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Regional golf tournaments tee off Monday

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By Todd Martin

The SCHS golf teams will jockey for postseason play Monday when the regional golf tournaments get under way.

The Rockets will travel to Nevel Meade Golf Course in Prospect, and the girls team gets the advantage of hosting their tournament at Weissinger Hills Golf Course.

"I think playing at home is a pretty big advantage for us," senior Candice Wiley said. "The course is pretty dry, so we have to adjust to that. But we're all playing really well here right now."

This being the Lady Rockets first year in Region 5, they know winning a title will be difficult.

However, they have had a stellar season, having not placed outside the top five in any tournament this year. The Lady Rockets won the Bullitt East Invitational, and the fifth-place finish at the Henry Clay Invitational was the team's worst this season.

"I think we have a great chance at State this year," Wiley said. "But it's still going to be tough. Sacred Heart will be our main competition for first or second place, but we've tied them once and beaten them every other time we've played them in a tournament this year."

Wiley also has a shot to take the individual title, and both Michaela Manley and Shannon Harover have shot low enough to qualify individually. The top two teams in the region qualify for the State Tournament, and the four players that have the lowest scores outside of the two teams that qualify also move on to State.

Wiley won the Region and State Tournaments as a freshman, and this year she won the Bullitt East Invitational and the Henry Clay Invitational, shooting a 4-under 68 in the latter. She reluctantly tabbed herself as the favorite.

"But it's golf, so I have to go out and play my best game," she said. "But our whole team is focused on making State as a team. Yeah, we could send two or three individuals, but we want to go to State together. That's been our goal all year."

The Region 5 Tournament tee times are set by average scores. Those with the highest averages will tee off starting at 7:45 a.m. building up to the players with the lowest averages teeing off between 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

Rockets

SCHS boys' coach Myron Montgomery knows his team will have a tough time in a very difficult Region 6.

"We're playing our first tournament in our new region, and going in you would have to look at teams like St. Xavier, Trinity, Male and Christian Academy as early favorites," he said. "Those teams are traditionally strong and have performed very well over the course of the season."

However, some scheduling changes this season have Montgomery feeling optimistic.

"I think we're playing good golf right now in spurts," he said. "I think that by back-loading the schedule with tournaments this year, the guys have a better feel of what they need to do and how they need to prepare for tournament play."

Seniors Parker Hanna and Hunter Montell will lead the Rockets, and Montgomery said both have a shot to qualify for the State Tournament.

"Both of them have the tools to go low and play themselves into State qualifying contention," he said. "They've worked hard over the past few weeks, and they want to lead this young team to a strong finish at the this year's tournament."

As far as finishing in the top two to qualify for the State Tournament as a team, Montgomery said it would be tough. The top four individual scorers who are not on one of the top two teams also qualify as individuals.

"On a team level it will take some major step-up performances from underclassmen Tayler Adams, Josh Griffin and Jared Redmon for us to have a shot at qualifying as a team," he said. "But golf is the one sport where 'on paper' only matters when that paper is the scorecard, and it only takes one incredible round of shots to make something special happen."