A single stroke keeps Chargers from state golf

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Boys' Golf

By Mike Farner

 FAIRDALE – Before Monday’s Region 5 Boys’ Golf Tournament, Bullitt East senior Michael Murphy told head coach Kyle Downs that he wanted to know if the team needed a certain score down the stretch.

Murphy knew that playing in the final group of the day that the team chase might come down to one shot.

Knowing that information is not something that every golfer wants to be told about when they are playing in a major event. The pressure is already high and that can make it suffocating.

After Murphy hit his tee shot on the par-4 18th hole at the South Park Country Club, Downs intercepted his best player and told him that he needed to make a birdie for the team to tie Grayson County for the second team qualifying spot for next week’s Kentucky State Tournament. Murphy smiled.

But it wasn’t to be. Murphy’s second shot was straight but came up just short, not getting the kick forward that those around the green expected. Sitting just six inches off the green, Murphy opted to use his putter. The shot was firm enough but just off-line. The senior tapped it in for the par, but that was not enough on this day.

Meade County, which was playing in the same grouping with the Bullitt East players, won the Region 5 title with a 320. Grayson County, which played in front of the final groupings, had a strong day and finished at 329.

Bullitt East had a 330 led by the 78 of Murphy. The Chargers also had an 80 from freshman Zach Taylor along with an 85 by sophomore Ethan Breeden and an 87 from senior Wes Taylor. The team’s fifth player, senior Josh Lane, had a 95.

Obviously, there was some frustration on Monday for the players and parents, but Downs was also upbeat that his program was finally relevant again after some unimpressive seasons.

“It wasn’t frustrating,” the former Charger player said. “It was exciting to be back in that spot.

“We tried our best and put up good scores,” Downs added. “With three holes to play we had a chance. We just came up a shot short”

Murphy was already out of the hunt for the individual qualifying spots when he started the final hole. The three top scores not on the two teams advancing to state had all had a 75. That made the team score his only chance to make it to Bowling Green.

“He knew from the right rough that he had to make a birdie,” Downs said. “He’s a good golfer and he needed to know. He hit a good shot and it just didn’t get the kick. Then he rolled a good putt and it just didn’t go.”

Steady rain on Sunday had softened up the golf course to some extent, but it still played quite difficult. The winning team score of 320 is higher than normal for the Region 5 winning score that is often closer to 300.

“It was great conditions,” Downs said. “No excuses. There was a little wind this morning, but the greens rolled well. The fairways are narrow here and the greens small.”

This is the first time that the South Park Country Club has hosted a high school regional tournament.

The low medalist on Monday was Grayson County’s Nolan White with a 74. The three individuals advancing to the state golf tournament with 75’s were LaRue County’s Cameron Dawson, Butler’s Chase Waten and Eric Geiger of Pleasure Ridge Park.

For North Bullitt and Bullitt Central, this regional tournament was more a learning event as both squads are quite young. Both teams finished in the bottom half of the 18-team field.

North Bullitt finished with a 410 led by a 99 from Tanner Bishop. The Eagles also got a 100 from Camden Davenport, a 105 from Tyler Mayberry and a 106 by Travis Dunnavan. Justin Stinson fired a 113.

Bullitt Central had the better individual score as junior Alex Nusz had a 92, but the Cougars finished with a 412 total. The other team scores included a 103 from Pierce Frye, a 107 from Cameron Dawson and a 110 from Jake Cox. Trevor Pruitt played and had a 118.


The Girl’s Region Three Tournament was held Tuesday at the South Park Country Club with all three Bullitt County schools having players involved.

However, due to deadlines, those results will not appear until Monday’s edition of The Pioneer News.