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The Anderson County boys' golf team ends the regular season this week and will be shooting for a state tournament berth Tuesday in the regional tournament, set for Maywood Golf Course in Bardstown.
The top two teams and top three individuals not on those teams will advance to the state tournament in Bowling Green the first week of October.
Anderson has not advanced as a team for 15 years, but coach Will Carlton says, “We have a decent shot.”
A year ago, Anderson just missed as a team, with the difference being about one stroke from each golfer. This year, however, Carlton says the team's depth has not been consistent enough to be considered one of the favorites.
“Our problem is that we have no room for error,” Carlton said. “The top three or four teams in the region have five guys that can post a score of 80 or better. We only have three. Last year, we had five so one guy could play bad and we would still be right there.”
Carlton says his three all-conference performers, Joseph White, Jacob Flora and Marcus Lake, will all need to put up big rounds with a fourth golfer having a strong showing.
“I’m telling Marcus, Jacob and Joseph that they have to shoot in the 70’s period,” Carlton says. “They are not allowed to have a bad round ever. And so far, they haven’t. They have all played very consistent. We’re averaging about fifth place in our tournaments and we have never taken better than an 87 for our fourth score. That's remarkable.”
All season long, Carlton has been banking on Dylan Riley to be the one that will put the Bearcats in the state tourney. He hasn't changed his tune.
“Of all the guys I have tried in the four hole, Dylan is the only one that has proved he can put up a low number. He has gotten a little better all season and is striking the ball really well right now. If he can figure out how to forget about the bad shots or holes and focus one one hole at a time, he’ll be fine.”
The Anderson team has played the Maywood course and Carlton says, “Maywood is not particularly tough. We played well in our practice round there last month. Just asking around, I get the impression from other coaches that they don’t see us a top three team in the region. I feel like we have a shot and I would love to stick it to a few teams next Tuesday.
“Until we get a fourth score around 80, we’ll stay in that groupo of teams on the outside looking in.”
Anderson fifth in Marion tournament
Anderson County placed fifth in the Marion County Invitational Tournament, held Saturday at Rosewood Golf Course in Lebanon.
“We played pretty well at Marion County’s tourney,” Carlton said. “The course played tough because it was cold and wet in the morning. We started slow and finished strong. We came in fifth and more importantly, beat every region team except Boyle County and that was with us having to take an 89.”
White led Anderson with a 76, the fourth best individual score on the day.
Last Wednesday, on the same Rosewood course, White equaled a school record with a nine-hole score of 33 in a quad match with regional favorite Boyle County, Marion, and Garrard County.
“Joseph absolutely lit it up,” Carlton said. “He played in a group with Grant Blevins from Boyle and Tommy Carrico from Marion, both of whom are expected to compete for medalist in our region. Joseph beat them both”
E-mail John Herndon at firstname.lastname@example.org.