Junior Mike Schnur picked up where he left off last season to lead Kirtland to a fourth place finish at the 2016 Bronko Invitational at Hemlock Springs Golf Club in Geneva in the season opener on Monday.
Schnur, a two-time Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division MVP and returning Bronko Invitational champion, shot a 77. Kirtland scored 346 overall behind first place Perry (319), Hawken (327) and Lake Catholic (330).
“I thought it was a great way to start the season after districts last year,” said Kirtland coach Greg Cosimi. “He was a little bit disappointed that he had a couple birdies in the beginning of his round and he didn't play as good at the end. It was still a good finish for him and a good beginning of the year.”
Senior Michael Knezevic shot 86, sophomore Adam Mueller finished with a score of 89, senior Matt Reed carded a 94 and sophomore Jack Dever and junior Isabel Anness finished with a 96 and 99, respectively for the Hornets.
“The greens, and really the entire course, was kind of firm,” Cosimi said. “Golfers were finding that their balls weren't sticking on the greens. On the front nine they were getting used to the fact that they would have to hit it short of the hole and run it up to the hole as opposed to carrying it all the way to the hole, so that was challenging. They got better at it toward the end of their round.”
Knezevic stepped up as one of the leaders on the team.
“He played well,” Cosimi said. “We're expecting big things from him this year because he's one of our seniors on varsity and one of the most experienced kids we have here. We need him to step up from last year. “
Anness saw the first varsity action of her career.
“She was a girl playing on the boys' team, playing from the blue tees. That was interesting for her,” Cosimi said. “She hits the ball well and is sort of straightening out a slice. She worked real hard over the summer to do that. This was her first varsity match and we'll build from here.”
Reed also saw his first varsity action after spending the past two seasons on the JV squad.
“It's always nice when a senior has a culminating experience of becoming a varsity golfer and contributing to the team,” Cosimi said. “Today he shot a 94, which last year it didn't look like he'd be able to do in his high school career. He has gotten so much better in his high school career. We're so proud of him for all the growth and understanding of the game he does now.”
Kirtland will compete in the Badger Invitational on Tuesday at Pleasant Hills Golf Course in Chardon.