RICHMOND — Franklin County junior Jacob Cook finished with a flourish to win medalist honors in the 9th Region golf tournament at Gibson Bay on Tuesday.
Cook had a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th, then rolled in long birdie putts on the last two holes to finish with a 2-under-par 70.
"I knew my team needed me. I wanted to finish steady for them," Cook said.
Cook's birdie binge was icing on the cake as Franklin County won the region title for the first time since 2000.
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The Flyers and runner-up Madison Central advance to the Leachman/KHSAA State Tournament in Bowling Green next week.
Franklin County Coach James Myers said Cook's selfless attitude was the key to Tuesday's victory.
"That's why we won the region," Myers said. "Our best player wasn't worried about himself. He was worried about his teammates.
"That's just the kind of kid Jacob is. That's why he's been team captain since he was in the eighth grade."
The Flyers came into the region as the favorites, and they played up to their No. 4 state ranking. This was their sixth consecutive team victory, and it was Cook's fifth individual title this season.
"I knew if I played well I'd have a good chance to win," Cook said. "I was more worried about the team than myself today."
Ben Nolan had a career-best 74 to give the Flyers a boost.
"Ben has been absolutely outstanding since Labor Day," Myers said. "He's a quiet kid who leads by example. He came out determined today."
Sophomore C.J. Jones had a 76 and freshman Will Harnice added an 80 for Franklin County. Will Molen was disqualified after he called a scorecard penalty on himself.
Madison Central was led by junior Carter Skipworth's 72, the second-best score of the day.
Skipworth shot a 32 on the front before taking a triple-bogey at the 10th. But he kept his composure.
"I kept my head in it and was able to help the team," he said. "That was more important than anything — getting to the state as a team."
Zach Miller had a 75 for Madison Central. Jordan Adams contributed an 80 and Trent Renfro an 81 as the Indians qualified for the state for the third time in four years. The Indians edged out Lexington Christian Academy by one shot for the runner-up spot.
"I'm totally excited," Coach Tim Stephens said. "We struggled all year, but I've been telling the kids to stay focused on (the region). This was our shot to redeem our tough season, and we did."
Henry Clay senior David Stevens shot a 73 to qualify for the state individually.
Four golfers — Rob Bradley of Lafayette, Cooper Collins of Lexington Catholic, Nick Wilkens of Western Hills and Gresham Wilson of LCA — shot 74s and had a playoff to determine the last two qualifiers.
Wilkens earned one spot with an early par. After Bradley was eliminated, Collins and Wilson played on. It took them six holes before Collins prevailed with a birdie.
Boys' 9th Region
At Gibson Bay
Franklin County 300; Madison Central 308; Lexington Christian 309; Henry Clay 310; Scott County 311; Lafayette 312; Lexington Catholic 316; Clark County 319; Sayre 328; Tates Creek 329; Woodford County 330; Paul Laurence Dunbar 331; Western Hills 345; Model 367; Paris 382; Madison Southern 387; Bryan Station 394; Berea 401.
70—Jacob Cook (Franklin)
72—Carter Skipworth (Madison Central)
73—David Stevens (Henry Clay)
74—Ben Nolan (Franklin), Cooper Collins (LexCath), Rob Bradley (Lafayette), Gresham Wilson (LCA), Nick Wilkens (Western Hills),
75—Halen Stamper (Paris), Justin Marman (Scott), Zach Miller (Madison Central), Hunter Reed (Woodford).
76—Landen Allen (Paris), C.J. Jones (Franklin), James Oram (Tates Creek), Jett Clark (Clark).
77—Bryce Smith (Tates Creek), Hunter Rowe (Clark)
78—Evan Davis (LCA), Carter Pettigrew (LCA), Harrison Hoskins (Scott), Chris Saad (Sayre), Cooper Bergman (Scott), Mark O'Brien (Henry Clay), Harrison Clarke (Dunbar), Zach Wheeler (Dunbar).
79—Harrison Lane (Lafayette), Joe Muschong (Lafayette), Spencer Carrico (LexCath), Justin Baker (LexCath), Peter Kirk (Henry Clay), Tanner Wilson (LCA).