Billy Tom Sargent of Scott County won medalist honors in the 9th Region golf tournament at Kearney Hill Links on Monday, but he saved his celebrating for a teammate's clutch putt.
After Cooper Bergman rolled in a 12-foot eagle on the 18th hole to earn Scott County a team playoff victory over Henry Clay and Madison Central, and a trip to the state tournament as region runner-up, Sargent sprinted to Bergman, jumped on him, put him in a hammerlock and wrestled him to the ground.
"That was the greatest thing ever," Sargent said of Bergman's eagle "Cooper has practiced so hard all year. I knew he could do it.
"It's nice to go the state as an individual, but I'd much rather go with the team. It's wonderful."
Sargent played wonderful golf himself, firing a 3-under 69 to edge Jacob Cook of Franklin County and Zach Miller of Madison Central, who each carded 70.
Cook and Miller advance to next week's state tournament in Bowling Green, along with Harrison Clarke of Paul Laurence Dunbar. Clarke survived a playoff against Chris Saad of Sayre, Will Sallee of Lafayette and Blake Young of Lexington Christian for the last state qualifiying spot. They all shot 73s.
Clark County won the region title for the first time since 2001. The Cardinals had a team total of 306, led by Blake Cartwright (71) and Matthew Omohundro (75), followed by Hunter Rowe (79), Jacob Omohundro (81) and Jett Clarke (89).
"We knew we had the talent to play this good," Cartwright said. "It was just a matter of going out and doing it, and we did."
Kevin Pope, Clark County's second-year coach, brought his team to Kearney for three days of practice, "so we were comfortable with the course. I'm just glad to see these boys celebrate a little. Their hard work paid off."
Sargent, who will play college golf at WKU, had to fight off challenges by Cook and Miller to win his sixth tournament of the season.
Cook, a sophomore who was playing in the region for the fifth year in a row, almost holed a 129-yard gap wedge on the par-4 16th. He tapped in for birdie to get to 3-under and tie Sargent. But Cook hit his tee shot on the 17th into a hazard, took a drop and wound up with a bogey.
He missed a birdie putt on the 18th that would've tied Sargent.
"I'd like to have a couple of those bogeys back, but overall I played pretty solid," Cook said. "It was a good day."
Miller, an eighth-grader, had birdies at 14, 16 and 17, but missed a birdie try on 18 that would've put him at 3-under. He settled for his best competitive round ever.
Sargent, whose dad Billy coaches Scott County, made the turn 3-under. A double-bogey at the 10th slowed him down. Not for long, though. He got it going again with birdies at the 13th and 14th.
"He held his composure, came back with those birdies then brought it home pretty solid," Billy Sargent said of his son. "I'm real proud of him."
9th Region boys
At Kearney Hill Links
Team—Clark County 306, Scott County 309, Henry Clay 309, Madison Central 309, Franklin County 312, LCA 312, Lexington Catholic 314, Paul Dunbar 314, Woodford County 322, Western Hills 326, Lafayette 328, Sayre 340, Bryan Station 342, Tates Creek 345, Berea 356, Madison Southern 378, Model 384, Paris 399.
69—Billy Tom Sargent (Scott Co.). 70—Jacob Cook (Franklin Co.), Zach Miller (Madison Central). 71—Blake Cartwright (Clark Co.) 73—Harrison Clarke (Dunbar), Blake Young (LCA), Chris Saad (Sayre), Will Sallee (Lafayette). 74—Ryan Roark (Woodford). 75—Matthew Omohundro (Clark Co.), David Stevens (Henry Clay), Paul Mitchell (LexCath). 76—Chase Thornhill (LexCath), Carter Skipworth (Madison Central). 77—Tyler Hughes (Woodford), Burgess Clark (Madison Central), Tanner Wilson (LCA), Kevin Klein (Dunbar), Hans Stromberg (Henry Clay). 78—Tyler Pyles (Bryan Station), Will Molen (Franklin Co.), Andrew Polites (Henry Clay), Corey Damron (Scott Co.), Justin Baker (LexCath).
Music to her ears: Henry Clay's Leslie Ginter sings, swings her way to medalist honors and a team title in girls' regional. Page C4