HOUGHTON - The pattern indicated it was Hancock's turn to win the boys' side of its home invitational Tuesday: Hancock and Calumet have exchanged top WestPAC honors back-and-forth in four meets this season.
The Jeffers Jets nearly crashed the party.
Despite an even-par 72 from Jeffers sophomore Tyler Bailey, Hancock won the meet for the fourth consecutive year, lodging a 313 to edge the Jets by four shots and the Copper Kings by seven.
Hancock’s Brett Hauswirth reacts to a near-miss on a putt at the 18th hole during Tuesday’s Bulldog Invitational at Portage Lake Golf Course in Houghton. Hauswirth shot a 74 as Hancock’s team won the meet by four shots over Jeffers. (DMG photo by Brandon Veale)
"It's been a pretty fun, friendly rivalry and it's been a really good season," Hancock coach Joe Gervais said about the Copper Kings.
The Bulldogs had three golfers in the 70s, including Brett Hauswirth, who tied for second individually with a 74, and Jari Sague and Kyle Hauswirth, who carded matching 77s. The consistent production was important, because the pattern, and home-course advantage, swing back to the Copper Kings on Thursday.
"We definitely wanted to play well on our home course. We have a meet in Calumet on Thursday and we know they'll play well on their home course," Gervais said.
HANCOCK (313) - Brett Hauswirth 74, Jari Sague 77, Kyle Hauswirth 77, Tanner Kearly 85
JEFFERS (317) - Tyler Bailey 72, Matt Zerbst 81, Stephen Butina 81, Alex Outinen 83
CALUMET (320) - Byron Parks 74, Reese Lassila 79, Aaron Nelson 81, Tyler Kangas 86
HOUGHTON (329) - Hunter Rajala 80, Tony Peltier 80, Tony Stein 82, Seth Kaarto 87
L'ANSE (343) - Tristan Leaf 77, Carter Hendricks 78, Raymond Miron 93, Brett Martinez 95
FOREST PARK (347) - Dustin Dishaw 80, David Beck 86, Kevin Stankowicz 88, Michael Smithson 93
IRONWOOD (460) - Jake Kavinsky 97, Mike Westeen 107, Mike Kytola 128, Matt Hoff 128
WEST IRON (NTS) - Joe Schmidt 100, Matt Schmidt 103, Austin Atanasoff 117
HOUGHTON (368) - Bailey Raffaelli 88, Kenna Farrey 90, Megan Kelly 92, Noelle Polakowski 98
CALUMET (410) - Zoe Woodworth 81, Stephanie King 107, Valerie Darnell 110, Allison Darnell 112
JEFFERS (454) - Brittany Nicholas 105, Shelby Seppanen 107, Lindsay Kin 121, Kendra Maki 121
WEST IRON COUNTY (477) - Olivia Han 100, Mallory Tomasoski 121, Megan Eagloski 129, Madalyn Cannon 129
FOREST PARK (479) - Lexi Gussert 104, Toni Santi 119, Hannah Marinott 125, Abby Sommers 131
L'ANSE (502) - Alyssa Norback 98, Rebecca Oger 115, Breanna Dudo 116, Skyleigh Supanich 173.
IRONWOOD (NTS) - Maighlin Kolesar 97, Korrie Trier 101, Katarina Richards 117.
Bailey started his round on the par-four sixth hole and rattled off a string of seven straight fours. Back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14 blemished his card briefly, but Bailey recovered with birdies on 15 and 17 to get back to even. He dipped under par with a birdie on No. 2 before settling on 72.
"It was awesome, I didn't expect it," Bailey said.
Bailey had been medalist at the last two Copper Country Conference meets and shot 75 a day previous in the Lake Linden-Hubbell Invite at Calumet Golf Club. He credits short-game strength for his run of form.
"Chips are really good, putting's pretty good for the most part," Bailey said.
Byron Parks tied for second individually and led Calumet with a 2-over 74, while teammate Reese Lassila shot 79.
Houghton was fourth with a team total of 329, led by twin 80s from Hunter Rajala and Tony Peltier.
L'Anse finished the local contingent with a team 343 despite both Tristan Leaf (77) and Carter Hendricks (78) coming in under 80.
On the ladies side, all five Houghton golfers broke 100 as the Gremlins rolled to victory with a 368.
Bailey Raffaelli's 88 led the Gremlins, but Calumet senior Zoe Woodworth continued to break new ground. Woodworth fired a nine-over 81 that included her first eagle in competition, at the par-five seventh hole.
Woodworth hit a pair of excellent shots with the driver and fairway wood, then wrapped it up with a chip from just off the green for the third eagle of her golf career, all of which have come this season, she said.
"I just had an easy chip. Everything was just perfect that hole," Woodworth said.
Woodworth also birdied par-fives at 2 and 17. She said iron play is a way in which her game has improved in recent seasons.
"They became way more consistent, and I felt like I get way more distance, which helps on the par-fives and getting on the greens in regulation," she said.
As impressive as Woodworth's individual accomplishment was, Houghton's team demonstrated comparable excellence. In addition to Raffaelli's 88, Kenna Farrey logged a 90, Megan Kelly 92 and Noelle Polakowski 98, so Hannah Hill's 99 (the eighth-best individual score) was dropped.
Calumet's team finished 42 shots back with a 410, including a 107 from Stephanie King.
Jeffers took third with 454, led by a 105 from Brittany Nicholas.
West Iron County (477) was fourth, followed by Forest Park (479) and L'Anse (502), which got a 98 from Alyssa Norback.