GRAFTON — Brentwood Golf Club is about 25 miles southwest of the Ohio City campus of St. Ignatius High School but Monday the Wildcats made themselves right at home at the Elyria Catholic Invitational.
A pair of Wildcats juniors, Zach Hazard and Avon Lake resident Connor Warns, shot 1-over par 71s as St. Ignatius posted a 296 for a 15-stroke win.
Warns shaved four strokes off his previous best high school round, a 75 last year at Berkshire Hills Golf Course at the University School Invitational.
“I was putting really well,” Warns said. “I made a lot of 5-footers for par in my round. Everyone on the team was hitting the ball well today and we were all making putts.”
Although Brentwood is just down the road from Avon Lake, Warns said Monday was the first time he ever played the course.
“I just tried to play safe and hit the fairways and the greens,” he said. “I was mostly using my short clubs.”
Avon Lake junior Tyler Madden, who also shot a 1-over 71 and earned medalist honors in a scorecard playoff, took a different, more aggressive approach to the relatively short Brentwood course.
“I left the driver in the bag and hit irons and a hybrid off the tee and I was hitting them straight,” Madden said. “I was really able to play more aggressive, go for pins and make some putts. It’s a great start to the year, really helped me gain some confidence.”
Walsh Jesuit tied Lutheran West with a 311 while the host Panthers finished fourth at 314. Firelands, which got a 4-over 74 from Jackson Talbot, rounded out the top five.
Elyria Catholic coach Rick Montgomery was exceptionally happy with his team’s performance.
“It helps a lot being able to play at your home course but when you have talent the caliber of some of these teams playing here today you know they are gong to shoot well,” Montgomery said. “It was a strong field but we really played well today. A couple of my kids really stepped it up.”
Returning district qualifier Kyle Mahaffey led the way for the Panthers with a 3-over 73. Josh Wells shot a 76, but the most impressive performance for Elyria Catholic might have come from senior Paige Sexstella, who shot an 85 in her first event as a member of the Panthers boys team.
After getting off to a rough start, Sexstella shot a 38 on the back nine.
“I knew this was the first time Paige was playing with the boys so I really didn’t know what to expect,” Montgomery said. “She was a little nervous on the front nine. I talked to her coming after the first nine and said, ‘No pressure, just go out and play,’ and she really turned it around on the back side.”
Midview’s Andy Lews also shot a 73 to tie for the fourth-best score of the day.
TEAM SCORES: St. Ignatius 296, Lutheran West 311, Walsh Jesuit 311, Elyria Catholic 314, Firelands 322, Avon Lake 335, Keystone 341, Elyria 343, North Ridgeville 345, Shaker Heights 351, Fairview 354, Midview 355, Wellington 362, Holy Name 391, Bay 401, Black River 410
MEDALIST: Tyler Maden, Avon Lake, 71 (won scorecard playoff)
OTHER TOP INDIVIDUALS: Zach Hazard,
St. Ignatius, 71; Connor Warns, St. Ignatius, 71; Kyle Mahaffey, Elyria Catholic, 73; Andy Lewis, Midview, 73; Jackson Talbot, Firelands, 74; Robert Kimmel, Shaker Heights, 74; Tim Wagner, Walsh Jesuit, 75; Hunter West, Lutheran West, 76; Josh Wells, Elyria Catholic 76
St. Ignatius (296): Jess Saunders 77, Zach Hazard 71, M.J. Myers 81, Connor Warns 71, Matt Gilberti 77
Lutheran West (311): Sam Spacek 80, Hunter West 76, John Smolik 77, Cameron Wandrie 78, Jakob Gross 82, Tyler Robinson 87
Walsh Jesuit (311): Clark Nemer 85, Tim Wagner 75, Charlie Huscroft 81, Patrick Delaney 77, Donovan Morris 86, Lucas Fall 78
Elyria Catholic (314): Kyle Mahaffey 73, Josh Wells 76, Paige Sexstella 85, Devin Pluta 95, Will Muzilla 80, Matthew Goula 105
Firelands (322): Carter Grude 83, Jackson Talbot 74, Aaron Urban 95, Austin Urban 79, Jacob Newman 86, Beau Grude 86
Avon Lake (335): Tyler Madden 71, Ryan Shinko 85, Patrick Fitz 91, Justin Share 91, Dylan Roig 90, Owen Conroy 89
Keystone (341): Bryan Sayers 87, Joseph Gaughan 87, Ian Morgan 88, Jake Morgan 79, Kyler Yusko 99, Rocky Huston 90
Elyria (343): Colin Weekley 100, Eric Sito 79, Ryan Streator 96, Phillip Mercado 92, Kyle Kasubienski 82, Franco Trentadue 90
North Ridgeville (345): Alec Matej 78, Andrew Bogner 91, Jackson Dienes 102, Greg Codner 98, Ethan Hermensky 93, Joe Conroy 83
Shaker Heights (351): Robert Kimmel 74, Alex Benson 94, George Ferney 89, Mike Bond 94, Zack Honig 110
Fairview (354): Ryan Eckert 85, Jack Munto 85, Andrew Repasy 96, Tyler Holliday 92, Josh Karliak 92, Tom Biddle 99
Midview (355): Andy Lewis 73, Chase English 88, Cullen Large 108, Nathan Lisicky 98, Michael Ebosh 96, Daniel Heular 103
Wellington (362): Will Palmison 87, Jordan McKee 86, Luke Tandarich 96, Eric Benko 95, Wyatt Sasack 94, Lilli Kelley 105
Bay (401): Nick Pochatek 113, Jake Mlakar 104, Lucas Shell 102, Gus Preimer 97, Carson Wolf 108, David Banks 98
Black River (410): Jared Fredrick 87, Cliff Kovacic 114, Zach LaHood 107, Kyler Foster 110, Nathan Moore 106.