Cedergren shines at state for Bay Port
BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – Bay Port golfer Preston Cedergren thought he could do something special this season, but his ninth-place showing at the WIAA D1 state meet last week proved he’s a force to be reckoned with in the future.
The sophomore shot a two-day total of 149 (five-over par) on the demanding University Ridge Golf Course in Madison June 4-5.
His second day one-under par 71 was the lowest round in Bay Port state-meet history and one off the school record for best round ever.
“I put in a lot of work this past year,” said Cedergren, who tied for 50th last year at state. “I started working with a new swing coach in the winter and it helped a lot. I also worked out with weights and got stronger – it gave me more distance. I worked on my putting a lot this spring, too.”
Cedergren said that one of his strengths as a player is his distance off the tee, where he can drive it in the 320-yard range consistently. He mentioned that on hole two at University he hit his drive 360 yards and then went 350 on hole six.
“I suppose I can hit it farther than some pros, but they hit it a lot straighter than me,” Cedergren laughed. “That’s one thing I need to work on. Even though I can hit it far, I think my putting and chipping is a bigger strength of mine.”
Cedergren, who moved up 27 spots on the second day, struggled with a first-day total of 78.
“I was playing okay on the front nine on day one making pars and keeping it boring,” he said. “When I hit the back nine it seemed I just couldn’t hit a ball … I had two double bogeys, lost two tee balls and had a few silly putts I missed. It was pretty sloppy. I always try to avoid getting anything more than a five on hole. If you don’t do that, it’s hard to recover.”
Despite his record-setting second day, Cedergren wasn’t sure it would happen.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I was hitting the ball all that well on day two,” he said. “My proximity to the hole wasn’t good, but I was putting out of my mind. I was pretty much two-putting everything. I finished par-birdie on the last two holes and gave a fist bump when I made my last putt.”
Before the season started, Cedergren put a net and a launch monitor in his garage to help him get to that next level.
“It helped me a ton,” he said. “The monitor is just a piece of equipment that when I hit the ball it gives me the stats from the shot – how far the ball is going and the trajectory rate. It shows up on my IPad. The monitor really helps me see how far I can hit the ball with different clubs so when I get out on the course, it’s not a guessing game.”
Despite two-time defending state champ Piercen Hunt (sophomore, Arrowhead) being back for two more years, Cedergren isn’t conceding anything in terms of the future.
“I want to be up there with Piercen and I think I can be,” added Cedergren. “I will be playing with him a lot this summer in tournaments and for fun … we stay in touch quite a bit. I think it’s great that the best golfer in the state is also a really nice guy. He plays around the country, but it’s nice to have someone like him representing Wisconsin.”
Golf scholarships are tough to get, but Cedergren is hoping to play in college.
“There are only 12 golfers on a college team and usually only five are on scholarship,” Cedergren noted. “You can’t get any offers until your junior year in September I believe, but UWGB is a possibility if I can continue to place well. I just want to focus on getting better and moving forward.”