LEXINGTON – One day of the tournament under their belts, a different course, and the scores for most of the local golfers improved Tuesday in the second round of the Flyer Classic.
Tuesday at Griffin Gate Golf Club, host Franklin County improved 19 shots from Monday’s first round at Canewood.
The Flyers placed 15th in the team standings with a two-day total of 669 (344-325), and Western Hills was 17th at 689 (351-338).
“I was a little disappointed in the scores yesterday,” FCHS coach James Myers said, “but I’m very pleased we bounced back and had a 19-shot improvement today. Our score is a 43-shot improvement from last year.
“We’re getting better, but it’s going to be a slow process because we have so many inexperienced kids right now.”
St. Xavier won the tournament with a score of 572 (287-285), and Corbin was runner-up at 606 (303-303).
Scott County’s Billy Tom Sargent won the Gene Hilen Memorial Award, given to the individual winner, for the second straight year.
He shot under par both days and finished with a 138 (71-67) despite reporting a penalty on himself for having 15 clubs in his bag on the first hole Monday. That resulted in a two-stroke penalty.
Brenden Doyle of St. X was runner-up at 139 (72-67). Rounding out the top five were St. Xavier’s Cooper Musselman at 140 (68-72), Lexington Catholic’s Mathew Mahle at 142 (72-70), and George Rogers Clark’s Blake Cartwright at 143 (75-68).
The top five were the only players who shot under par for the tournament.
FCHS’ Jacob Cook led the local players with a score of 147 (75-72), good for an eighth-place finish.
“Jacob, a freshman, continues to amaze me with his ability to compete and with what a tough, gritty competitor he is,” Myers said.
Luke Kellerman was second for the Flyers with a 163 (81-82).
Western Hills was led by three players who shot 171 – Nick Wilkins (92-79), Chris Hughes (87-84) and Travis Hammond (85-86).
The Flyer Classic was the Wolverines’ first competition of the season.
WHHS’ preparation included playing at Frankfort Country Club, which was going to be the site of the first round until storm damage forced a move to Canewood.
“We had some really good scores,” WHHS coach Warren Mitchell said about the practice round at FCC. “Only one player out of our five had even been on the course at Canewood.
“That took away the advantage we had from a practice round at the country club. Canewood is a tough course, in particular for someone who’s never played there before. There are a lot of blind shots.”
But Mitchell was pleased with how his team persevered in the first round.
“I was a little disappointed in the scores, but not as much as the players were,” he said. “They had a good attitude. They fought for every hole, they never gave up, and they fought to the end.
“They kept a good attitude. They’d have a bad hole but come back on the next hole and do the best they could do, and that’s all you can ask. That carried over to this morning. They were ready to go, and their scores were much better today.”
The biggest jumps were made by Wilkins and Macaulay Hurst, who shot 100 Monday and an 89 Tuesday.
“Nick Wilkins played No. 1 the first day,” Mitchell said. “He had the low score today of 79, and I’m proud of him for doing that.
“Macaulay Hurst was playing in his first tournament, and I’m really proud of him for the way he dug in and turned it around today. His best nine holes of the tournament were his last nine holes today.”
The Flyers also had some big gains Tuesday with John Harnice improving seven shots and Ben Nolan eight shots from their scores Monday.
“I’m very proud of John Harnice,” Myers said. “His improvement is amazing since last year. He improved his score by eight shots today. He’s a solid kid.
“Ben Nolan really struggled yesterday but he battled back, and he had our first eagle of the year on No. 1.
“Luke Kellerman is starting to come around,” Myers said. “The sky’s the limit for Luke. I know he’s disappointed in his scores here, but he’s on the brink of turning an 82 into a 76 with a little bit of work.”
Frankfort Country Club head golf pro Brian May and his staff ran the Flyer Classic this year.
“We appreciate all the work they’ve done the last two days,” Myers said.
Franklin County has two more tournaments this week, playing at the Bath County Invitational Thursday and the Greenup County Invitational Saturday.
Both FCHS and Western Hills are playing in the Shelby County Invitational Monday at Weissinger Hills.
The local scores and the final team standings from the Flyer Classic are listed below.
FCHS 669 – Jacob Cook 147 (75-72), Luke Kellerman 163 (81-82), Will Molen 193 (100-93), Ben Nolan 177 (93-84), John Harnice 182 (95-87).
WHHS 689 – Nick Wilkins 171 (92-79), Chris Hughes 171 (87-84), Travis Hammond 171 (85-86), Kris Perry 182 (87-95), Macaulay Hurst 189 (100-89).
1. St. Xavier 572, 2. Corbin 606, 3. Lexington Christian 613, 4. Dunbar 615, 5. George Rogers Clark 626, 6. Ballard 630 (317-313), 6. Scott Co. 630 (321-309), 6. Bourbon Co. 630 (318-312), 9. Elizabethtown 632 (325-307), 10. Lexington Catholic 639 (318-321), 11. Collins 655 (341-314), 12. Montgomery Co. 656 (343-313), 13. Lafayette 665 (341-324), 14. Woodford Co. 667 (342-325), 15. Franklin Co. 669 (334-325), 16. Henry Clay 672 (349-323), 17. Western Hills 689 (351-338), 18. Greenup Co. 690 (361-329), 19. Bullitt East 698 (355-343), 20. Rowan Co. 701 (351-350), 21. Mercer Co. 749 (386-363), 22. Bath Co. 811 (409-402), 23. Harrison Co. 812 (417-395).