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Wiese leads Howard boys to fourth-place finish at state

HARTFORD -- It took 30 holes, but Howard's Cal Wiese started to falter. The sophomore came into the day with a four-stroke lead over Freeman's Arron Lickteig after posting a 72 -- which is par at Central Valley Golf Course in Hartford. After the ...

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Howard's Cal Wiese hits an approach shot from the rough on the 10th hole during the Class B boys' state golf tournament Tuesday at Central Valley Golf Course in Hartford. (Justin Rust/Republic)

HARTFORD -- It took 30 holes, but Howard's Cal Wiese started to falter.

The sophomore came into the day with a four-stroke lead over Freeman's Arron Lickteig after posting a 72 -- which is par at Central Valley Golf Course in Hartford.

After the first nine holes Tuesday, Wiese was holding onto the four-stroke lead as both he and Lickteig shot a 39, three shots over par.

But after Wiese bogeyed and double bogeyed on the 13th and 14th holes, Lickteig cut the lead to one stroke as the two got ready to tee off on the 15th hole.

Wiese quickly regained his composure. On the 15th hole -- which was 159 yards -- Wiese drove his tee shot to the green and made a 10-foot birdie putt. Lickteig three-putted the same hole and Wiese rebuilt his four-stroke lead to win the Class B individual title.

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"I put a couple of good days of golf in and pulled it off," said Wiese, who finished third at last year's state tournament. "I knew I had a shot, but I didn't know if I was expecting to win it. I was hoping to place in the top five, but winning it is what you want to do.

"I will try to three-peat, I guess, but I am happy with one and I will go from there."

After his lead was whittled down to one stroke, Wiese admitted he got nervous.

"I kind of hit a couple of bad shots and let him get a couple strokes on me," he said. "On that par 3, I birdied and that gave me the lead again, so I felt comfortable the last couple of holes coming in. I just kind of settled down and got back in the groove and do my thing."

Both Wiese and Lickteig shot 77s on the second day. Wiese finished the two-day state tournament with a 149 and Lickteig shot a 153. Garretson's Derek Dillon finished in third with a 156.

For Lickteig, it was his second runner-up finish in the last three years. In 2009, Lickteig finished second to his own teammate, Josh Korn, at the state tournament. Last year, he finished in 16th place.

"I knew it was going to be a struggle, and I just had to play good," Lickteig said. "I just fell apart on one hole and it cost me. It's definitely way better than last year, but it's still not as good as being the winner."

Lickteig, a sophomore, still has two more shots to earn the top billing in Class B.

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"Just gives me another thing I can work harder for so I can win it," he said.

Even though he did not win the state title, Freeman coach Ryan Mors said he is proud of what Lickteig accomplished the last two days.

"He's proven he is one of the best golfers in the state and he continues to work hard and have a good attitude about it," he said. "I am sure he is pleased with the second-place finish, but (he) would love to be state champ. But he will come back and give it another shot next year."

Wiese's title helped Howard to a fourth-place team finish at the state tournament. Howard trailed Garretson and Deuel by four strokes coming into Tuesday, but the Tigers dropped back a place after Parker shot a 237 Tuesday to finish in second place with a 496 two-day total -- one stroke behind Garretson. Deuel finished in third place with a 498 and Howard shot a 510.

After Wiese, Howard sophomore Cole Hodges finished in 24th with a 176, junior Tyler Genzlinger carded a 190 and senior Michael Dawson shot a 213. The top three golfers for a team score at the state tournament.

Howard coach Al Wiese said the goal was to finish in the top three, but he is happy with a fourth-place finish.

"Top three you get a banner at the school, but I am not saying fourth place is bad," he said. "We still have a goal in mind to work toward and that's what we will shoot at, getting in the top three."

South Central finished 11 strokes behind Howard to finish in fifth. The Cougars came into the second day in fourth place and six strokes off the lead. South Central shot a 265 on the final day, and coach Billie Jo Indahl said the team is pleased with how it finished.

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"The boys got in some trouble, but it's OK; they still came out and finished strong," she said. "We are just really excited. It's been a team effort all year. I am just proud of all of them."

Senior Billy Jons led South Central with a 171 to finish in 15th place and Jay Determan, also a senior, carded a 175 for 21st place. Senior Trever Serr finished in 42nd with a 181 and junior Brian Juran shot a two-day 196.

Even though Kimball did not qualify as a team for the state tournament, it had three individual golfers -- sophomore Russel Pick and juniors Dylan Konechne and Shawn Harmon -- so the team could still post a score at the state meet.

For the first time in the school's history, Kimball placed at the state meet, shooting a two-day total 533.

Kimball coach Bill Thompson said the three golfers all carried each other.

"It was a total team effort and we feel good about our progress," he said. "We achieved what we thought we could, but I don't think a lot of the state counted us in, so we feel really good about that."

Pick led Kimball with a 176 to finish in 23rd. Konechne shot a 178 for 32nd and Harmon shot a 179 for 35th.

Related Topics: HOWARDFAIRFAXKIMBALLFREEMAN
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