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NEW CASTLE – For the second time in three days the Shelby County girls’ golf team finished second to the 2-time-defending champs.
The Rockets were runner-up to Sacred Heart in Henry County’s Ladycat Invitational on Monday. The Valkyries carded a collective 302 – 35 shots better than Shelby County – at Henry County Country Club.
Sacred Heart junior Maddie Hamilton shot 2-under-par 68 – despite hitting her dad with her tee shot on No. 18 – to earn medalist honors and lead four Valkyries in the top eight.
Senior Jordan Webb was the Rockets’ top finisher, taking third with 72. Henry County’s MaKenzie Peyton was second with 69.
Collins placed eighth among 11 teams.
Shelby County played without junior Madison Thomas, who was playing in the 45th Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C. Freshman Lilly Young, who moved up to second in the Rockets’ lineup in Thomas’ absence, shot 85, and sophomore Tiffany Grasch and freshman Jennifer Fuqua recorded 90s.
“Putting seemed to be a huge struggle today, especially for Lilly and Tiffany, way too many three putts,” Shelby County Coach Anna Simpson said. “But they will work on some putting drills to fix their problems today and will be fine. I'm confident they will putt better this weekend.”
Webb, who shot 37 on the front nine and 35 on the back, said she had her troubles on the greens too.
“I couldn’t really get any putts to go in,” she said. “I definitely have to work on ten-footers.”
Webb missed a par-saving putt on 18 after her tee shot found the pond in front of the green.
“I had a draw on the ball all day, then the one time I needed one, I hit it straight,” she said.
That followed an errant tee shot by Hamilton, who like Webb played in the 38th Junior PGA Championship last week. Webb, who was debating on whether or not to try to drive the green, watched as Hamilton’s tee shot hit her father (who was to the left of the green) in the head and rolled down into a bunker. Still, she decided to go for it.
“She’s probably going to kill me,” Webb said of Simpson before pulling her driver out of her bag.
It was a lesson learned for Webb, though.
“I thought Jordan played well,” Simpson said. “Very balanced play from her all day, which helped the team tremendously.”
Someone who also helped the Rockets was Fuqua.
“I was most impressed with Jennifer Fuqua,” Simpson said. “She has worked literally, every day in the offseason doing something pertaining to golf, and it definitely shows. Last year she shot close to a one-twenty at Henry County. This year a ninety and probably should have been in the high eighties. Her offseason efforts have obviously paid off, and I can't wait to see what how she continues to improve this fall.”
Junior Mary Borders’ 91 led Collins, and sophomores Claire Watts and Sydney Rogers added a 92 and 98, respectively.
Henry County Ladycat Invitational
Team scores –1. Sacred Heart No. 1 302; 2. Shelby County 337; 3. Anderson County 355; 4. Grant County 356; 5. Christian Academy of Louisville 362; 6. Sacred Heart No. 2 372; 7. Owen County 375; 8. Collins 387; 9. Oldham County 393; 10 (tie). Eastern, Henry County 398.
Top 10 individuals –1. Maddie Hamilton (Sacred Heart) 68; 2. MaKenzie Peyton (Henry County) 69; 3. Jordan Webb (SCHS) 72; 4. Kaitlyn Riley (Anderson County) 73; 5 (tie). Meredith Moir (Sacred Heart), Macy Wright (Grant County) 76; 7. Katie Gathof (Sacred Heart) 78; 8. Rachel Gathof (Sacred Heart) 80; 9. Sarah Son (CAL) 81; 10 (tie). Maddie Hensley (Henry County), Abby Stivers (CAL) 82.
SHELBY COUNTY (337) –Webb 72, Lilly Young 85, Tiffany Grasch 90, Jennifer Fuqua 90, Katie Butler 121, Jenna Lewis 134.
COLLINS (387) –Mary Borders 91; Claire Watts 92; Sydney Rogers 98; Jasmine Valentine 106; Mallori Webb 113.