In a battle between the high school golfers in the OHSAA Division I State Tournament and the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University, the Scarlet Course won today.
The difficult course proved to be especially tough to navigate today, particularly as the golfers and the course warmed up in the morning from the frost and cold.
At the end of the day, the Saint Ignatius varsity golf team stood in eighth place, with a team score of 338.
"Our score was certainly higher than expected, but the Scarlet Golf Course won today," said Head Golf Coach Brian Becker '77. "The scores across the board were much higher than usual. We didn't bring our 'A' game. We had some guys play well above their average. In a 36-hole tournament, you'd like to be a little closer, but certainly, we have tomorrow to battle back."
As a team, the Wildcats scuffled at times on Friday. The Golf Cats to adapt to the tough course and the big stage. Coach Becker explained it as inexperience.
"Part of it is inexperience. A lot of these kids have yet to play here, this is their first time down here," Becker said. "It's a bigger venue, a bigger tournament for them. But you live and learn."
As a whole, however, the Wildcats have plenty to be proud of. The squad competed hard and still has a chance to gain ground tomorrow.
Nick Longano led the pack for the Golf Cats. The sophomore played an impressive round of golf, shooting a +8 score of 80. Longano stands tied for 13th out of 72 talented golfers. Becker was quite impressed by Longano's efforts.
"I thought Nick Longano played a very good round. Besides a double on 18th, he played very solid tee to green today," Becker said. "He did what he needed to do. He kept the ball below the hole and played smart golf, and he putted well. The key to scoring down here is limiting the number of 3-putts you have. He had one 3-putt on the day, so he executed the game plan very well. Hopefully, we get more of that tomorrow out of Nick and all five guys."
Topher Reed finished second on the team with a score of 84. Reed entered the day averaging a team-best 73.95 score in 18-hole tournament play this season. Reed has enjoyed a phenomenal freshman campaign, with one day left to go.
Jake Moraca carded a score of 86 on the day for the Wildcats. The senior leader hit a number of bogeys, but had plenty of bright spots to his game on Friday. Moraca finished the day with a marvelous putt on the final hole, snatching a birdie to end the day on a great note. Moraca also birdied the last hole of the District Tournament.
Andrew Kaye completed the course with an 88. The junior is making his second appearance in the tournament after finishing 41st as an individual qualifier last season. Kaye also shot an 88 on day one last year before tallying a wonderful 79 on day two. Kaye, who hit a number of nice shots today, is a great candidate to rebound on Saturday.
Ross Williamson rounded out the Wildcats with a 100. The junior has tomorrow to look forward to, as the Wildcats will look to learn from the experience and play better on Saturday.
As Coach Becker explained, two aspects make the Scarlet Course a challenging one for high school golfers.
"No. 1 is length. No. 2 is the greens. You have to hit the ball in about a 10-foot radius. It's a really tough golf course, you have to land it in exacting spots," Becker said. "High school kids aren't that exacting yet, and if you miss your spots, 5's and 6's (bogeys and double bogeys) come into play quickly. When you hit your spots, you can make birdie or par. Today, we didn't hit our spots. Hopefully tomorrow we play better and hit our spots."
The Wildcats will tee off on Saturday morning starting at 9:50 a.m.
For full team results, click here.
For tee times, click here.