirsch qualified for her third consecutive Class A event in Becker next week. Goblirsch produced seven pars and birdied the par-3 16th hole to highlight Monday’s second round of 43-42-85 to close with a two-day total of 168 to win the Section 2 individual girls championship by 20 shots.

Goblirsch, who captured runner-up medalist honors during the 2018 sectional tournament, netted a tie for 20th place at last spring’s Class A state golf meet. She also placed 38th in the 2017 state tournament as a seventh-grader.

Unfortunately for Goblirsch, her Greyhound team finished 11 shots off Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton’s pace of 862 that won the sectional team crown and advanced it to Pebble Creek in Becker next week.

In the boys’ team competition, Mason Kretsch fired a two-day total of 156 to help Springfield rally from a Day 1 deficit of three strokes to nip 2018 Section 2 and Class A co-state champion Sleepy Eye United — 659-660. Mavrick Winkelmann (164), Christopher Thram (165) and Tim Rogotzke (174) rounded out Springfield’s counting two-day totals on the sectional.

Carson Wihlm produced a two-day score of 160 to top the Madelia Blackhawks’ fourth-place team total of 335-345-680. Carson Wihlm, however, captured an individual Class A state bid on Monday by firing a round of 36-38-74. He connected for 10 pars and more importantly, three birdies — Nos. 2, 8 and 14 — to highlight his 18-hole total on Monday.

Jared Henry closed the sectional with an 82-84-166 for Madelia, Cade Lunz carded an 88-89-177, Colin Wihlm shot a 91-86-177 and Collin Tierney added a 113-116-229.

Section 2A Golf Meet

Boys Division

Team Results (Champion advances to state): 1. Springfield 319-340-659; 2. Sleepy Eye United 316-344-660; 3. United South Central 336-342-678; 4. Madelia 335-345-680.

Springfield: Mason Kretsch 75-81-156; Mavrick Winkelmann 78-86-164; Christopher Thram 80-85-165; Tim Rogotzke 86-88-174; Tabor Runck 92-92-184; Xander Asmus 99-100-199.

Madelia: Carson Wihlm 74-86-160; Jared Henry 82-84-166; Cade Lunz 88-89-177; Colin Wihlm 91-86-177; Collin Tierney 113-116-229.

Individual Qualifiers (Top 5 non-team members): Logan Haala (New Ulm Cathedral) 80-78-158; Andrew Heggen (United South Central) 78-80-158; Carson Wihlm (Madelia) 74-86-160; Andrew Neid (Sleepy Eye United) 79-85-164; Ethan Kirchberg (New Ulm Cathedral) 81-84-165 ** Wins playoff with Logan Netzke (Sleepy Eye United) 79-86-165 **

Martin County West Results: Dawson Weber 84-86-170; Mitchell Weber 89-86-175; Hunter Schmidt 88-96-184.

Girls Division

Team Results (Champion advances to state): 1. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 437-425-862; 2. New Ulm Cathedral 441-431-873; 3. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 447-441-888; 4. Alden-Conger 462-495-957.

Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton: Kirsten Thell 105-97-202; Dani Gerdts 112-104-216; Taylor Rinehart 103-114-217; Kiya Erler 117-110-227.

Individual Qualifiers (Top 5 non-team members): Kayla Goblirsch (New Ulm Cathedral) 85-83-168; Mackenzie Lothert (Springfield) 93-95-188; Shaylee Schiller (Cedar Mountain) 99-91-190; Nadine Clobes (Minnesota Valley Lutheran) 99-91-190; Annika Riebe (Alden-Conger) 99-100-199.