Return to the top: Hancock golfers regain U.P. D-2 title, L’Anse’s Leaf medals at Norway’s Oak Crest once again

NORWAY – Hancock and Norway waged another battle for U.P. Division 2 boys’ golf supremacy Wednesday.

The Bulldogs and Knights shared second place behind St. Ignace in last year’s meet. This time around, Hancock eked out a one-shot victory over Norway, 324-325, for the U.P. crown at Oak Crest Golf Course.

“What got us there was our consistency,” Hancock coach Joe Gervais said. “One through five we’ve got five kids that can put up a decent number.

“We knew coming in that Norway has a real nice golf team. They did well in the finals last year and this is their home course. We came in thinking they would be the team to beat.”

Norway coach Tony Zygiel said his Knights were taking the loss hard and likely second-guessing themselves. He hoped they would soon focus on the positive.

“This is golf and I’ve seen it a lot,” Zygiel said of the game’s twists and turns. “These kids competed today and it came down to one stroke.

“The kids all played well. They took runner-up and should be proud of it.”

Tristan Leaf of L’Anse continued his winning ways at Oak Crest. The Purple Hornets junior fired a one-over 73 in the recent Norway Invitational and came back in the U.P. with a medalist round of 74.

“I was really on today,” Leaf said. “If I missed a green it wasn’t by very far.”

Leaf carded a par 36 on the back nine, registering three birdies on the day including the par-3 17th where his tee shot landed 6 feet from the hole.

“My drives were solid,” said Leaf, noting three missed fairways.

Norway’s Austin Hansen, who eagled the ninth hole, along with Hancock’s Kyle Hauswirth and West Iron County’s Austin Waara shared runner-up medalist at 77. Nate Markell of third-place Iron Mountain and Norway’s Justin Anderson both posted 78. Bulldogs’ Tanner Kearly was next at 79. Tony Fisher, 83, and Matthew Sanregret, 85, filled out Hancock’s scoring. Kyle Hauswirth, Kearly and Fisher played in last year’s U.P. tourney.

“We knew if we played as well as were capable of we could give them a run for their money,” Gervais said of his senior-less Bulldogs. “Tanner Kearly and Kyle Hauswirth have kind of led us all year but the 3-4-5 (golfers) have really pushed each other to do their best.”