BOWLING GREEN — The Leachman/KHSAA Boys' State Golf Tournament has gone to overtime. St. Xavier edged Lexington Christian Academy 606-607 to wrap up a record 18th team title Wednesday at Bowling Green Country Club.
Individual honors, though, remain undecided.
LCA's Hunter Stewart, down 4 shots with six holes to play, rallied to tie Justin Thomas of St. X for the lead at 2-under 142. Darkness pushed a sudden-death playoff to Thursday, set to start at 7:15 a.m. Central time.
Both juniors wanted to play on Wednesday, but KHSAA officials nixed the idea.
Never miss a local story.
"It was pretty easy (to decide) because there wasn't 15 minutes of light left," said Butch Cope, a KHSAA assistant commissioner.
The 36-hole event backed up Tuesday when, after a long rain delay, darkness suspended first-round play.
"I'd rather settle it tonight," Stewart said. "We could have at least got one or two holes in, but we didn't make the decision."
Thomas agreed, but added a qualifying jest: "When I was trying to see if we could play, in the back of my mind I was like, 'Wait, I might want to play tomorrow so I can miss a little bit more school.' "
Defending champ St. X shot 300 for the first round to lead LCA by 2 strokes. The Eagles had the better of the final round, 305-306. They placed third a year ago.
"We're a little disappointed, but we played OK," said Coach Eric Geldhof, whose LCA squad is made up of two juniors and three sophomores. "We're excited that Hunter played so well. We just didn't back him up today."
Chandler Fischer was Stewart's closest teammate, tied for 15th (76-78—154).
Defending medalist David Payne of St. X tied for 11th (153). Marshall County's Travis Thompson, the 2007 winner, tied for fifth (149).
"This game's all about (being) confident, conviction and going where you want it to go," St. X Coach Dan Utley said. "They really stepped up when they needed. Strong kids. ... We'll look forward to tomorrow and see if we can't make the double play."
Thomas, third in last year's tournament, and Stewart both shot par-72 in the first round.
Thomas, who made a 36-hole PGA cut at the Wyndham Championship this year, started the final round on fire. He made the turn at 5-under-par 31 and was still 5-under through No. 12.
Stewart was 1-under at the final turn and through 12.
But then Stewart parred No. 13, a 176-yard, par 3. Thomas double-bogeyed.
Stewart birdied 14, a 487-yard, par 5. Thomas bogeyed.
"He opened the door a little bit, but I felt like I did a good job of making a couple birdies there," Stewart said. He birdied Nos. 4, 12 and 14, with a bogey on 10.
He caught a break after overshooting the green on No. 15, a par 4. His 9-iron chip looked as if it might run off the front of the green. Instead, the ball hit the pin, and he saved par.
As for Thomas, "I hit it probably better than I ever have in my life on the front nine, and actually through 12 holes, but kind of stunk it up a little bit at the end. But we got what really means the most — the team title. I couldn't have cared less about the individual title."
Henry Clay placed third (313-311—624).
"We played well considering the conditions and things we had to go through the last couple days — sitting through a six-hour rain delay and then having to get up at the crack of dawn to come and play 30 holes," said Stephen Keinath, the Henry Clay coach. "We played well."
Seniors Ben Simpson (73-77—150) and Andrew Klein (80-75—155) led the Blue Devils.
Greenup County bested West Jessamine's team of underclassmen for fifth place, 633-638.
Russellville's Paul Neal Sansom, the first-round leader with a 2-under 70, followed that with a 75 to place third at 145.