BOWLING GREEN — West Jessamine's Colts were thoroughbreds down the stretch as they rolled to their second consecutive boys' state golf title at Bowling Green Country Club on Wednesday afternoon.
West Jessamine began the day three shots up on St. Xavier, but that lead quickly evaporated and the defending champions were down by six midway through the front nine.
But showing the same patience, determination and penchant for birdies that rallied them from 12 shots down in the final round to beat St. X last year, the Colts wound up pulling away to a seven-shot victory this time around in the Leachman/KHSAA State Championship.
"It's a different emotion," Coach Adam Young said. "Last year we came in just expecting to play hard and see what happened, and we ended up winning. This year it was a battle with St. X every step of the way."
Fred Allen Meyer was West Jessamine's lead horse as he became only the second repeat individual boys' champ in the last 55 years. (Case Cochran of Paducah St. Mary did it in 2005 and '06). Meyer shot 68-68—136, three better than St. Xavier's Brendon Doyle's 69-70—139.
Clay County junior Tyler McDaniel (70-71) finished third, and Scott County senior Billy Tom Sargent (72-72) was fourth.
West Jessamine also got solid play from junior Connor Haas (74-72), who tied for fifth, and senior Austin Swentzel (74-78), who tied for 17th.
Byron Speach (77-79) gave the Colts' their fourth score, and Landon Adkins (81-81) was their fifth man.
Meyer, like his team, came from behind on the closing nine. He trailed Doyle by four shots, but the West Jessamine senior birdied five of the last eight holes to win going away.
Meyer pointed to the 12th hole as a key to his comeback. He hit his tee shot into a hazard, took a drop but made a 15-foot putt for par.
"That definitely gave me confidence for the last part of the round," he said.
He birdied 13, 14, 16 and 18 to finish with a flourish.
"Fred Allen is going to get his," Young said. "He just fights and fights and fights.
"He's probably had one of the best high school careers ever — two individual titles, a runner-up and (another) top-five."
Meyer, who will play college golf at Kentucky, said the Colts' second team title was the more important accomplishment. "The individual stuff is just a bonus."
Meyer said there was a different feeling about this year's title. "Last year was kind of a surprise because we weren't the favorites. But this year I felt like we were the favorites, and we did really well under pressure."
Haas seconded that.
"We just went out, played our game and didn't pay attention to what everyone else was doing. We handled the pressure correctly and came out on top.
"This just confirms we were No. 1 last year and this year, too," he added.
West Jessamine's rally on the back nine got a huge boost when Swentzel chipped in for a birdie on No. 15.
"Everybody contributed," Young said. "That's our mantra — it takes the whole team."
St. X Coach Daniel Utley said his Tigers enjoyed squaring off against the Colts.
"It was a horse race all year, and has been really for the last two years. It's been fun watching them play and trying to match their ability."
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com