An electric energy surrounds the Saint Ignatius Golf program.
Golfers, coaches, and parents can sense the start of something special brewing. It was palpable today at the annual Saint Ignatius Invitational at Red Tail Golf Course. The talent and potential of this program is undeniable and already starting to materialize.
For the second straight day, the Wildcats set a school record. This time, the school mark for team score on a par 72 course fell. The previous mark was 289, a tie between the 2009 quartet of Andrew Bailey (70), Beau Titsworth (70), Kyle Kmiecik (74), and Matt Gerard and the 2013 team of Michael Vallee (70), P.J. Malik (71), Kevin Duncan (74), and Harrison Vonderau (74).
We'll be switching out those names for Bradley Chill, Connor Malicki, Topher Reed, and Nick Piesen.
The Wildcats' Varsity Blue team combined for a score of 288, enough to win the team's home invitational by five strokes. Before we go any further, can we first recognize how absurd it is to set two team records on the first two days of the season? It's impossible to overstate how incredible of a feat this is.
Freshman phenom Bradley Chill, Jr. once again showed his incredible talent. On his second day as a Wildcat, Chill fired out to a hot start and never looked back. Chill tallied a 34 on the front nine and then a 37 on the back nine, totaling a marvelous 71 on the day to lead the Wildcats.
Connor Malicki looked right at home on the course on Thursday, as well as well he should. Not only is Red Tail is home club, but Malicki literally lives on the course. Malicki used his home field advantage to the fullest. The Avon native marked down a 37 on the front nine and a 35 on the back nine, equaling a spectacular 72 for the afternoon.
Topher Reed equaled the feat of a 72, hitting some shots that would make just about any golfer envious. Ever humble, you'd never know it by Reed's demeanor. He must get that from his dad, who remarked that Topher must get his good golf genes from his mom. Reed notched a 38 in his first nine and heated up for a mark of 34 on his last nine.
Nick Piesen rounded out the four scores with a terrific tally of 73. Even keeled the whole way through, Piesen looked as cool as the other side of the pillow today. His irons game is unmatched, as evidenced by his work today.
Nick Longano's score did not count, but his 75 is nothing to shrug about. Longano put in a great effort on the course, including back-to-back birdies early on in the day. The senior is a very talented player.
The work of the Varsity Gold was similarly spectacular, as the squad produced the invitational's medalist, Liam Doyle.
The rising senior broke out for a star effort on Thursday. Doyle marked down a 36 on the front nine and a 33 on the back nine, carding a stupendous score of 69 for the day. Doyle anchored the Gold Cats and helped the squad beat out plenty of other varsity teams.
Sean Hoagland looked great on the course, as well. The transfer from Chicago seemed right at home in knocking down a 77 for the day. Fellow newcomer Julian Dugan also pitched in a great performance with an 80.
MJ Myers and Michael O'Leary looked good, as well. Each Wildcat managed an 82, helping the Gold Cats finish with a score of 308, good enough for sixth place overall.
The JV Cats of Tom Bogen also deserve a heaping of praise. The Wildcats' young outfit bested several other varsity teams with a team total of 329, including St. Edward.
Michael Van Etten performed particularly well with a remarkable score of 76. That's a varsity-level score, an impressive total for anyone.
Ethan Hughes also modeled a noteworthy score, coming in at 83. Domenic Pilla and Charlie Medvin equaled each other with twin scores of 85. Artie Reginelli rounded out the pack with a 98.
Up next for the Wildcats is the Tannehauf Invitational at Tannehauf Country Club tomorrow.
Here are the full team results from Thursday's outing:
1. Saint Ignatius Varsity Blue (288)
2. St. Charles (293)
3. Archbishop Hoban (301)
4. Canton Central Catholic (306)
5. Moeller (307)
6. Saint Ignatius Varsity Gold (308)
7. St. Xavier (309)
8. Dublin Jerome (315)
T-9. Toledo Saint John's Jesuit (320)
T-9. University School (320)
11. Medina (324)
12. Alter (326)
T-13. Bishop Watterson (327)
T-13. Brunswick (327)
15. Saint Ignatius JV (329)
16. St. Edward (339)
17. Strongsville (342)
18. NDCL (361)