In Hogan Cuny's senior season at Central Catholic High School, he helped the Vikings win the WPIAL Class AAA team golf championship.
Having graduated a little more than a month ago, Cuny is now flourishing in individual tournaments.
Cuny, a Cranberry Township resident, finished first in the 17-18 year-old division in a Kings Junior tournament at Seven Oaks Country Club June 18 in Beaver County. A week later, Cuny tied for second in a Kings Junior tournament at The Links Course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Fayette County.
Cuny shot a 2-over 74 to capture the title at Seven Oaks. Cuny said he was hitting a lot of greens and was doing a good job of keeping the ball in play. He said he wasn't making any long puts, but he never three-putted.
"It's always great to win," Cuny said. "It was a good confidence booster. It makes you want to do it again."
He didn't claim a matching win at Nemacolin Woodlands, but he came close. Cuny shot a 5-over 75, placing him two strokes behind Jordan Kirsch of Hollidaysburg. Cuny said his wedge game saved him that day after not hitting as many fairways as he did at Seven Oaks.
The fact that Cuny has always excelled at golf should come as no surprise. Actually, one might call it a birthright. Cuny, 18, was named after Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time.
Cuny has two younger brothers. Their first names? Nicklaus and Palmer, after golfing legends Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus, 16, is a junior who competed on the varsity team last season. Palmer, 12, is a sixth-grader who also plays regularly.
"People know we're golfers when we introduce ourselves," Hogan Cuny said. "You could say my whole family is pretty big into golf."
Cuny had a solid career at Central Catholic. He was on the varsity team his final three seasons, qualifying for the WPIAL individual championship as a senior.
"He was always a player whom we'd go to," said Central Catholic coach Corey O'Connor. "When we needed him, he'd step up.
"Every year from his sophomore year on, at [the WPIAL team championships], he always shot steady scores. As a coach, when you can throw a guy out there who you know is going to shoot a certain number or maybe a stroke or two over, it's nice to have."
Cuny was regularly placed fifth or sixth in Central Catholic's order, and he thrived in that anchor role. Many teams place their top player first in the lineup and then go in descending order of each person's ability.
Cuny said his team would formulate their order more strategically, however, choosing to spread out the talent.
The strategy paid off at last year's WPIAL team championship at Cedarbrook Golf Course's Gold Course, as Cuny shot a team-best 4-over 76 to help Central Catholic win its first WPIAL golf title.
"It was really awesome [winning the championship]," Cuny said. "My brother was on the team with me, and he was a big part of it, too. Just seeing the coaches' expressions when we won was great.
"They had tried so many times and had teams with a lot of talent, so it was great to win it with them. Everyone was ecstatic. You'd think we won The Masters."
Cuny will play in a few other junior events this summer, and will also try to make it to the Pennsylvania Open Championship when he plays in a qualifier July 16 at Chartiers Country Club.
In early August, Cuny will travel to Pensacola, Fla., to compete in the Hardee's Collegiate Players Championship.
Not long after that, Cuny heads off to college. Cuny, who had a 3.7 grade point average in high school, will attend St. John Fisher College, located just outside of Rochester, N.Y. He'll play golf for a program that tied for ninth place at last season's NCAA Division III Championship.
Although Cuny is a team player, he just hopes to win a few more individual titles before then.