Being sidelined in the summer is tough for a golfer, but Western Hills senior Megan Kinney is bouncing back nicely.
Playing her second tournament since returning from a bout of tendonitis in her shoulders, Kinney shot a 76 Saturday to lead the local golfers in the Gene Hilen Invitational at Juniper Hill.
Sacred Heart won the team title with a score of 307, and Boyle County was runner-up at 329.
North Hardin’s Lydia Gumm and defending champion Jordan Webb of Shelby County both shot 70, and Gumm took medalist honors in a two-hole playoff.
It was a good day for the local teams, with six out of the 12 golfers competing for WHHS and Franklin County either shooting or tying their personal best scores.
“I am thrilled,” said Lesa Hodge, who coaches Western Hills and FCHS. “I’m not 100 percent sure, but I think is one of the lowest scores if not the lowest score in the four or five years they’ve been in the mix together.
“Six out of the 12 shot or tied their personal best, and you can’t complain about that.”
WHHS shot 350 and finished ninth. Besides Kinney’s 76, the team’s other scores were Anna Hawkins 87, Peyton Silva 93, Hanna Raymer 94, and Ashley Stevens 98. Raymer and Stevens both shot career low scores for 18 holes.
Senior Hannah Robertson led FCHS with a personal best of 87, and also shooting a personal best was Cami Montgomery with a 99. Taylor Cammack shot 93 for the Lady Flyers and Kaycee Demaree, playing in her first 18-hole tournament, rounded out the team.
The Lady Wolverines had three golfers who played as individuals. Sidney Cardwell tied her personal best with a 94, Emily Stevens shot 108, and Allison Harrod had a personal best of 110.
“I’ve told the girls all along that I’m not worried about numbers until September,” Hodge said. “It’s September first and they hit a home run as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully this is a foretelling of what they can do the rest of the month.”
Kinney was stricken with tendonitis in both shoulders in mid-July.
“I played a couple of tournaments,” she said, “but I had to withdraw from the Kentucky Open. It wasn’t going to be good for me to keep on competing. It was tough just because you’re used to playing or practicing every single day.”
One thing that took a bit of the sting out of the break was the fact she verbally committed to the University of Kentucky about the same time the tendonitis became a problem.
“That was huge,” Kinney said. “It gave me peace of mind that I had made that decision and that I could go out and do the work I needed to do to be able to heal and get ready for college.
“It’s good to have that decision made, especially since I’m going to the place I always dreamed of going.”
Kinney’s first tournament back was last week at the Madison Southern Invitational where she shot a tournament and school record 68 at Battlefield Golf Club to capture medalist honors.
On Saturday she played in a group with Gumm.
“I hit the ball fairly well, I putted pretty well actually,” Kinney said. “It was just a couple of strokes, a missed putt here or there, and going out of bounds on 16.
“I was very happy for the girls in the playoffs. I’ve played with Lydia and it’s great playing with her. We always have fun.
“Unfortunately in my last Gene Hilen I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” Kinney said, “but a lot of the girls on our team played their best and they all played well. I’m as pleased as I can be.”
The top five individuals are listed along with the complete team standings.
1. Lydia Gumm (North Hardin) 70, won in a two-hole playoff; 2. Jordan Webb (Shelby Co.) 70, 3. Katie Page (Sacred Heart) 71, 4. Kaitlyn Riley (Anderson Co.) 73, won in scorecard playoff, 5. Maddie Hamilton (Sacred Heart) 73.
1. Sacred Heart 307, 2. Boyle Co. 329, 3. Henry Clay 332, 4. Owen Co. 334, 5. Anderson Co. 336, 6. Shelby Co. 344, 7. Notre Dame 345, 7. Grant Co. 345, 9. Western Hills 350, 10. Elizabethtown 358, 11. West Jessamine 363, 12. Lafayette 364, 13. Pendleton Co. 377, 14. Central Hardin 387, 15. Sayre 420, 16. Franklin Co. 422, 17. Highlands 426.