After more than an hour of fog delay, Lexington Christian’s path to its second straight girls’ team golf state title seemed clear. It should have been easy enough as the Eagles had a 20-shot lead when play finally began.
But Bowling Green Country Club played significantly harder on day two of the Leachman Buick GMC Cadillac/KHSAA Girls State Championship on Wednesday.
The Eagles’ anchor and defending state individual champ Laney Frye struggled with her round. Tied atop the leaderboard at 3-under after day one, Frye ground out an 8-over par Wednesday to finish 69-80-149 and runner-up behind Boyd County’s Olivia Hensley.
“I made a couple of putts and made a couple of bad shots and didn’t do as well as I hoped, but I’m really glad that the team pulled through and we were able to be back-to-back champs,” said Frye, a senior who will continue her playing career at the University of Kentucky.
Frye and Hensley were the only players under par on Tuesday. On Wednesday, no one made it into red figures.
“I think yesterday probably played tougher because of the wind,” said LCA Coach B Frye, who struggled to explain Wednesday’s higher scores. “Some of the holes played longer, but I don’t have an answer for that.”
Hensley, going off on a much earlier tee time than Frye in order to play more closely with her team, shot a 2-under 69-73-142 marked by birdie rallies on the back nine each day. She notched four of her five opening-day birdies on the back and recovered from a double bogey on the first hole Wednesday with three birdies and two bogeys on the back amid 12 pars. It was the second girls’ title for Boyd County and third overall. Their other girls’ champ was Samantha Hinchman in 1985.
“It was kind of frustrating wanting to look at the leaderboard, but not wanting to because I didn’t know what kind of state it would put me in,” said Frye. While disappointed with second, Frye has known and been playing friends with Hensley for years and they have the same swing coach. “I was really happy that she won.”
Frye’s Eagles teammates did more than enough to capture their second crown with a combined score of 632, 28 strokes ahead of second-place South Warren.
The Eagles’ Delia Gibbs at +13 tied for 12th, individually, followed by Mary Keene Marrs at +16 (T20), Emily Sparks at +22 (T36), Sarah Harper at +30 (T61). Team golf counts the top four golfers for the accumulated score.
“I’m very happy for them and I’m sad it’s over, but we’ve got lots of great memories,” said Coach Frye, coaching his last season with the Eagles after five years leading his daughter’s team. “It couldn’t have happened to a better group of girls. They deserve it.”
Great Crossing’s Rylea Marcum (+11) and Madison Central’s Mattie Neeley (+12) finished seventh and tied for eighth, respectively, as the only other Central Kentucky players in the top 10.