Over the past few years, the Saint Ignatius golf program has grown into one of the best in the state of Ohio. Andrew Kaye has a lot to do with the trend.
So it should come as no surprise that Saint Ignatius will not be the last stop in Kaye's golf journey.
Kaye has committed to Cleveland State University to continue his academic and athletic careers.
Over the past four years, Kaye has developed into a standout golfer for the Wildcats. Learning from his coaches, Brian Becker '77 and PJ Myers '99, Kaye has become the Wildcats' anchor and emotional leader. And just as importantly, Kaye has grown into a fine young man, a humble Ignatian and a hard-working student.
"I'm extremely excited for Andrew. We've had a fun four years together and he's had his eyes on playing D1 college golf since the moment he walked into the Saint Ignatius doors," Myers said. "To watch him accomplish his goals is so gratifying as a coach."
Kaye's journey to today began as a freshman with the Wildcats. Starting as a promising young player on the JV Gold team, Kaye excelled physically but sometimes struggled with the mental aspect.
"My freshman year was difficult for me. I was very emotional and unstable on the course. I've really grown," Kaye said. "You have to keep your emotions intact. During my senior year, I'm levelheaded, knowing that my next four years are figured out."
Kaye grew by leaps and bounds during his sophomore season. The youngster made the jump to the varsity level. With a better mental approach, Kaye shined as a promising golfer with great form. Becker often marveled at his sophomore's potential.
Kaye's high ceiling became evident in the postseason. While the Wildcats did not qualify for the State Tournament, Kaye did as an individual by capturing first place at the Regional Tournament. On the first day on the Scarlet Course at States, Kaye recorded an 88, before rebounding with an outstanding score of 79 on day two.
His development continued into his junior year. Kaye remained a top star on the team, providing consistently good scores. The quiet young player went about his business and achieved great things. At year's end, Kaye helped to lead the Wildcats to the State Tournament. The Wildcats did not win it, but Kaye did have a nice couple days at Ohio State's tough course.
Over the offseason, Kaye worked on his game and did his best to get looks from college coaches.
"[The process is] very individualized. It's mostly sending out emails, taking swing videos, and attending a lot of tournaments during the summer, because there's not much else you can do," Kaye said. "You just have to post good rounds, mostly in two-day tournaments. Every score counts, and you do what you can to get noticed."
Cleveland State's golf coach reached out to Kaye over the summer and started recruiting him. Kaye took a visit and immediately liked the program and the campus.
"They were looking for impact players for next year. I scheduled a visit with them over the summer. I really liked the campus, the dorms were really nice," Kaye said. "That was a big selling point. The coach talked about how the team is so close, almost like a family, because he recruits local guys mostly. They're really tight. All of the athletes hang out together."
As he's been pondering his decision, Kaye has been excellent on the course.
From the start of the 2019 season, Kaye has been the undisputed leader. The team captain has consistently led the Wildcats with scores in the low-to-mid 70s, providing a good base for the team to work from every tournament.
Last week, after plenty of discernment, Kaye committed to Cleveland State.
In the end, CSU offered wonderful academic and athletic opportunities. Cleveland State is a great academic institution with a wide range of offerings, particularly for a student like Kaye, who currently owns a 4.22 cumulative GPA at Saint Ignatius. Athletically, the Vikings have won five of the last nine Horizon League Golf Championships. CSU has become a regular at the NCAA Regionals, a big selling point for Kaye.
As Kaye's senior season rapidly approaches its end, Kaye is excited for his future at CSU, but also the rest of the year. Just like the rest of his teammates, he's deadset on winning a state championship.
"It's been almost 20 years since we've won, and we have one of the best teams in the state," Kaye said. "And Topher Reed is unreal. We've got a solid team this year, so that's the goal."
Academically, Kaye hopes to maintain a 4.0 GPA and finish the year strong. With his work ethic, that's a good bet.
Kaye will be following in the footsteps of his head coach, PJ Myers '99, a man who Kaye looks up to. Myers attended CSU, golfing for the Vikings for four years. He also served as a captain for three seasons. Kaye is very thankful to his coach for his guidance.
"I'd like to thank my head coach, PJ Myers," Kaye said. "He attended Cleveland State and golfed there also, so he was big in my decision-making process, in how it was going to college in Cleveland when you attended high school in Cleveland. That was helpful."
Beyond his coach, Kaye is also very thankful for his teammates and parents. Without them, Kaye said he could not have reached the heights he has today.
On Myers' end, he couldn't be happier to see his standout golfer choose his Alma Mater.
"Coach Weir has really grown the Viking program since my days there and he's lucky to have landed such an accomplished student and player," Myers said. "Andrew will be a wonderful addition to the perennial Horizon League Championship squad."
Congrats to Andrew on committing to Cleveland State! Plenty of success is ahead for this bright young man.