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Boys' golf: Nugent's positivity outlasts final sectional meet

Zach Nugent's high school golf career came to a close at the WIAA Division 2 Tomahawk sectional tournament on Tuesday, May 29, where he tied for 33rd place with a score of 86. (File photo courtesy of Dave Newman / RiverTown Multimedia)

Zach Nugent's high school golf career came to an end on Tuesday, May 29, at the WIAA Division 2 Tomahawk sectional where the Ellsworth senior finished in a five-way tie for 33rd place.

Nugent shot a 16-over-par 86 at Inshalla Country Club where he was pleased with his first five holes of the day.

"I felt I was playing well for the first five holes and was only one over (par)," Nugent said. "Then I had kind of a blowup hole, which mentally put me out of it."

Nugent finished the front nine in 42 strokes and the back in 44.

Nugent's head coach Carson Huppert said his lone sectional competitor played a good game of golf for most of the day, but that a couple of bad shots ruined his chances of competing at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison for the state meet.

"(Zach's) wedge play around the green was on point," Huppert said. "He got into some trouble on hole six, and it was hard to recover after that."

Nugent said after some late-play bogeys he decided to have fun with the game and make the most out of his final high school athletic competition.

"It definitely wasn't my best round, but still was a good day," Nugent said. "Overall, I had a great senior season and was happy with what I accomplished."

Nugent's positive, carefree mentality has been an added bonus to his golf talents and played a large part in his advancement to the sectional meet his junior and senior seasons.

"I will miss Zach's passion for the game," Huppert said. "He's been a great player, person and teammate."

Mosinee's John Birnbaum won the Tomahawk sectional with a score of 70 and will compete at the state tournament on June 4-5 along with the Lakeland Union and Rice Lake teams that placed first and second on Tuesday. Rice Lake advanced to state after defeating Northwestern in a tiebreaker by two strokes.