OBERLIN — Westlake High School is already serving notice that it’s a team to watch this high school golf season.
The Demons won the annual Comet Invitational at Oberlin Golf Club with a score of 316, five strokes better than runners-up Olmsted Falls and Avon Lake at 321.
Still not convinced?
Just last week in its season opener, Westlake shot a sensational 294 to win the North Olmsted Invitational at Springvale.
Kyle Krcmar of Brecksville shot a one-under-par 71 to take the individual championship Monday, the lowest score in the history of the tournament that is more than 10 years old, according to Amherst coach Aaron Millet.
Grant Harley of Avon Lake and Mike Campana of Amherst were runners-up with 75s, while Frank Steffen of Westlake and Alex Tomko of Amherst tied for third at 76.
Westlake’s early success surprised coach Brandan Zepp, who was thinking ahead about this season after six seniors graduated, including two that advanced to districts.
But then some unexpected positives happened. First, two brothers and excellent golfers, one of them Steffen, transferred to Westlake from Copley this spring. Second, four talented freshmen moved up from middle school and stepped right in as regulars on the varsity.
The Demons also survived some bad luck in Monday’s round when Nick Wilson developed a nose bleed on the course early in the round.
“But he didn’t give up,” Zepp said, “and finished the round very strong, playing like I knew he could play. Also, Jules Blakely gave us a solid 79 we weren’t expecting.”
Steffen paced the Demons with a 76, followed by Blakely (79), Patrick Steffen (80), Nick Wilson (81), Max Prexta (89) and Ellis Langermeir (95).
Krcmar, who was runner-up in the same meet last year with a 75, has been on a hot streak for several months, taking runner-up honors as the Southwest junior tour’s outstanding golfer. His low score on the summer tour was a 68 at Forest Hills.
He had four birdies and three bogeys Monday.
“One of those bogeys made me mad,” he said. “On the 17th hole, after a good drive, I topped the ball on my second shot with a 7-iron. I have no idea what happened on the shot.”
Still, his tee shots were his strong suit, he said. Of course, he was pretty good with the putter, too, sinking a 20-foot birdie on the first hole.
While Harley didn’t have a birdie, he was steady and scrambled well, sinking a wedge from 25 yards off the green for par on one hole and running in a 45-foot putt for par on another.
“I didn’t play any summer tournaments this year, just concentrating on a lot of practice rounds,” said Harley, who had no three-putts.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
TEAM RESULTS: Westlake 316, Olmsted Falls 321(2nd on tiebreaker), Avon Lake 321, Berea-Midpark 326, Avon 330, Brecksville 331, Rocky River 332, North Ridgeville 338, Amherst 349, Elyria 351, North Olmsted 357, Bay 365, Vermilion 370, Keystone 383, Firelands 590.
TOP INDIVIDUALS: Kyle Krcmar (Brecksville), 71; Grant Harley (Avon Lake), 75; Mike Campana (Amherst), 75; Frank Steffen (Westlake), 76; Alex Tomko (Amherst), 76; Alex Torres (Olmsted Falls), 77; Tyler Ellis (Berea-Midpark), 77; Brian Jones (Olmsted Falls), 78; Jackson Farling (Rocky River), 78; A.J. Outcalt (Avon Lake), 79; Michael Schuller (Berea-Midpark), 79.