Occasional dampened the clothes of many golfers and fans on Tuesday, but nothing could spoil the Saint Ignatius Invitational, the Wildcats' tournament on their home course at Red Tail Golf Club.
The annual early August invitational signals the start of golf season. This year, the tidings are quite positive for the men of Ohio City. The results showed why plenty of Saint Ignatius fans are optimistic for this season.
The Wildcats tied for second at Tuesday's invitational, shooting a team score of 299. Archbishop Hoban took home the team crown with a tally of 292, but Topher Reed captured the medalist trophy. The sophomore continued his early-season tear, notching a 69 for the day.
Overall, first-year head coach PJ Myers '99 was pleased with how the day went and how his team played.
"The course played great. It was tough and windy," said Myers. "I thought the boys played very well, Topher Reed, in particular, being the medalist with a 69 was a phenomenal round. Some of the boys got down early and faced adversity, but fought back. I was really proud of the way they played on a tough day."
The Wildcats as a team did quite well, but Reed stole the show as an individual on Tuesday. Since topping the team at tryouts, Reed tied for medalist honors at Jackson on Monday and won the trophy outright on Tuesday. Reed finished at three-under-par with a 69 at Red Tail, tallying an eagle and a host of birdies.
As Myers explained, the special thing about Reed is not just his physical skills, but his mental makeup.
"Topher started out 3-over through 5 holes. After his 5th hole, he looked at me and told me he would shoot 68," said Myers. "That gives you an idea of his mentality. He never gives up. Sure enough, he went out and did what he said he was going to do. That goes to show you how solid of a player he is."
Nick Longano finished not far behind Reed with a score of 74. The junior showcased his confidence on Tuesday with superb putts in important situations. In several situations, Longano made tough putts to lock down birdies and pars.
Andrew Kaye experienced a few tough holes, but bounced back to have a solid score of 75. Kaye is a true all-around golfer with marvelous skills. The senior is currently getting looks from Division I schools.
Ross Williamson and Nick Piesen completed the pack with scores of 82 and 86. Windy conditions and a tough course played a part in the scores, but expect both to post regular scores in the 70s this season.
Almost as impressive as the varsity's performance were the results posted by the men of Tom Beach. The JV Gold squad, listed as the Varsity Gold team on the scoresheet, combined for a team score of 310. That tally placed the team fourth among the 18 teams present, with the overwhelming majority of the teams being varsity A.
Freshman Connor Malicki enjoyed a home course advantage on Tuesday, leading the team with a 75. Malicki's family lives right on the course, with a hole in the house's backyard. Malicki took advantage of his knowledge of the course to record an excellent score.
Andrew Martin secured the second spot on the squad with a 77. The junior chipped the ball well on several occasions to ensure a good score. MJ Myers and JR Leedy each carded a 79 on a solid day of golfing. Myers looked good, especially when he hit a perfect chip shot from the rough on 18. Connor Warns completed the squad with an 82.
Myers praised the work of the young JV Gold golfers after the fact, as the team is playing like a varsity squad, not a JV one.
"We're nine guys deep on varsity with 12 really good, young players," said Myers. "For them to shoot 310, that's a competitive score for any school. We essentially have two varsity teams. Winning fourth place is a testament to them. With a lot of them, it was their first round."
Three Wildcats also competed as individuals on Tuesday. Braden Hilditch, a freshman phenom, booked a 77 on his home course. Hilditch's house overlooks a hole at Red Tail. Liam Doyle notched an 81 and John Thompson gloved an 82.
The JV Gold Cats will have the day off, but the varsity squad will head to Shale Creek to participate in the Walker Jones Classic.
"We've gotten off to a quick start," Myers said. "I know the boys know they can play better. We'll make some adjustments. Overall, we get some putts to fall. Guys are missing short putts, so if we can get that under control, we'll be in the low 290s every time we play."
JV Blue Cats perform well at Quail Hollow
Competing against many varsity teams and some JV squads, Tom Bogen's JV Blue Cats acquitted themselves well.
The JV Blue quintet combined for a score of of 337 at the Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin Invitational at Quail Hollow.
Domenic Pilla led the way with an 80. Michael O'Leary coined an 84 for the afternoon. Connor Keefe and Michael Van Etten finished in short order with an 86 and 87, respectively. Ethan Hughes rounded out the bunch with a 95.
Bogen's boys will be in action at the Strongsville Classic at Bunker Hill tomorrow.
Full results from the Saint Ignatius Invitational:
1. Archbishop Hoban (292)
T-2 (won tiebreaker) Archbishop Moeller (299)
T-2. Saint Ignatius Varsity (299)
4. Saint Ignatius Varsity Gold (310)
5. Alter (314)
T-6. St. Xavier (320)
T-6. Dublin Jerome (320)
8. Columbus St. Charles (321)
9. Bishop Watterson (329)
10. University School (330)
11. Brunswick (333)
12. Westlake (333)
13. Toledo St. John's Jesuit (334)
14. Strongsville (336)
15. Rocky River (344)
16. CVCA (349)
17. St. Edward (350)
18. Van Buren (377)
Braden Hilditch – 77
Liam Doyle – 81
Adam Gilmore – 81
John Thompson – 82
Colin Counahan – 86