St. Viator senior Robert Renner has committed to attend Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers next year, where he'll immediately become a valuable asset for the Eagles golf team.
Monday at the Inverness Invitational, Renner proved that he can excel in Florida-type weather.
Competing against a strong field on a day where the heat index exceeded 100 degrees, Renner shot 35-36-71 to take medalist honors at the Fremd hosted invite.
Renner led his team to a 310, good for the second-place trophy on a tiebreaker over Barrington, which finished with the same score.
New Trier (304) won the team trophy for the third time in the last four years.
"He's incredible," said St. Viator coach Jack Halpin of Renner, who is also a standout hockey player for the Lions. "He's really only been playing golf seriously for a little over a couple of years. Robert is a teriffic athlete, but his success is all due to work ethic. He's the hardest working high school golfer I've ever seen."
The senior said that battling the heat in addition to the difficult Inverness course was all about staying in control.
"You've just got to manage yourself," said Renner, who's highlight of the day was an eagle on the par-4 6th, where his drive landed within 3 feet of the cup. "I was sweating out there like everybody else and had to drink a lot of water.
"I like this course -- it has a lot of driveable par 4's, and my driver and short game were really working today."
Liam Warner shot 79 to help the Lions to the runner-up position, while Barrington freshman Tom Calbi carded 75 to grab the fourth-place individual medal.
Cole Kempinski fired a 76 for the Broncos, senior Brad Powell had 79 while another frosh, Tim Lim, finished at 80.
It was the first time Lim had played the 6,750 yard, par 72 Inverness llayout, but the freshman said he wasn't nervous.
"I'm used to playing in big events," said Lim. "This is a nice course, and the greens were aerated but they were playing great."
"We're a young team," added LIm, "but we have a lot of guys who can shoot in the 70's."
Prospect's Josh Johnson shot 76 to win the sixth-place medal and lead the Knights (319) to a fifth-place finish.
Dylan Norys (80) had the top score for Fremd; Tim Klein fired an 80 for Palatine; Kenny Mleko of Hersey matched his Mid-Suburban League rival with 80.
Nick Carlson (80), Matt Trimberger (80) and John Carlson (81) all made contribution to St. Viator's stellar day, and Renner made no secret of what his season goal is.
Renner hasn't yet made a trip to the state tournament, but his objective doesn't stop there.
"I want to win it all," said senior. "I believe our team has a great shot to get to state. We're playing better and better every time out, and it's all coming together."
And Barrington sophomore Kempinski, who took home the seventh-place individual medal, had the last word on the stifling conditions -- in mid-September, no less.
"It was just incredibly hot," said Kempinski. "I was probably swinging 10 miles an hour faster earlier in the day than I was at the end."
"This is a hilly course, and even walking in this heat made you sore."