They are unlike in many ways, yet they had something in common at the end of the day.
One is left-handed, the other plays from the right.
One posted the lowest 18-hole score in the 12th annual Kiely Cup tournament at stoic Canterbury Golf Club. The other was one of several players to post the second-lowest total.
One has no aspirations of playing collegiate golf. The other already has made a commitment to attend a Division I program.
While Chagrin Falls’ Dan Berlin (left) and Hudson’s Will Kurtz (right, with tournament namesake Mike Kiely in the center) are different in many ways, they share one, admirable trait relative to high school golf.
Kurtz, who will attend Kent State University in the fall of 2017, and Berlin, whose collegiate inclinations lean more toward the academic side, became the first co-medalists of the Kiely Cup on Monday when they finished the 36-hole event with identical scores of one-over 145.
Kurtz, one of only two players in the 75-player field to shoot in red numbers over the two days, became the first player to repeat as a Kiely Cup champ.
They took different routes to their individual titles. Berlin, the right-hander who was one of three players to share the first round lead at even-par 72, concluded his run with a one-over par 73. Southpaw Kurtz, who opened with a 3-over 75, came back to shoot a 2-under par 70 on Monday to erase the 3-shot deficit on a day in which Canterbury was ripe for scoring.
Ty DeBonis of Archbishop McNicholas shot a final round 69, the lowest round of the tournament, and finished tied for third place with Trey Rath of Liberty.
Reigning Division I state champion St. Xavier (above) also erased a first-round deficit and became the second Cincinnati-based school in the last three years to claim the Kiely silver cup with a total of 608.
After opening with a 306 in the play-five, count-four format, the Bombers pulled away from the field with a final-round 302 to win by a whopping eight shots. Olentangy Liberty (312-304—616) was second and first-round leader Youngstown Boardman (304-313—617) was third.
Massillon Jackson was unable to match or better its first-round 310 and finished fifth at 623, its best finish in two-years of playing in the most prestigious regular-season event on the high school calendar.
“It was a good finish for us,” said Jackson coach Jim Kish, whose team is expected to challenge Green for the Federal League title. “I think the biggest thing we can take away from this is that we were consistent. I think this can be a big confidence builder for us.”
Kurtz, the reigning Division I state champion and the Kiely medalist in 2014, finished with five birdies and swept aside a double-bogey on his second hole.
Berlin, 14th in last year’s state tournament, had two birdies, one bogey and also put a double-bogey in his rearview mirror.
Kurtz, who committed to KSU about one year ago, started on the eighth hole out of the shotgun start. He promptly made a double-bogey 7 on the 527-yard ninth when he chunked a wedge shot over the green from 74 yards and failed to get up and down. From that point, however, he was exemplary, including a streak of three birdies over a four-hole stretch on holes 13, 14 and 16.
“That stretch was the key,” said Kurtz. “I hit the ball well both days. The first round I made absolutely nothing but today I made some putts.”
Berlin, a classical pianist and the recipient of the President’s Leadership Award presented jointly by the USGA and the AJGA, for his work in raising awareness in mental health issues, began his round on 12th hole. After making bogey on the 356-yard 14th, he reeled off eight pars in his next nine holes and added two birdies in his last four.
“There wasn’t a lot going on score-card wise, but that’s a good sign with a lot of pars,” said Berlin, who had 28 pars in his 36 holes. “My ball-striking was important, especially with the rough the way it was. It was very important to keep the ball in the fairway. I was able to keep the ball in play and in good spots. I could use a little work on the putting green, though.”
The rough, especially around the greens, was at least 4½ inches deep in some spots.
St. Xavier joined Cincy Moeller as the only winners from the Queen City and the Bombers did it with one senior and four juniors.
“We hit the royal flush,” coach Alex Kepley said of his team, which had final rounds of 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78, with junior Michael Prebbles leading the way with a two-day total of 75-74–149.
“Every time we tee it up it is a learning lesson,” he added. “It gives us a chance to see where other people (teams) are. It is important that our guys realize that there are about seven to 10 teams around the state that can beat them on any given day. But, they try hard and they think intelligently on the course and that’s all I can ask for.”
FINAL RESULTS: Boys High School Golf
2016 Kiely Cup Invitational
Canterbury Golf Club, Beachwood, Ohio | Par 72
August 21 – 22, 2016
1. Cincinnati St. Xavier 608
2. Olentangy Liberty 616
3. Boardman 617
4. Centerville 622
5. Jackson 623
6. Cincinnati McNicholas 624
T7. Hudson 629
T7. Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 629
9. University School 630
10. Green 641
11. Walsh Jesuit 644
12. Chagrin Falls 667
13. St. Edward 668
14. St. Ignatius 672
15. West Union 687
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: Top 20
Will Kurtz (Hudson) 145
Dan Berlin (Chagrin Falls) 145
Ty DeBonis (McNicholas) 146
Trey Rath (Liberty) 146
Brian Terlesky (Boardman) 147
Dhaivat Pandya (Centerville) 148
Charlie Toman (NDCL) 149
Christian Tomak (Jackson) 149
Michael Prebles (Xavier) 149
Dave Sexton (Hudson) 150
Kyle Mitchell (Liberty) 150
Josh Hunter (University) 151
Cameron Frazier (Xavier) 151
Cade Brietenstine (Green) 152
Chris Dunne (McNicholas) 152
Maxwell Moldovan (Green) 154
Miles DeMuesy (Green) 155
Zane Brownrigg (McNicholas) 155
Neil Augustine (Green) 155
NORTHEAST OHIO TEAM INDIVIDUAL SCORES
Five play; four scores count for the team:
Christian Tomak 149
Andrew Wyss 161
Neil Augustine 155
Mark Dilling 159.
Will Kurtz 145
Dave Sexton 150
Nolan Laughlin 168
Johnny Merrill 168.
Cade Brietenstine 152
Miles DeMuesy 155
Maxwell Moldovan 154
Claude Smith 180.
Zak Supelak 161
Connor Evans 162
John Burns 163
Colton Levy 160.