Tess Hackworthy never saw the golf ball move Tuesday on the third green at Cherokee Country Club, but the Madison Edgewood sophomore and the rest of her prep girls golf team will feel the aftershock of that slight tremor for the rest of their lives.
And when Hackworthy sees the 2012 WIAA Division 2 state championship trophy sitting among the other 10 that the Crusaders have won in the last 12 years? She’ll remember the act of honesty by Racine Prairie School’s Taylor Denman that helped put it there.
Denman called a one-stroke penalty on herself 12 holes into the final round after she saw the ball move while addressing her second putt on No. 3. Later, after that single stroke proved to be the difference in Edgewood’s victory over the team that ended its nine-year state championship run by the same margin in 2010, the Hawks tried to appeal the ruling — saying that wind caused the ball to move — and have matters settled in a team playoff.
Officials denied the request over a lack of indisputable evidence.
“It was confusing,” Racine Prairie coach Carrie Massey said. “There was an exception that was added this year to the rule. We know that my player did not move the ball and now it’s like, ‘What caused it (to move)?’”
They may never know. After a 25-minute discussion between WIAA assistant director Tom Shafranski, several rules officials and players and coaches from schools in the group, people were ushered to a banquet room where official word of Edgewood’s victory came when Racine Prairie golfers were called forward to receive their state runner-up medals.
“I respect Taylor for being very honest and telling us that’s what happened,” Hackworthy said of Denman, her playing partner who later accepted her team runner-up medal with a USGA Rule Book in her hand. “She was putting her second putt and, no, I didn’t see anything move. But then she backed away from the ball and told us the situation.”
At that point, it was clear that neither team would be willing to let the other walk away with the state championship.
Sienna Chapman (37), Nikki Isaacson (39) and Denman helped the Hawks shoot 163 on the back nine (their first nine) and cut Edgewood’s five-stroke lead to two. Chapman, who was 13-over after 12 holes in Monday’s first round, played her final 24 holes in 2-under to give her team a shot at winning.
Edgewood gained ground on the front. Caroline Lake (80), Hackworthy (82) and Libby Luedtke (87) all improved their scores from the back nine. Senior Lexi Greytak, who went out in 37 only to struggle through the first eight holes on the back nine, clinched the title for the Crusaders when she matched Chapman’s par on the last hole.
“That last hole, I had no idea what was going on,” said Greytak, who shot 78. “I kept asking (coach) Peggy (Gierhart), ‘Is this putt a big deal? Like, what’s going on?’ She’s like, ‘Just putt. Just putt.’
“After we (finished), we went in the scoring tent and everyone’s questioning what’s going on. And then we sit in the pro shop for I don’t know how long. Kind of hectic. A lot of drama.”
There was no drama in the individual race.
Stanford recruit Casey Danielson of Osceola took care of that with her record-setting 66 in the first round. She closed with a 73 — missing the 36-hole meet record she set in 2010 by one shot — and coasted to a 14-stroke victory over Edgerton’s Brooke Ferrell.
“I didn’t play as well as I would’ve liked today,” said Danielson, who had five bogeys, two birdies and an eagle Tuesday one day after making nine birdies in her 66. “I guess I made all my putts (Monday). They just didn’t seem to be falling today, but that’s golf.”
For Ferrell, a University of Wisconsin recruit, it was her fourth top-five finish and second runner-up showing.
“The only thing I did differently today was not worry about where Casey was,” Ferrell said. “I did my best (Monday), but you can’t help but notice that she’s shooting a 66. I just did my best to keep up with her ... and, seriously, try to play for second.”
Team scores: Madison Edgewood 347-327—674, Racine Prairie School 352-323—675, Hayward 363-348—711; Fox Valley Lutheran 384-375—759; Osceola 392-378—770; Edgerton 392-380—772.
Top individuals: 1, Danielson, Osceola, 66-73—139; 2, Ferrell, Edgerton, 78-75—153; 3, Chapman, Racine Prairie School, 84-71—155; 4, Isaacson, Racine Praire School, 80-77—157; 5, Smith, Appleton Xavier, 85-76—161.
(Top four scores each day determine team score)
Madison Edgewood: Greytak 85-78—163, Lake 84-80—164, Hackworthy 87-82—169, Luedtke 91-87—178, Mucklow 93-87 --- 180. Racine Prairie School: Chapman 84-71—155; Isaacson 80-77—157; Denman 91-81—172; Maki 97-95—192; Craig 98-94—192. Hayward: Neff 80-82—162, McCusker 81-84—165, Tremblay 97-83—180, Hansen 105-99—204, Bowen/R. Radcliffe 111-104. Fox Valley Lutheran: Priebe 90-87—177; Koepp 98-89—187, Ta. Kluess 91-104—195, Tr. Kluess 110-95—205, Tesch 105-105—210. Osceola: Danielson 66-73—139, Nelson 102-98—200, Baehr 109-106—215, Uzpen 115-101—216, Anderson 121-111 232. Edgerton: Ferrell 78-75—153, Richardson 92-112—204, Splitter 110-95—205, Weger 112-98—210, Kruckenberg 123-112—235.
Appleton Xavier: Smith 85-76—161. Baldwin-Woodville: Hinz 90-86—176. Darlington- Cuba City: Black 90-93—183. Denmark: Carney 90-89—179. Ladysmith 95-87—182. Luck-Unity: Steen 91-84—175. Marinette: Dufrane 81-83—164. McFarland: Culver 89-88—177. Osseo-Fairchild: Langner 94-92—186.