After two and a half months of work, the goal is finally in sight.
The State Tournament has finally arrived.
The Saint Ignatius varsity golf team is in Columbus for the two-day tournament at the Scarlet Course. The peak of a season filled with success and anticipation for October has arrived.
Since August, the talent level in the Saint Ignatius golf program has been apparent. Choosing just five players for the postseason proved to be a challenge, as each player in the program exhibited skill and talent over the course of the season. First-year coach PJ Myers '99, a member of the 1998 state runner-up team and an assistant coach from 2012-18, called this one of the most talented Saint Ignatius golf teams in years.
The talent was on full display at the District Tournament on Monday, October 7 at Pine Hills. The Wildcats conquered the course with ease, finishing with a team score of 290, even with a 2-stroke penalty included. The Wildcats bested the second-place team by 10 strokes in an incredible feat of strength, one of the team's best-ever scores at District.
This weekend, the Wildcats will need to pair that talent with a mentally tough approach. The Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club is the toughest the Wildcats have played on all year.
Thankfully, all members of the team will have played on it by Friday morning. Thanks to some generous Saint Ignatius alumni in Columbus, most of the team played on the Scarlet Course in July before the start of the season. On Thursday, all five Wildcats will play the course in a practice round.
Andrew Kaye enters with the hottest hand. The senior has displayed his calm leadership all year, but his skill has shined brightest down the stretch. The captain bested all other golfers at Districts, winning medalist honors with a 67.
Nick Longano and Ross Williamson are other veteran presences. Each has done well in the postseason leading up to States. Longano did quite well in Columbus last year, and will look to repeat the effort.
Topher Reed will look to be an anchor for the Wildcats this weekend. The sophomore is incredibly talented and is whip-smart. Reed is a bold player with no fear of competition or a tough course.
Nick Piesen is a young player who accomplished the rare feat of making the team as a freshman, following in Reed's footsteps. Piesen is an excellent player with a similarly strong mental acuity, which he'll need in Columbus.
Looking at his five men, Myers is feeling confident.
"Coming off districts, we’ve had a really strong 10 days of prep including some on course work, TPI functional workouts, and mental/emotional training," Myers said. "The team is excited and ready to get to the first tee on Friday. Coach Koch and I are proud of the effort they’ve put in and how they evolved into a family. We’ve stayed consistent with our process and now it’s just time to go out and execute.”
The Wildcats have a great chance to achieve something special on Friday and Saturday. The only thing left to do now is execute.
As the Northeast District Champs, the Wildcats will start on the No. 1 tee. Here are the Wildcats' tee times:
10 am: Nick Piesen
10:10: Nick Longano
10:20: Ross Williamson
10:30: Topher Reed
10:40: Andrew Kaye