Big Rapids golfers runners-up in annual Cardinal Invitational

Brett Lilienthal chips onto the green at Katke Golf Course during Friday’s Cardinal Invitational. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — Brett Lilienthal shot the best round of his entire life on Friday, and it helped his Big Rapids golf team be a contender in the Cardinal Invitational at Katke Golf Course.

Lilienthal shot a 78 and helped Big Rapids get to 305, which, at one time was in first place while the scores were being tabulated, in front of Forest Hills Eastern with a 306.

There were 18 teams in the entire field and Forest Hills Northern, after its scores were added for a 294, took honors and the Cardinals settled for second place with FHE trailing by a stroke.

The fourth-place team, with a 327, was Elk Rapids.

Evan McKinley, with a 60 was medalist, followed by Andrew Kolar of Forest Hills Northern with a 70

Pierce Morrissey shot a 71 and Owen Seay, who holed a 68 last Saturday on the same course at the Katke Classic had a 76. They both made the all-tournament team.

“It was another good score today,” Big Rapids coach Mark Posey said. “We’re still looking to get ready for regionals and state finals. To get a 305, it’s a great score. I still think some boys on our team left a few strokes out there.”

Lilienthal said his previous best score in a match was an 85.

“I was ball striking very well,” he said. “I had a good short game today. I’m averaging a 90. I was hoping to put up a good score up there and help the team as much possible.”

“Hats off to Brett,” Posey said. “He’s been working hard. He knows where he’s had to work on his game. Finally he went out and stuck to his game plan. We were waiting on that last score to a least come in second. He did what he had to do.”

It’s Lilienthal’s second year on varsity.

“I’ve improved a lot,” he said. “I struggled last year. “My lowest score was an 87.”

Lilienthal said he played in a few tournaments during the offseason. He added putting has been a strength and he would like to improve on his short game. and get better on his driving.

Lilienthal, a sophomore, was third for the Cardinals, followed by Luke Welch with 80, Trevor Woodard with 82 and Dawson Currie with 94.

“It was a good day,” Woodard said of his performance. “My last few rounds haven’t been so hot and it feels good to get a low 80s round. My irons have been really good all day.”

Big Rapids plays in the regional on Wednesday at Sundance Golf Course in Elk Rapids.


Chippewa Hills 3, Shepherd 0

REMUS — Chippewa Hills won this first-round Division 3 district game on Thursday and will play at Alma against the host school on Tuesday in a district semifinal game.

Raina Abbott scored all three goals.

Emily Gandy and Grace Bass had assists.


Pine River 2-0

LEROY — Pine River defeated Houghton Lake 4-1 in the first game. Emma Whitley was the winning pitcher. Logan Powell had a home run and Kim Hill had a single and RBI.

Pine River won the second game 21-0. Whitley was the winning pitcher with five strikeouts, one walk and two hits.

Powell was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Daria Lindquist had a hit and three RBIs. Whitley had four hits and two RBIs. Emly Treiber had two hits and two RBIs.

Pine River is 13-17.


Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

Leave a Reply