Girls State golf: Talley, Glasgow finish off victories

BOWLING GREEN — Neither rain nor lightning nor fog can keep the Glasgow Scotties from their appointed rounds.

Glasgow completed its run to the Leachman KHSAA Girls' State Golf Tournament title Thursday, knocking off defending champion West Jessamine 664-669 at Bowling Green Country Club. Scott County took third at 673.

The two-day format was extended by a day due to delays for lightning (Tuesday) and rain (Wednesday). Thursday's play was delayed 35 minutes because of fog.

While West Jessamine made the team finish interesting, cutting a 12-stroke gap to five, there was no individual drama. Just excellence over a 5,689-yard, par 72 layout.

Caldwell County freshman Emma Talley, 9 strokes up with three holes left when play resumed, parred out to win by 9 with a 65-69—134. Her opening round and two-round total are State records.

North Hardin's Lydia Gumm was the only other individual under par, 73-70—143.

Glasgow, which won four consecutive state championships from 1997 through 2000, tied Sacred Heart for the record of five State team titles.

"We knew West Jessamine and Scott County were going to put up a definite fight, which they did," said Mike Harris, who capped 22 years as coach of the Scotties. "I definitely got nervous the last couple holes. When they made the turn at 15, we were down to 7 shots with three to go, and anything can happen."

Glasgow gained two strokes on No. 16, but West Jessamine took a 4-stroke swing on 17. Both teams shot 4-over on No. 18.

"We came prepared," said West Jessamine's Betsie Johnson, who will play for Kentucky next year. "We gave it our best effort. But they're just a better team this year."

Senior Kristen Wilkinson (80-82—162) led Glasgow. Then came freshman Blair Dennison (81-82—163), senior and coach's daughter Laura Beth Harris (86-83—169) and junior Kylie Foushee (83-87—170). No. 5 player Shannon Bishop, a sophomore, shot 104-90—194.

Johnson (72-78—150) topped the Lady Colts, tying for sixth overall. Then came sophomore Emily Haas (80-78—158), senior Sloane Skinner (87-87—174) and seventh-grader Grace Rose (93-94—187). No. 5 was freshman Whitney Deaton (102-99—201).

"The Glasgow girls just came in and outplayed us this week. ... I'm proud of them, I'm proud of my girls," West Jessamine Coach Jen Brown said. "We didn't lose. Second in the state is still good. It's still really good. It's just disappointing, I think, for the girls."

Megan Wilshire, a freshman, led Scott County and tied for third overall.

"All I wanted to do was come out with par the next seven I had to play and get a top-five finish," said Wilshire (76-72—148). "I was pretty pleased with the way I played."

Seniors Megan Sims, Penny Cottew and Demi Cottew, along with sophomore Liz Gumm, completed the Cardinals' third-place team.

Coach Jason Carpenter said team title hopes were lost Wednesday, dropping 5 strokes to West Jessamine and 1 to Glasgow over Nos. 6-9.

Thursday, though, "we held it together and kept our composure," he said. "Just too much ground to make up."

Too much ground for anybody to make up on Caldwell's Talley, who was playing her fifth State tourney. She took up the game at 9, and she finished 27th in the state tournament as a fifth-grader. She progressed to fifth place, then a pair of third-place finishes, before winning it all.

"Last night I knew I had three holes to go ... I knew it wasn't over. My mom always tells me it's not over until the fat lady sings."

Talley said her putting "was the best it's ever been." And she knows she has set a standard that may be difficult to reach again.

"I had two really good rounds this week, so I'm not going to try to break my scores because that's just going to get in my head," she said. "That just wouldn't work."

So she'll work on strategy. After all, she has three more State title possibilities.

■ Award winners included Franklin-Simpson's Kelsey Burell (sportsmanship), Shelby County's Candice Wiley (leadership) and Glasgow's Harris (scholarship).