It was clear going into Saturday that every other team was playing for second place in the girls’ state golf championship.
Sacred Heart romped to the team title, finishing with a 41-over 617 in the two-day event at Bowling Green Country Club to secure its 11th title. The Valkyries, who held a 23-stroke advantage going into the second round, won their second team title in a row and sixth in the last seven years.
Scott County ended the tournament with a 77-over 653, good for second place — its best finish ever in the state tournament. The Cardinals were nine strokes better than third-place Ryle.
Ryan Bender, a Sacred Heart senior who’s committed to the University of Kentucky, won the individual title with a 4-over 148. She bested Elizabethtown’s Sarah Hinton and Taylor Edlin, her teammate, by one stroke.
Madison Central’s MacKenzie Neal, the only central Kentucky golfer in the top 10, shot a 9-over 153 to finish in a tie for sixth place with Russell County’s Lizzie Loy.
Scott County was one of only two teams (Marshall County) to collectively shoot better in Saturday’s second round than in the first round on Friday. The Cardinals were 11 strokes better on day two (321 compared to 332 on Friday).
Rylea Marcum, a sophomore, led Scott County with a 12-over 156 (tied for 12th overall).
“We would’ve had to play really well and they would’ve had to play okay or so-so,” Scott County Coach Tommy Brummett said of potentially overtaking Sacred Heart. “I’m just happy with how they played today. … All five of ’em really had solid rounds; 321 was a great score for us.”
Tee times were moved up about an hour because of concerns about rain. Wet weather stayed away, but the course was gusty, Cards Coach Tommy Brummett said.
“That combined with them moving some tees back and stuff, making it a little longer, made the conditions tougher today. But my girls battled through it and had a good day.”
Lexington Christian was second in the team standings after round one. The Eagles finished fourth overall, tying Madison Central with a 91-over 667. Laney Frye, a sophomore who led LCA to a 9th Region title, had a team-best 13-over 157 to finish in a tie for 22nd.
Tori Cambron, who shot a 19-over 163, is the only graduating senior from this year’s Scott County roster. The Cardinals, as well as LCA, were among the youngest teams in the top 10.
“Losing Tori’s gonna hurt but we’ve got some girls coming up that are working hard so we should be, hopefully, competitive for the years to come,” Brummett said.