"Furth, Lisy, and Rausch I'll miss a lot," said Fenwick head golf coach Michael Curtin of last year's Andrew Furth, Tim Lisy, and Anthony Rausch, all of whom helped the Friars to 11th place in the IHSA Class AA State tournament last year before graduating. The good news for Curtin and Fenwick is that three of last year's super six are returning and expected to push Fenwick into the top 10.
Roger Steele Jr. finished 12-over at last year's State tournament, grabbing a birdie and seven pars in the final round. The senior finished sixth at the Chicago City Amateur tournament over the summer. He had one of his best rounds at the tournament, shooting a 68.
"Roger had a great year last year and played real well over the summer, so I don't see him letting up at all during the season," said Curtin. "He's one of the three anchors on our team, and he just brings a solid all-around game."
The other two returners are Mike Cooney and Conor Weldon, who combined to finish last year's State tournament with 10 pars. Cooney finished the final round with a 91, while Weldon stumbled on the back nine to finish with a 98. But Curtin said Weldon has improved immensely over the summer.
"Conor played in a big tournament in the off-season and shot 69-72, so he's gotten considerably better," said the head coach. "I anticipate this being a very successful year for him and for Fenwick golf. It could possibly be one of the best golf seasons in school history."
Curtin said it was too early to reveal the general make-up of the rest of the team, but he was optimistic things would fall into place soon.
"There's a couple of sophomores and juniors I've been watching closely, but we need to see how everyone plays in these upcoming tournaments to get a firm handle on things," he said.
Last year, the Friars finished second in the Chicago Catholic League. Brother Rice took top honors by displacing Loyola, who held the crown for 19 years straight. The Ramblers are back and expected to regain the top spot, with Brother Rice and Fenwick nipping at their heals.