OHIO CITY, Oh - The 2021 Saint Ignatius Golf team is off to the State Tournament after a record-breaking performance at the District Meet at Quail Hollow. The program shattered a District record, shooting a 281 at a par 71 course. Nick Piesen led the way for the Cats shooting a 69, while Julian Dugan shot a 70 and Topher Reed, Bradley Chill and Connor Malicki shot a 71. The performance earned the Wildcats a first-place finish at Districts and will compete for a State Championship in Columbus this weekend.
“An extraordinary day, which was a culmination of all the hard work they have put in the last two months, doing all the little things the right way,” says Head Golf Coach PJ Myers ‘99. “We left it all on the golf course; now our focus turns onto the State Tournament.”
The back-nine for Piesen was tremendous as the junior led the way for the Wildcats. In the first nine holes, Piesen was at an impressive 37; he did even better on the back-nine shooting a 32, helping the Wildcats break a District record at 281. “We had the mentality that we were going to get it done,” Piesen says. “The back nine was a bonus, I wanted to go a few under and I executed my routine and got it done.”
The District Championship marked the 14th time in program history that the Wildcats hoisted the cup. The course was not easy for the Cats at Quail Hollow, but help from the senior leadership of Topher Reed assisted the Golf Cats in overcoming their challenges. “The mindset was to stay confident and positive through each round,” Reed says. “We know what we are capable of and it is a matter of staying confident and having a consistent mindset throughout the rounds.” Reed will become familiar with the Columbus area soon as he has committed to continue his academic and golf career at The Ohio State University.
Coach Myers and the Golf Cats departed for Columbus on Wednesday to get a couple of days of practice into scout the Scarlet Course as the State Tournament will begin on Friday. Myers is familiar with the territory of a State Tournament as he was a member of the 1998 State Runner-Up team; he has also been a coach for quite a few State Tournament teams.
“This is special for our seniors, like Topher, who has worked for four-plus years and are just happy to be around his teammates,” explains Myers. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to be down in Columbus; for our younger guys, this is exciting; we’ve talked about this all along to compete for a State Championship.”
“This is special and I never take it for granted,” Reed says. “I’m going to go out and have a blast with the guys and try to bring home a State Championship.”
The Golf Cats head into this weekend with calm nerves competing for a State Championship and are ready for the challenge at the Scarlet Course. “We have a great team; all of us are great players,” Piesen says. “If we go out there and play our game, we are going to win.”
“One shot at a time is what we have worked on all year, for them to focus individually on what they need to do to be successful,” Myers explains. “There are nerves on the golf course, but the work for them is already done before a round starts; all they are doing is taking their preparation to go execute. I’m excited to see these guys compete.”
The Cats will look to calm those nerves after the first hole, seeking the program’s third State Championship. The first State Title since the 2002 season. This season, Saint Ignatius has an exceptional team composed of Reed, Piesen, Dugan, Chill, and Malicki. Senior Michael Van Etten will be an alternate for the Wildcats in Columbus. Connor Keefe, Michael Myers, and Domenic Pilla are seniors who bolstered a successful season for the Varsity Gold team and will attend the State Tournament.
What a season it has been for the Golf Cats and they will look to cap a fantastic season with a State Championship beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday from the Scarlet Course in Columbus.