Kirtland’s golf team battled through unpleasant conditions to win the Division III sectional tournament at Pine Hill Golf Course in Hinckley on Wednesday.
The Hornets combined to score 340, 11 strokes ahead of second place Hillsdale and 23 ahead of third place Independence.
“The conditions were kind of wet and windy so the scores were a little bit high, but that’s what kind of day it was,” said Kirtland coach Greg Cosimi. “(Winning it) was definitely part of the goal because we kind of knew that we were going to be really competitive. We knew Independence was going to be tough and we were playing good golf after Windmill (the CVC championships). We were not overconfident but we had a nice goal of winning it and I’m glad we did.”
It was Kirtland’s first Division III sectional title after dropping a playoff to finish second last season.
“As their coach I am so proud of what the kids did today,” Cosimi said. “I can’t wait to see what they’ll do at the districts.”
Michael Schnur shot 74 to win his second straight sectional championship. He won it last year with a 71.
He did it by hitting 13 out of 14 fairways, leaving him in great shape for his second shot.
“It was a good day,” Schnur said. “I drove the ball really well, which was nice because we had clean and place in the fairways.”
With back-to-back strong finishes at the Chagrin Valley Conference and sectional tournaments, the Hornets have their eyes on advancing to the state tournament.
They’ll have to play well at the Tannenhauf Golf Course district on Wednesday to accomplish that goal.
“The team did well,” Schnur said. “Hopefully we can make it out of districts this year. Seeing the course two extra times with the practice round and last year is going to help. Us just playing in districts before and being not as nervous will help.”
Michael Knezevic shot an 85 to finish second on the team.
“He’s really come on this last part of the season,” Cosimi said. “He had a rough sort of middle of the season but he’s been really playing great golf. I think his last two competitive rounds were a 38 (on nine holes) and this 85. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Brian Beres carded an 86 to finish seventh overall.
By advancing to the district tournament for a third straight season, Beres joins some elite company at Kirtland.
“He’s perfect in qualifying for districts because every year he has been on varsity we have qualified for districts,” Cosimi said. “Brian is the first Kirtland golfer in quite a while to qualify for districts three years in a row. It has been quite a while since a Kirtland golfer did that.”
Beres hopes to close out his career with a trip to the state tournament.
“It feels great,” Beres said. “I've had some great teammates the past three years. Hopefully the third time is the charm and we make it to states.”
Adam Mueller closed out Kirtland’s scorecard with a 95 and Danny Heimsoth shot a 101.