Lutheran golfer Wilcox wins state, Crusaders finish third
Sheboygan Lutheran made golf history Tuesday … twice.
The Crusaders took third at Division 3 state this afternoon for their best finish ever at the WIAA meet, and junior Drake Wilcox became the school’s first state champion.
Wilcox, who was second as a freshman and third last season, finished with a 27-hole total of 1-over-par 109 at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona.
“It really comes back to how hard I worked,” Wilcox said. “I really don’t think that there’s anybody at my school ever that has worked nearly as hard as I have in this sport. I’ve been playing golf since I was 4 and it’s all really paying off. I was really confident out there and it really does feel amazing to be a state champion. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
As a team, Lutheran ended with a total of 515 to finish 22 strokes behind champion Manitowoc Roncalli and 11 behind runner-up Abundant Life/Madison Country.
This is Lutheran’s third state meet in the last four years and its fourth overall. The Crusaders’ previous best finish at state was fourth in 2016.
Senior Emma Egbert tied for 23rd individually with an 131, and she was followed by teammates sophomore Andrew Meador (29th, 138), senior Devon Madson (30th, 139) and junior Joel Hacker (39th, 144).
Last year, the Crusaders placed fifth and all five golfers returned this season.
“We came in with high expectations,” Lutheran coach Larry Kettle said. “We thought we had the firepower to be able to compete. It was unfortunate the tournament was reduced to 27 holes, but we faced some very good competition and held up strong. We just didn’t quite have enough to get to the finish line.”
Wilcox did, as he finished three strokes ahead of second-place Jack Rollins of Abundant Life/Madison County in the two-day event.
On Monday, Wilcox shot a 2-under-par 70, was second among all state golfers and held a six-stroke lead in Division 3.
But Tuesday morning, there was a 90-minute weather delay so officials decreased the number of holes from 18 to nine.
Wilcox shot a 39 on the back nine and held on.
“It was really a grind out there,” he said. “It was like 30 mph wind and everything was wet, but I was able to pull it out.
“I really had to make as many pars as possible. That was my goal today, to stay as close to even as I possibly could. I knew the conditions were too hard to go extremely low. Like to shoot a 33 or 34 would be a miracle today based on the conditions.”
A birdie on the seventh hole was all Wilcox needed to stay in control.
“I was really proud with how Drake was able to handle some adversity,” Kettle said. “He had a couple of bogies in the middle of his round and he was to retain his focus. He was able to hold on and win the championship.”