PADUCAH – On a day when one of the toughest golf courses in Kentucky lived up to its reputation, a Calloway County player and a Murray High player were almost good enough to tame it.
In fact, Calloway junior Aidan Poston has positioned himself to fight for an alternate seat, but failed in a playoff at the ultra-tough Paducah country club. Murray High’s Caden Kelly, while playing a senior in his first Region 1 event, ended up with an 18-hole score of 87, which was more on a day when the afternoon wind was blowing hard and sending the points skyward as was commendable.
The greatest drama for the Calloway / Murray High contingent was certainly reserved for Poston, whose 82nd Monday left him in seventh place in the individual ranking. This enabled him to compete in a playoff for an alternate seat, meaning that the survivor of that playoff would be able to play in next week’s state tournament at Bowling Green if a higher finisher couldn’t play for some reason.
Poston and McCracken County’s Camryn Beatty took three holes, but in the end it was Beatty who delivered a birdie on the par-4 10th hole after each player parried twice the par-4.
“It’s kind of a heartbreaker, but it’s still good for him to have had that experience,” said Calloway head coach Charlie Miles. “They played the 18th hole twice and both times Aiden had birdie chances, one was about five feet to win it, but then he had a bad tee shot on the 10th and (Hahn) put his approach shot at about three Feet. “
Miles also said the playoff was played in a very festive atmosphere.
“I would say there were about 50 people hanging around to see it. If you play golf with your pals it’s one thing, but if you’re a high school kid and there is a lot of yelling and yelling, it sure does different, ”he said, adding he believes this will be Poston in the future will serve well. “He’s a good golfer and I think he has what it takes to get a 75.
“As a high school player, however, you find that there is something you play for all year round. You’re playing to get to this regional tournament and have the chance to go to the state. “
For Kelly, Monday will be his first and only regional appearance after joining the Murray High team this year. However, he made the experience memorable and, had it not for a couple of near misses, would have enabled himself to join Poston and Hahn in this playoff.
“I’m so proud of him,” said Murray high head coach Denise Whitaker. “This is his first year playing golf for us and I think we checked to see that he got a 126 in his first tournament of the year. So that was two months ago.
“It’s amazing, an 87, and it’s great that he came out and could do it. He didn’t start the day well, but he really turned it around and that shows that he can forget a hole, regroup himself and bring it all back together. “
St. Mary’s Rocco Zakutney was the only player to score a 72 when winning the singles par on Monday, as the Vikings, one of the most traditional programs in western Kentucky, also won the team title with a total of 314, none of Zakutney’s teammates in the The 70s ended, which testifies to the difficulty of the playing conditions, especially in the afternoon when the wind was strongest.
Second place was a tie between McCracken, who had no one in the ’70s, and Trigg, where only one player managed the feat. These two teams were one better than third-placed Marshall County, which had two players in the 1970s.
Calloway finished fifth at 359 while Murray High finished seventh at 382.
For Calloway, Poston’s 82s are joined by Tanner Crouch’s 90s, Micah Koenecke’s 93s and Caleb Ticknors’ 94s. For Murray High, Kelly’s 87 was joined by Kyle Crady’s 94, Nick Holcomb’s 98 and Ian Dahncke’s 103.
“This is a good start for anyone going to the state,” Miles said of the CCP’s troubles. “Bowling Green Country Club is a pretty tough place, although this one can be a little trickier. This course is certainly six, seven, maybe eight strokes harder than the courses we normally play. Today you see 91s and 92s from players probably shooting 84 or 85 on other courses. That reflects this course. “
Whitaker said her tigers identified with Miles’ ideas.
“It was tough outside today, especially with all the water holes they have here and I know my boys hit a lot of trees and when you do this it’s hard to get the ball back into the fairways.” She said her players’ only previous look at CCP, less than a week earlier, was deceptive. “These greens were very fast today and (a week ago today) we played a game where it was pouring rain and the greens weren’t that fast. The ball was moving pretty fast on the fairways too, I thought (because the ground was dry). ”