Blann, Volpenhein tied for lead at State Am

jpennington@herald-leader.comJune 10, 2009 

  • Volpenhein -5

    J. Blann -5

    Munson -2

    DeLuca -2

    Massie -2

    Bulle -2

    Clark -2

    Reddick -2

    Schaffer -1

    Chaney -1

    S. Blann -1

    Sharpe -1

    Scores, Page C2

  • Men's State Amateur

    When: Through Thursday

    Where: Champion Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville

    First-round leaders

NICHOLASVILLE — High school players have contributed to a talent influx in the State Amateur Championship in recent years.

But the leaders after the first round are slightly removed from the high school ranks — Jordan Blann by three years, and Jim Volpenhein by more than 30.

Blann and Volpenhein each shot 5-under 67 in the afternoon heat at Champion Trace Golf Club on Tuesday, and they share the lead, three shots ahead of six players who are tied for third.

Blann, from Bowling Green, will be a senior at the University of Kentucky next season. Volpenhein also will be a senior, but not at UK. The UK graduate from Union will turn 50.

Ben Fister, 16, did his best to represent the high school set with a 2-under 34 on the front nine in the morning that had him ahead of the field, but he followed with a 42 on the back and fell back with a 76.

The top high school player at the end of the first day was Daniel DeLuca, a junior-to-be at Lexington Catholic, who is part of the logjam at 70.

Fister and DeLuca are two of 12 high school players participating this week. Bill Coomer, the tournament's director of operations, said the field of 156 has seen an increase in young qualifiers.

"That's the direction this tournament has gone over the past few years, a lot of high school and college players," Coomer said. "They're the ones that play the most in the spring and summer, and they're all very good players."

Fister, who just completed his sophomore year at Lexington Catholic, got it to 3-under on the front nine thanks to a birdie-eagle-birdie stretch.

He said nerves started to be a factor and mental fatigue set in, giving way to poor putting on the back nine.

"It's all about where you hit it on these greens," Fister said. "You just have to try to put it below the hole and give yourself an uphill putt, and maybe you can make a few. Unfortunately, none of that happened for me on the backside today."

Fister said the only way to cure his putting problems was to hit the practice green before his Wednesday afternoon tee time.

Joining him on the practice green was St. Xavier senior-to-be Patrick Sullivan. Sullivan finished in the group just before Fister, posting a 78. Sullivan blamed his poor putting for not meeting his expectations.

"My goal is to make the cut, and I need to make putts to do that," Sullivan said, noting he figured the cut line would be around 155. "I think I can do it, but I have to be better in the second round about hitting putts."

While Fister and Sullivan struggled on the greens, Hager Collins said he had trouble making it to the greens with poor short-game play.

Collins, who just completed his freshman year at Lexington Christian, called ball-striking the strongest point of his game. His short game consistently lags behind, he said.

Like his peers, Collins said he knew what he needed to do.

"I have to go practice and get ready for tomorrow," Collins said. "My goal tomorrow is to break 70, and if I could, that should be enough to make the cut. I think I can definitely come out and play well tomorrow."

Collins, Sullivan and Fister are making their State Am debuts this year, but Coomer said high-schoolers from across the state qualify — and do well — in the tournament every year. Coomer credited their success to strong work ethic and commitment to golf.

So much so, Coomer said, that they blend right into the field.

"I don't even try to keep count, there are so many high-schoolers," Coomer said. "All I know is name and city. Other than that, they're no different from anyone else out there."

Scores (first round)

Jim Volpenhein, Union 67

Jordan Blann, Bowling Green 67

Brett Munson, Louisville 70

Daniel DeLuca, Lexington 70

Jesse Massie, Louisville 70

Kent Bulle, Glasgow 70

Steven Clark, Lexington 70

Thomas Reddick, Bardstown 70

Charles Schaffer, Lexington 71

Lee Chaney, Morehead 71

Seth Blann, Bowling Green 71

Tyler Sharpe, Greensburg 71

Ben Fuqua, Danville 72

Doug Wilkinson, Louisville 72

Hunter York, Hardin 72

Mark Phillips, Nicholasville 72

Ryan Tucker, Somerset 72

Trey Shirley, Edmonton 72

Brandon Berry, Lagrange 73

Bryan Ratterman, Louisville 73

Chris Griffin, Paducah 73

Joshua Rhodes, Louisville 73

Michael Dees, Louisville 73

Tyler Mitchell, Cadiz 73

Zack Butler, Lexington 73

Brian Fister, Lexington 74

Buddy Bryant, Lexington 74

Daniel Iceman, Louisville 74

Eric Straub, Paducah 74

Erik Davis, Smithfield 74

Grant Price, Paducah 74

Kenny Goodykoontz, Lexington 74

Kyle Leach, Louisville 74

Marty Anderson, Stanford 74

Adam McDonald, Franklin 75

Alex Volpenhein, Edgewood 75

Andrew Heiser, London 75

Andy Roberts, Owensboro 75

Blanton Farmer, Lexington 75

Davis Boland, Louisville 75

Derek Oldham, Lexington 75

Dustin Stovall, Scottsville 75

Jared Baysinger, Burlington 75

Jerred McCarty, Shelbyville 75

Matthew Anderson, Tompkinsville 75

Micah Dean, Nicholasville 75

Trevor Glass, Tompkinsville 75

Will Beard, Bowling Green 75

Andrew Hodge, Hebron 76

Ben Fister, Lexington 76

Chase Carpenter, Salyersville 76

Danny Bishop, Lexington 76

Jason Witten, Leitchfield 76

Joseph Barr, Versailles 76

Justin Price, Lexington 76

Kevin Lawson, Stanton 76

Mark Knecht, Paducah 76

Robbie Crockett, Louisville 76

Shawn Tipton, Clay City 76

Stuart Witt, Richmond 76

Thomas Carrico, Lebanon 76

Tom Musselman, Lexington 76

Alex Wright, Lexington 77

Brooks Herrick, Louisville 77

Cody Martin, Union 77

Cory Prewitt, Lexington 77

Franklin Stivers, London 77

Grant Blevins, Danville 77

Jared Wolfe, Louisville 77

Jordan Voss, Lexington 77

Matthew Martin, Winchester 77

Michael Asay, Lexington 77

Patrick Kelly, Lexington 77

Richard Hayden, Owensboro 77

Sean Leslie, Prestonsburg 77

Zach Schrodt, Louisville 77

Chris Mueller, Louisville 78

Greg McDonald, Lexington 78

James Dawson, Bardstown 78

Jonathan Shaw, Tompkinsville 78

Larry Ashlock, Elizabethtown 78

Michael Windisch, Lexington 78

Myles Mahan, Covington 78

Nick Jones, Paducah 78

Patrick Sullivan, Louisville 78

Tony Brown, Georgetown 78

Tony Onyon, Jamestown 78

David Shearn, Louisville 79

Drake Duncan, Bowling Green 79

Dustin Gosser, Russell Springs 79

Elliot House, London 79

Fred Allen Meyer, Nicholasville 79

Fred Copeland, Lexington 79

Gerald Belcher, Lexington 79

Ian Danis, Mt Sterling 79

Jeremy Bourne, New Liberty 79

Josh Jones, Bowling Green 79

Leif Clarke, Ashland 79

Neal Millay, Paducah 79

Rusty Dyer, Louisville 79

Rusty Jones, Louisville 79

Brice Kittinger, Owensboro 80

Bruce Walters II, Pikeville 80

Charles Jarboe, Louisville 80

Darrell Vanover, Owensboro 80

John Carter, Benton 80

Joseph Bunch, Danville 80

Josh Earnest, Lawrenceburg 80

Ken Francke, Nicholasville 80

Patrick Newcomb, Benton 80

Richard Carey, Bardstown 80

Zachary Wilson, Russell Springs 80

Bill Sergent, London 81

Hager Collins, Lexington 81

Hunter Ford, Paducah 81

Keith Tooley, Bowling Green 81

Kenyon Cook, Lexington 81

Mike Watson, Knifley 81

Nate Johnson, Nicholasville 81

Patrick Hibbs, Madisonville 81

Robert Kirby, Bowling Green 81

Thomas Scheuerman, Prospect 81

Tom Mireault, Lexington 81

Tyler Cherry, Scottsville 81

Tyler Thompson, Louisville 81

Andrew Yeast, Harrodsburg 82

Bo Brien, Benton 82

Brent Clark, Ashland 82

Gray Hunter, Ashland 82

Jearmy Wilson, Jamestown 82

Kyle Zeitz, Taylorsville 82

Stephen Montgomery, Elizabethtown 82

Aaron Anderson, Elizabethtown 83

Brad Harris, Corbin 83

Cody Moore, Campbellsville 83

Kyle Sergent, Grayson 83

Tanner Burks, Danville 83

Chandler Morgan, Lexington 84

Jason Brice, Louisville 84

Justin Tereshko, Lexington 84

Lawrence Nuzzo, Louisville 84

Tom Campbell, Danville 84

Chandler Gilbert, Lexington 85

Chuck Berry, Lexington 85

Logan Loftus, Hopkinsville 85

Charles Craig, Salvisa 86

David Herrera 86

Matt Poat, Paducah 86

Cole Allen, Louisville 87

Larry Grasch, Frankfort 87

Bengamin Johnson, Louisville 88

Fred Howard, Baxter 89

Derrick Scott, Paris 92

Corbin Sellers, Louisville 98

John Thomson, Georgetown 98

Donnie Wainscott, Frankfort WD

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