As the fall season draws very near, members of the Saint Ignatius golf program are competing in tournaments to prepare for what looks to be a promising season for the Golf Cats.
In advance of the onset of tryouts on Saturday, Nick Longano and Topher Reed posted impressive scores this past week.
On Wednesday, Longano won the Boys Merrill-Lynch Shootout, held during the first round of the 37th Northern Ohio PGA Junior Tour Championship. Meanwhile, Reed claimed third at the 2020 World Teen Championships from July 23-25.
With Longano and Reed leading the way, this could be a fun fall for the Golf Cats.
Longano competed in the NOPGA Junior Tour Championship on Wednesday. During the first round at Club Walden in Aurora, Longano was one of eight qualifiers for the Merrill-Lynch Shootout. As per the News-Herald, the golfers with the highest scores were eliminated on a hole-by-hole basis until one survived as the winner. Longano stood as the champion at the end of the four-hole format, beating out fellow finalist Colin Frimel of Medina in a putting playoff. Both secured par on the final hole, requiring the playoff, where Longano's putt from 45 feet out sat closer to the hole than Frimel's.
Entering Day 2 on Thursday, Longano is tied for fourth after tallying a score of 72 in the first round at two-over-par (+2). Longano is three strokes off the lead, which is currently held by Jake Sylak of Mineral Ridge.
Several other Wildcats are taking part in the NOPGA event for golfers ages 16-19. Fellow senior Andrew Martin sits just one stroke back of Longano, with a mark of 75 on Day 1. Andrew Kaye '20 is tied for 14th in the field, with a scorecard reading 79 yesterday. Connor Malicki wrote in a score of 82 on Wednesday, placing him in a tie for 23rd.
Reed has seen plenty of success this summer, locally and on a national stage. This past weekend, Reed enjoyed the limelight in a prominent national event. The rising junior snagged the bronze at the World Teen Championship against some of the best boys golfers aged 15-18 in the world.
The three-round event at Pinehurst Resort's Pinehurst No. 2 featured a total of 74 golfers from the United States, Mexico, Cyprus, and Chile. Built in 1907, the course has hosted U.S. Open Championships, one U.S. Women's Open, three U.S. Amateur Championships, one PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.
Reed started red-hot, notching a first-day score of 71, good for -1. On the opening day, Reed sank four birdies, twice on holes of 530 yards. His day two score rose a tad, as he managed one birdie on the 2nd hole, but suffered two bogeys. Still, a score of 73 on that tough of a course is pretty darn good. On day three, Reed finished with a tally of 75. The skilled Fairview Park native hit birdies on No. 8 and No. 10, but a double-bogey hurt his overall score.
For the event, Reed chalked up a 219, good for +3 and third place, four strokes behind the champion, Deitrek Gill of Wellington, Kansas. The 2nd place finisher also hails from Cleveland, as Archbishop Hoban's Solomon Petrie scored 217, good for +1. Having two finishers in the top three says quite a lot about the top-flight golf talent in Northeast Ohio.
Golf tryouts start on Saturday for the Wildcats. Click here for more information on tryouts.