The 2019 Saint Ignatius golf team is scary good.
How good, you ask? The Wildcats won the District Tournament by 10 strokes with a score of 290. And that's even with a two-stroke penalty and a couple of bogeys and double bogeys in the last few holes. It's the Wildcats' best District score in program history.
Watch out, Ohio. Here come the Golf Cats.
On Monday at Pine Hills Golf Club, the Wildcats looked, in a word, spectacular. Sprinting out to a fast start, the Wildcats continued to excel after the turn, carding a team score of 290. The Wildcats took the District crown with ease and punched a ticket to the OHSAA State Tournament on October 18-19 at The Ohio State University's Scarlet Course.
"We're really excited. It's been two-and-a-half months of really hard work," said Head Coach PJ Myers '99. "These guys have put the work in physically and mentally. This is a culmination of all of the hard work. I'm so proud of them, they deserve it."
No golfer on the course shined brighter on Monday than Andrew Kaye.
The senior raced out to a hot start and never looked back. Kaye tallied a 33 on the front nine with a few early birdies and kept on going in the back nine. He barely missed out on a couple of birdies, but still rolled to a 34 in the final nine holes. A nice putt on 18 cemented his score of 67, winning him medalist honors by two full strokes.
"Andrew is a really special individual," Myers said. "He's skilled, he's smart, he works hard, and he's a leader. The boys look up to him. He set the tone with a nice pre-round speech. He got all of the boys comfortable. Right when he got on the course, I could tell how comfortable and ready he was to step up. That 67 is special."
Ross Williamson also put forth a great score. The senior notched a 38 on the front nine and then did even better on the back nine. Williamson tallied a 35 in the final nine holes, finishing with a 73. The Wildcats' curly-haired phenom has been on fire during the postseason.
By his standards, Topher Reed had an "off" day. But most golfers would kill to shoot a 75. Battling some difficult holes, Reed finished over par, a rarity for the talented sophomore. Pine Hills is named Pine Hills for a reason – the hills are quite steep and the trees are often obstacles. And greens are no joke, particularly on the 18th hole. But Reed captivated the crowd with an exceptional long putt, sinking it to end his day.
"Topher's been our one-man all year. He had a bit of a tough day, but a tough day for Topher is a 75," Myers said. "When you can rely on that, it is a blessing as a coach."
Nick Piesen thrived in the early goings on Monday. The freshman banked three early birdies, helping him tally a 35 on the front nine. Piesen experienced difficulty with some of the uber-difficult holes in the final stretch, but still conquered the course with a score of 75. That's not a typical freshman score, but then again, Piesen is no average frosh.
Nick Longano rounded out the Wildcats' squad on Monday. The junior was dealt some adversity with a two-stroke penalty, through no fault of his own, but he battled hard. Longano hit some impressive shots down the stretch to tally an 81 for the Wildcats. Look out for Longano next week – he thrived on the challenging Scarlet Course last year, so he'll be ready for States.
The Wildcats' first-year head coach is no stranger to the Scarlet Course, either. Myers help the Wildcats achieve runner-up honors in 1998. He could not be more pumped.
"That was the main goal from the moment the season started. I told the boys that if they committed to putting the work in on our micro-goals, like getting our emotional and mental game ready, that this is the result," Myers said. "We are very excited to get down there and keep the season alive."