Northeast Ohio certainly has its share of significant golf events on all levels.
Take your pick from the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, to the various Web.com tournaments, to the Ohio Open, to the Cleveland Am and Northeast Ohio Am, and to the numerous USGA-related qualifying events scattered throughout the area.
That’s not to mention all the events connected to junior golf, from the Hudson Invitational to the Good Park Junior and contests conducted by organizations such as the American Junior Golf Assn., U.S. Kids, Lake Erie and Hurricane Junior Golf Tour.
For the past 11 years the membership at Canterbury Golf Club has conducted the Kiely Cup and you would be hard-pressed to find a finer high school event anywhere in Ohio, and probably beyond.
The 12th edition, contested over 36 holes — rare for a regular season high school event — will be played Sunday and Monday at Canterbury Golf Club, generally acclaimed as one of the finest clubs in the country. This storied course has played host to several U.S. Opens, PGA Championships, and next month will be the site of the Web.com Tour’s DAP Championship.
The Kiely Cup, named after long-time caddie-master Mike Kiely, features 15 of the top high school teams in Ohio. The field includes several schools that have won state championships, and two former individual state champs: Hudson’s Will Kurtz, the reigning champ in Division I; and Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin’s Charlie Toman, the 2014 medalist in Division II.
Kurtz, who won his state title by six shots and has verbally committed to attend Kent State, and Walsh Jesuit’s Zak Supelak (pictured with Mike Kiely) have a chance to become the first players to repeat as Kiely Cup medalists.
Supelak, a Cleveland State commit, is the defending champion and Kurtz won in 2014. Both players are off excellent summer seasons and are off to fine starts this season and have to be considered contenders at Canterbury, along with Toman.
Supelak set an individual record of 4-under par 138 in winning last year but feels being the defending champion carries no added weight nor holds any advantage.
“Neither,” he responded when asked about possible pros and cons. “I am just going to go out and do the same thing I always do.”
Like most players, Supelak appreciates the opportunity to play Canterbury.
“The thing I enjoy most is Canterbury’s history and all the professional tournaments it has hosted,” said Supelak, coming off a summer in which he won two Kenny Novak events and was chosen as the Northern Ohio PGA junior player of the year while averaging 73 strokes in numerous outings. “The greens are always perfect. The course is always perfect. I feel like it plays fair. It is the best event we play.”
Team-wise you have to look at reigning Division I state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier. The Bombers, with a whopping 38 kids in the golf program, won the state title by five shots and return three of the top five players on that team in senior Zachary Pavlin and juniors Cameron Frazier and Michael Prebles. They will be joined by two other juniors, Garrett Madden and Parker Getgey.
“We only have three seniors in the program,” said coach Alex Kepley, whose team is coming off a victory in its own tournament at Maketewah Country Club, where it shot 291. “We have won quite a few events so far and the Kiely Cup will give us another chance to see where we stand in relation to some others around the state.”
St. Xavier also won the Mount Vernon event at Chapel Hill, the St. Ignatius Invitational at Red Tail and an event hosted by perennial Division II power Dayton Oakwood at Dayton Country Club, where it shot 294.
Other teams to watch are Olentangy Liberty, Cincinnati McNicholas, Boardman and first time invitee Green.
Green, under coach Brian Tharp, is an intriguing entry. The Bulldogs, who won the Federal League title last season, will use a lineup consisting of all underclassmen in juniors Miles DeMuesy and Jordan Conjerti, sophomore Cade Brietenstine and freshman Max Moldovan. DeMuesy and Moldovan are the sons of PGA professionals Scott DeMuesy (Fairways of Arrowhead) and John Moldovan (Ohio Prestwick).
Walsh Jesuit has won this event four times and Hudson, St. Ignatius and University School have won twice. Walsh also has produced the most individual champions in Supelak, Chase Johnson (2012), Tyler McHugh (2010) and Pat Spittler (2009).
Watch Northeast Ohio Golf for complete results after each day of the 2016 Kiely Cup at Canterbury. For more details on the history of the event, see the Kiely Cup website.
2016 KIELY CUP TEAMS AND COACHES:
Walsh Jesuit (Defending Champion) – Bill Reilly
St. Ignatius – Brian Becker
Hudson – Dave Kurtz
Chagrin Falls – Charlie Moriarty
Green – Brian Tharp
St. Edward – Josh Nugent
Archbishop McNicholas – Justin Lenczicki
West Union – Carl Schneider
Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin – Toni DeSanto
Centerville – Matt Yux
Boardman – Ron Moschella
Powell Olentangy Liberty – Ryan Snivley
Jackson – Jim Kish
University School – Ed Neer
St. Xavier – Alex Kepley
Sunday, August 21 1:00PM
Monday, August 22 8:30 AM