After the first round of play on Tuesday, Lexington Christian Academy entered Wednesday in the mix for the individual and team titles at the Leachman Buick-GMC-Cadillac/KHSAA Boys’ State Golf Championship in Bowling Green.
By mid-afternoon Wednesday, it was clear the Eagles were taking both trophies home. LCA won its third state team title, and first since going back-to-back in 2010 and 2011, with a three-stroke win over St. Xavier, 584 to 587, at Bowling Green Country Club.
Jansen Preston, a sophomore, shot 7-under 137 through both rounds to become the first golfer in school history, boy or girl, to win an individual KHSAA state title. He won the All “A” Classic individual title earlier this year (as did LCA’s team). He finished three strokes better than defending champion Cullan Brown, a Lyon County senior who has committed to UK.
C.M. Mixon, a junior at South Warren, finished third with a 3-under 141. Jackson LaLonde, an LCA junior who won the 9th Region individual title last week at Kearney Hill Golf Links, finished tied for fourth with St. Xavier’s Drew Doyle at 2-under 142.
Preston tied for fourth last week at the regional. This week was his, though it didn’t look like it early Wednesday. He was 2-over par through his first four holes in the second round.
“It really just helped me to get mad and try not to be a victim,” Preston, who spoke with the Herald-Leader on the phone, said of his rough start.
The sophomore rebounded, shooting birdies on holes No. 5, 6 and 8 to go to 1-under through the front nine. He had four more birdies on Nos. 11, 14, 17 and 18.
Preston was unaware that he led the field with three holes left to play.
“I told no one to tell me,” he said.
LCA Coach Eric Geldhof, who’s coached the program to all three of its team state titles, was “just so proud” to see an Eagle take the individual crown for the first time.
“To do what he did coming down the stretch is unbelievable,” Geldhof said. “He’s so coachable, too. He really is. We can’t be more proud.”
Some LCA golfers last week thought they would fare better at Bowling Green Country Club than at Kearney Hill Golf Links because the course would play to their driving ability. The Eagles took state preparation to heart and entered with a playbook for each hole.
“We planned very well,” Geldhof said. “Every one of them had books and we planned it all out. So if they had a bad hole, they could just switch the page and be able to tackle the next hole.”
Madison Central, which defeated LCA by one stroke for the 9th Region team title, finished eighth as a team. Franklin County’s Will Harnice was ninth overall as an individual with a 1-over 145.
Lafayette sophomore Henry Lane shot a 3-over 147 to finish in a tie for 11th place while Dunbar’s Ethan Hill tied for 39th overall with a 10-over 77.
Leachman Buick-GMC-Cadillac/KHSAA Boys’ State Golf Championship
Teams—1. Lexington Christian 584, 2. St. Xavier 587, t3. Trinity 590, t3. Taylor County 590, 5. Franklin-Simpson 620, 6. Ryle 622, 7. Covington Catholic 624, 8. Madison Central 625, 9. Campbellsville 638, 10. Daviess County 646, 11. Grant County 648, 12. McCracken County 650, 13. Owensboro Catholic 651
Top individuals—1. Jansen Preston, Lexington Christian, 137; 2. Cullan Brown, Lyon County, 140; 3. C.M. Mixon, South Warren, 141; t4. Drew Doyle, St. Xavier, 142; t4. Jackson LaLonde, Lexington Christian, 142; 6. Cooper Parks, Taylor County, 143; t7. JM Butler, Trinity, 144; t7. Campbell Kremer, St. Xavier, 144; 9. Will Harnice, Franklin County, 145; 10. Hudson Hummel, Trinity, 146
147—Ryan Clements, Ryle; Jay Nimmo, Marshall County; Dalton Bagwell, McCracken County; Henry Lane, Lafayette
148—Alex Doss, Campbellsville
149—Brandon Fykes, Franklin-Simpson; Evan Bone, Trinity; Luke Coyle, Taylor County; Hayden Riney, Owensboro Catholic
150—Justin Gabbard, Highlands; Jay Kirchdorfer, St. Xavier; Collier Curd, Bowling Green; Tyler Crafton, Madison Central
151—Daniel Love, Daviess County; Patrick Kennedy, Covington Catholic; Andrew Sullivan, St. Xavier; Frankie Morgan, Trinity; Luke Fuller, Montgomery County; Jon Kiser, Montgomery County
152—Blake Evans, Morgan County; Tanner Parks, Taylor County; Cayden Pope, Lexington Christian; Will Gibson, Boyle County; Clay Barnett, Taylor County
153—Zach Miller, Madison Central; Tim Alexander, Ryle; John Buchanan, Christian County; Jason Iler, Lexington Christian
154—Nolan Schrand, Covington Holy Cross; Trey Lewis, Ohio County; Ethan Hill, Paul Laurence Dunbar; Allan Lockwood, Central Hardin; Tyler Chandler, Covington Catholic
155—Layton Hord, Campbellsville; Logan Peterson, Taylor County; Clay Spears, Franklin-Simpson
156—Logan Liles, Lewis County; Alex Gilbert, Franklin-Simpson; Christopher Salamah, Daviess County; Coleton Burch, Ballard; Jackson Hill, Madisonville
158—Owen Stamper, Allen County-Scottsville; Kyle West, Grant County
159—Blake Maupin, Madison Central; Ryan Mitts, Grant County
160—Lincoln Herbst, Ryle; Tyler Mitts, Grant County; Riley Davison, Trinity; Chase Wilson, Franklin-Simpson; Clayton Trumbo, McCracken County; Josh Struck, Covington Catholic
161—Jakob Wellman, Owensboro Catholic; Andrew Hinkelbein, St. Xavier
162—Paul Thelen, Covington Catholic; Ben Pieper, Covington Catholic; Connor Kirkham, McCracken County; John Hayden, Owensboro Catholic
163—Justin Paoletti, Ryle; Connor Wilson, Campbellsville
164—Alexander Bassel, Lexington Christian
165—Jesse Holten, Daviess County
168—Dalton Fiveash, Franklin-Simpson; Chris Korteski, Madison Central; Jake Tarvin, Ryle
169—Cameron Travis, Madison Central
171—Michael Frost, Grant County
172—Myles Murrell, Campbellsville
174—Nick Johnson, Daviess County
181—Lucas Allnutt, Grant County; Garrett Rikel, McCracken County
182—Griffin Payne, Owensboro Catholic
188—Kameron Smith, Campbellsville
189—Brady Huckleberry, Daviess County
190—J.T. Payne, Owensboro Catholic
196—Gavin Norsworthy, McCracken County