High School Sports

Boys' golf: Madison Central, LCA headed to state tourney

RICHMOND — For Madison Central and Lexington Christian Academy, it was a win-win, wet-dry Monday in the boys' 9th Region golf tournament at Gibson Bay.

Madison Central, playing on its home course, took the team title, and Indians' senior Kyle Congleton won a five-man playoff to take medalist honors.

"Considering the competition in this region, it's phenomenal to win," Madison Central Coach Tim Stephens said.

The Indians were led by Congleton and Dylan Kelley, who shot even-par 72s. Devan Gabbard had a 76 and Carter Skipworth a 78. John Cornelison's 82 didn't figure into the four-man team total of 298.

Defending state champion LCA had a 301 total, good enough for runner-up and a trip to next week's state tournament in Bowling Green.

Hager Collins and Chandler Fischer carded 73s to pace the Eagles. Scott Barnhart had a 76, Ethan Sprang a 79 and Will Handshoe an 85.

Qualifying for the state as individuals were Preston French of Henry Clay, Matthew Mahle of Lexington Catholic and Chandler Morgan of Tates Creek. They all shot 72s and were in the playoff with Congleton and Kelley.

LCA Coach Eric Geldhof said this year's second-place region finish in a way felt as much like a win as last year's region title.

"It's more satisfying because we kind of assumed bigger things last year when we won the state," he said.

Collins agreed.

"Last year, it was pretty automatic that we'd win the region, but we were underdogs this year. We had to prove ourselves as a team, and we did."

Geldhof credited a team effort.

"Our guys were great down the stretch. I think we were 3-under the last four holes. Everybody jumped in there and said, 'Let's go get it.' "

It was a long, tough day at Gibson Bay.

There was heavy rain through much of the morning. The first tee times were delayed 45 minutes, and players were brought off the course for 30 minutes at one point when several greens flooded.

But by late afternoon, the course was flooded with sunshine, although Congleton's face would have been lit up with a big smile anyway.

He won medalist honors on the first playoff hole by sticking a 90-yard sand wedge to within five feet and making the putt.

"Unbelievable, unbelievable," he said after accepting congratulations from his teammates, coaches, friends and family.

"I went to the state last year as an individual, but it's not the same without your team there. Going as a team is going to be awesome."

The state tournament will be next Tuesday and Wednesday at Bowling Green Country Club.