St. Xavier is favored to win its 19th state golf title, and Tigers senior Stephen Stallings will try to become the first repeat medalist in six years when the boys' Leachman/KHSAA State Tournament is played at Bowling Green Country Club this weekend.
Bad weather could be a factor. The forecast is fine for Friday's first round, but rain and temperatures in the 50s could make Saturday's final round more of a survival test.
West Jessamine and Madison Central might have the experience to give St. X a run for the team championship.
West Jessamine has finished in the top six the last three years, including fourth place in 2011.
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The Colts are led by Fred Allen Meyer, who was individual runner-up to Stallings last year.
The Colts' veterans also include senior Travis Rose, junior Byron Speach and sophomore Connor Haas.
Madison Central returns four golfers who helped the Indians to a sixth-place finish last year: seniors Dylan Kelley, Devin Gabbard and John Cornelison, and freshman Carter Skipworth.
"It'll be a tremendous challenge competing against St. X, but I think the experience we had last year will really help us," Madison Central Coach Tim Stephens said.
Lexington Catholic qualified for the state for the first time since 2006. The Knights are led by senior Matthew Mahle, who won the region.
Mahle tied for fifth in the state last year, and is expected to contend for medalist honors again this weekend.
Lexington Catholic will also be represented by seniors Ben Streepey and Drew Angus, junior Paul Mitchell and freshman Justin Baker.
Lexington Christian Academy, state champion in 2010 and 2011, didn't qualify as a team this year, but Eagles sophomore Gresham Wilson did.
Also qualifying for the state individually were Scott County junior Billy Tom Sargent and Tates Creek senior Chandler Morgan.