St. Xavier, as usual, looks like the team to beat in the Leachman/KHSAA Boys' State Golf Tournament that will be played Tuesday and Wednesday at Bowling Green Country Club.
St. X, the defending champion and winner of a record 17 state titles (five in the last 10 years), is led by Justin Thomas and David Payne.
Thomas, a junior, made national news this summer when he made the cut in a PGA Tour event, the Wyndham Championship. He won the region title last week.
Payne, a senior, was the individual state champ last year. Thomas finished third.
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Travis Thompson of Marshall County is expected to be among the challengers for individual honors. He won the 2007 title while leading the Marshals to the team championship. Thompson lost in a playoff to Payne last year.
Lexington Christian, which finished third in the state last October, hopes to contend for the top spot this time around.
The Eagles won their first region title last week, led by Chandler Fischer's 72, followed by Hager Collins (73), Hunter Stewart (76), Ethan Sprang (76) and Taylor Combs (81).
"This is such a strong region, we felt if we got out of here we'd have a good shot at winning it all," LCA Coach Eric Geldhof said.
Henry Clay has the same goal after finishing second in the region. It's headed to the state for the first time since winning the title in 2006.
Preston French, who shot a 71 in the region, will represent the Blue Devils, along with Ben Simpson, Andrew Klein, Harrison Combs and Stuart Pace.
"This is a team I've thought all year could contend for a state title," Devils Coach Stephen Keinath said. "We hope to take this momentum to Bowling Green and make a good showing."
Stuart Witt of Madison Central, Stirling Duncan of Tates Creek and Adam Venci of Scott County qualified for the state as individuals.
West Jessamine's young team will also compete in Bowling Green. The Colts' fivesome includes eighth-graders Fred Allen Meyer and Conner Haas, and freshman Travis Rose, along with juniors Nate Johnson and Jordan Wood.