High School Sports

Girls' high school golf: Henry Clay feeling no pressure heading to state

Henry Clay's girls go into this weekend's Leachman/KHSAA State Golf Championship looking to challenge the favorites at Bowling Green Country Club.

But Kevin Mims wouldn't mind it if his Blue Devils don't draw much attention going into the 36-hole tournament Friday and Saturday.

"We'd like to stay under the radar," he said. "Not a whole lot is expected out of us, so I told the girls to just go out, have fun and see what happens."

Two-time defending state champ Sacred Heart, led by junior star Maddie Hamilton, is the team to beat again.

Calloway County, led by defending individual champ Anna Hack, and Shelby County, which surprised Sacred Heart by a shot in the region, are considered strong contenders.

Even though Mims called his team "the odd person out" in the mix, Henry Clay has shown it's capable of competing with the best. The Devils shot a 309 in winning a tournament at Glasgow, and they also took the Kentucky Invitational Tournament.

Henry Clay was also impressive in winning the region at Danville Country Club, led by sophomore Leslie Ginter's 3-under par 70.

Ginter and three teammates — seniors Alison Miller and Meg Mills, and sophomore Sara Bidarian — are in the state tournament for the fourth year in a row. Junior Kie Purdom is the newcomer.

"All my girls are capable of shooting in the 70s and doing some good," Mims said. "I just tell them go out, take care of their own game and try to win the tournament as an individual. If they do that, the team will be good."

Hack, who shot 68-74—142 to take medalist honors last year, is expected to contend for a repeat. Her main challengers are expected to be Hamilton, who tied for third last year, Shelby County's Jordan Webb and West Jessamine senior Grace Rose, who tied for sixth last October.

Rose, who will play college golf at Kentucky, won the Bowling Green Invitational on this course last month. She won it in dramatic fashion, getting a hole-in-one on her last hole, then prevailing over Hack in a playoff.

Madison Central sophomore Tristyn Nowlin, Paul Laurence Dunbar junior Madison Saladin and Anderson County senior Kaitlyn Riley qualified for the state as individuals in the region competition.

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