Emma Talley of Caldwell County, Lydia Gumm of North Hardin and Emily Haas of West Jessamine figure to be the pace-setters in the Leachman/KHSAA Girls' State Golf Tournament at Bowling Green Country Club Tuesday and Wednesday.
Talley, a junior, missed the region competition last week because she was playing for the USA in the Junior Ryder Cup in Scotland.
The KHSAA gave her an exemption into the state tournament based on her credentials. Talley won the state title in 2008, and would have repeated as champ last year if she had not signed an incorrect scorecard. Talley placed third in the state in 2006 and 2007, and was fifth in 2005.
Gumm, a sophomore, is playing in the state for the eighth year in a row. She was state runner-up in 2008 and 2006, fourth last year, eighth in 2005 and 11th in 2007.
Last month Gumm shot a 61 to win the Kentucky Invitational Tournament for the fifth year in a row, and she fired a 68 to win the region by 12 shots.
Haas, a senior, was state runner-up last October. She also had top-15 finishes in the state the three years before that. She was a key member of West Jessamine's 2007 state title team and the 2008 runner-up squad.
Haas won five regular-season tournaments this summer and took the region for the third year in a row.
"I'll go to the state pretty confident," she said. "You just have to be prepared for what comes, like the weather. It's usually not great there."
Lady Colts Coach Jen Brown said she expects Haas, Talley and Gumm to battle it out, "and the way Emily's playing, she's got a really good chance of winning it all."
West Jessamine freshman Grace Rose could be in the hunt. too. Also playing for the region-champ Lady Colts will be Whitney Deaton, Hannah Wood and Catey Settle.
Henry Clay, which qualified for the state as region runner-up, will be represented by seniors Kelly Murner and Shelby Grant, freshmen Allison Leigeb and Allison Miller, and seventh-grader Leslie Ginter.
Abby Smith of Franklin County, Megan Kinney of Western Hills, Rachel Pingleton of Boyle County and Kaitlyn Riley of Anderson County qualified as individuals out of the 7th Region.
Sacred Heart is considered the favorite to take the state team title.