Niles edges Edwardsburg to win the Leader Cup

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The brainchild of Buchanan golf coach Amelio Rodriguez, the second annual Leader Cup golf tournament featuring the six schools that Leader Publications covers went off without a hitch Monday afternoon at Orchard Hills Country Club.

The first Leader Cup was played in less than ideal conditions in 2016, but the weather more than cooperated Monday afternoon as bright sunshine and clear blue skies greeted the golfers from Brandywine, Buchanan, Cassopolis, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg and Niles.

To say that Bill Loux and Carl Layher had the course in beautiful shape would be an understatement.

But Bill and Carl went above and beyond the call of duty in providing those little extras that the golfers will remember for years to come.

Edwardsburg’s Adam Kozinski watches his birdie putt go in at Orchard Hills Monday. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

As the tournament was wrapping up we were wondering just what to do with the 14 Milano’s pizzas that had just been delivered.

Loux opened up the clubhouse, which is normally closed on Mondays, so that the 36 golfers and coaches would have a place to sit and enjoy their pizza. He brought out plates and napkins so that the kids could sit and eat.

Loux even brought out pitchers of pop and ice for the golfers.

I cannot thank them enough for their hard work.

With the course in great shape the weather nearly perfect. The teams hit the links and played 18 holes of golf as they tried to take the Leader Cup from defending champion Edwardsburg.

The Eddies were probably the favorites coming into the event and they turned in the best score of the day in the best-ball and alternate shot format.

Carter Goodson, who is currently leading the Wolverine Conference medalist chase, teamed with Adam Kozinski to earn medalist honors after shooting 72.

The pair edged out Niles’ Marcelo Balcazar and Drew Rudlaff, who shot 73 to help lead the Vikings to the team championship.

Five of the six schools had at least one pairing shoot under 90 for the day.

Niles finished with a score of 240 to edged the Eddies who shot 242.

Buchanan finished third with a 286, which was one stroke better than Dowagiac’s 287.

Brandywine and Cassopolis rounded out the field with scores of 297 and 307 respectively.

I saw a lot of smiling faces and golfers having a good time with their playing partners, which was part of the reason behind hosting the this event in the first place.

As Edwardsburg coach Jeff Kozinski said to me prior to Monday’s start, it was nice that we did this because his team does not usually get to play against teams from the BCS — Buchanan, Brandywine and Cassopolis.

I am already looking forward to next year’s tournament.

I plan on getting with the coaches to see if there are any changes they would like to make.



At Orchard Hills C.C.


Carter Goodson and Adam Kozinski, Edwardsburg – 72


Team scores

Niles 240, Edwardsburg 242, Buchanan 286, Dowagiac 287, Brandywine 297,

Cassopolis 307.


Top Individuals


Marcelo Balcazar and Drew Rudlaff – 73



Carter Goodson and Adam Kozinski – 72



Austin Lloyd and Tristen McCarty – 88



Drew Phillips and Drew Davis – 88



Sam Burge and Jordan Michiewicz – 87



Hunter Tietsort and Gage Collins; Lane Francis and Shane Lose – 96