Bob Mainhardt For the River News

Lakeland’s Ansen Nomm tees off at the fourth Great Northern Conference meet on Friday, May 11, at Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander.
Bob Mainhardt For the River News

Lakeland’s Ansen Nomm tees off at the fourth Great Northern Conference meet on Friday, May 11, at Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander.
Lakeland Union High School staked its claim as the top golf team in the Great Northern Conference early in the week, winning back-to-back conference meets.

On Friday, the Thunderbirds had a chance to win its third of the week and fourth overall at Northwood Golf Club in Rhinelander.

Lakeland did just that, recording a team score of 315 to win its fourth GNC meet of the season.

"As far as the seven conference courses go, that's the toughest," LUHS head coach Scott Howard said. "I thought all five players played really well. I was pleasantly surprised that our team score was that low and all five shot between 76 and 82."

Lakeland placed three players in the top four and all five in the top seven.

Kyle Bengtson tied for second with a 77, while Adam Lazaroff was fourth with an 80, while Kailey Godfrey and Jake Collins tied for seventh by shooting an 82 apiece.

Meanwhile, Ansen Nomm capped off the biggest week of his young career by winning his third GNC meet of the week with a 76.

"He's taken a huge step in his game," Howard said. "He's very focused, very mentally prepared for each and every shot - as far as what he wants to do with the golf ball, what he thinks the wind is gonna do, how far it's going to carry - all the little nuances of the game, Ansen's very prepared for it. His experience is really paying off here."



Merrill Invite

Lakeland also participated in a tournament at Merrill Public Golf Course against some tough Division 1 opponents from the Wisconsin Valley.

The T-Birds continued to play well as a team, placing second with a 331, compared to Wausau West's winning score of 324.

Godfrey, Nomm and Collins all shot an 82, while Bengtson chipped in an 85 they were split into two teams of two.

"It was a one best ball of two, so we partnered up," Howard said. "We had a group of Ansen and Kyle and they were playing a different strategy than they normally do. They were taking a lot more chances trying to drive a driveable Par 4 so they ended up in the water off the tee. It was more of a fun day trying to let the shaft out so to speak. They got themselves in trouble and then our team of Kailey Godfrey and Jake Collins played well all day."

Lakeland now gets to play in its first home meet of the season as the fifth GNC meet is scheduled for this afternoon at Timber Ridge Golf Club.

While the T-Birds are the home team, there may not be much home-course advantage given they have not gotten a chance to play at the course this season.

"We haven't been in town. Some of the players have only played maybe the front nine, so we're going to try to play the other nine (Monday) night to see how it's playing as far as condition and shape and green speed," Howard said. "I don't really see an advantage. At the same time, we've been playing different courses four or five times per week and we've been playing well on all of them so I'd look for the same type of play hopefully."

GNC meet No. 5 begins at 3 p.m. today, while the sixth is to be held on Thursday at Eagle River Golf Course.

Nick Sabato may be reached at nick@lakelandtimes.com or via Twitter @NickSabatoLT.