They ended the summer golf season on a high note, and now Brianna Cornett and Caroline McDonald are hoping that carries over into the high school season.
The two Boyle County golfers recently won player of the year honors in their age division on the Musselman-Dunne junior golf tour, and they are going into this season confident they can help get the Rebels to the state tournament as a team.
“It was the result of hard work, and I was really surprised I had done that well because I’ve had my ups and downs in tournaments,” said Cornett, a senior who won the girls 16-18 division title. “I was surprised I pulled myself together and played as well as I have.”
McDonald, a sophomore who won the girls 14-15 division, was glad the extra time she had put in working on her overall game was starting to show results.
“The Musselman-Dunne Tour gave me confidence and it shows what can happen if you work hard,” McDonald said. “I thought this offseason that it’s time for the hard work to pay off, and that’s what I’m looking for this season.”
Boyle coach Sandy Waters said all the hard work the two girls have put into their games is reflected in the success they had over the summer.
“Both girls had very good (summer) seasons. They have just improved on their game,” Waters said. “I knew they were working hard, but it’s always something likes this that’s a great affirmation of all that hard work.”
Cornett played eight events this summer on the Musselman-Dunne Tour, and said her play got better as the summer progressed.
“I started out earlier this summer and my scores were not very good, then I had two more events after that. At Tates Creek I was second, and then I played The Bull (in Richmond) and shot a 93, which was the beginning of my scores getting better,” Cornett said. “And then I went to Rosewood in London and shot 87.”
She shot a 96-98—194 at the tour championship at Big Spring Country Club in Louisville and was five shots behind the winner. But her finished helped her win player of the year honors as the leading scorer in her division.
Cornett said there was not one particular moment where things seemed to change for her. It was just more of a gradual thing where all part of her game started to come together.
“Just repetition and getting out and becoming more and more confident and remembering all the things I had done in the past and learning from my mistakes,” she said. “My putting and my short game really improved over the summer, which I’m happy with.”
Cornett credits her coaches for keeping her positive when her game wasn’t faring so well.
“It was tough the first couple of years, but I’ve grown as a person and a player and the coaches are just great in keeping you confident in yourself and in your game and keeping you motivated,” she said.
Cornett has been playing golf since her seventh grade year, and she’s hoping her final year ends with her teeing off in Bowling Green in October in the state tourney.
“Hopefully I’ll be finishing my senior year with a trip to state. We’re hoping with whoever ends up on the varsity team, we can make it as a team instead of individuals,” she said.
McDonald played in 10 events this summer, and won the tour championship at Big Spring by two shots, posting a two-day score of 83-79—162 to defeat Meg Mills of Lexington.
It was the end to a sensational summer by McDonald.
“I shot in the 70s a few times, and my main goals were to win the tour championship and be player of the year,” she said. “Me and my dad (Coby) worked really hard on my game and Bruce Brown worked hard on it.”
Her father got her into golf when she was in the sixth grade, and McDonald started playing on the varsity squad in the seventh grade. McDonald said she continues to strive for improvement, and credits (Centre College coach) Brown for really helping have her game round into form.
McDonald never shot worse than 88, and shot in the 70s three times this summer and posted four tournament wins.
“I think the whole purpose of the Musselman-Dunne Tour is to get ready and confident for the high school golf season,” she said. “It made me feel better having a place on the varsity squad and being part of this family and hopefully competing at state this year.”
A trip to state for the Rebels could hinge on McDonald, who said the main changes she has made were in her short game.
“I’ve been going out in practice and focusing on what I need to do. I chip one day, then putt one day. Then I mix it up and just go out and hit balls,” she said. “Chipping and putting have been my main struggles over the years, and it shows that hard work is paying off.
“My main goal for 18 holes is 33 putts or less. My dad keeps track of my putts, and I have had a few with more than 33 I have to work on, the longer or shorter puts I’ve missed.”
Now McDonald is ready to see if she can keep up her hot play when the Rebels tee off for the high school season and sustain it all the way to state. She shot a 91 at last year’s regional and failed to qualify for the state tourney, but this season she is planning on going to Bowling Green Country Club the first week of October and having her teammates along with her.
“Both individually and as a team, our goal is going to state and that would be a great accomplishment,” she said. “Every girl on this team, that is their main goal, and we have worked hard for it this year and really deserve it.”
Area High School Golf Schedules
4 — at Taylor County Invitational; 6 — at Shelby County Invitational; 7 — EAST¿JESSAMINE: 14 — at Lincoln County; 16 — CASEY¿COUNTY; 18 — at Madison Central; 21 — at Garrard County; 25 — at George Rogers Clark Invitational at Kearney Hill.
6 — DANVILLE; 8 — at PRP Invitational; 15 — at Danville Invitational.
7 — All ‘A’ Regional at Danville County Club, 3 p.m.; 8 — at Paris.
3 — PARIS; 4 — at Berea; 11 — at Berea.
30 — at West Jessamine Invitational; 31 — at North Laurel Invitational.
2 — at Bath County Invitational; 4 — at Estill County Invitational; 6 — at Shelby County Invitational; 7 — All ‘A’ Regional at Danville County Club; 9 — GARRARD¿COUNTY, MARION COUNTY; 11 — at Warren East Invitational; 16 — at East Jessamine; 18 — at Tates Creek Invitational; 25 — Cardinal Classic at Kearney Hill; 28 — ROCKCASTLE¿COUNTY; 30 — WEST¿JESSAMINE.
4 — at Lincoln County; 6 — BOYLE¿COUNTY; 11 — at Casey County; 13 — Kentucky Bluegrass Conference at Dix River; 15 — DANVILLE¿INVITATIONAL.
7 — GARRARD¿COUNTY, 4:30 p.m.; 14 — EAST¿JESSAMINE, 5 p.m.; 16 — at Boyle County, 4:30 p.m.; 18 — at Dix River Invitational; 21 — RUSSELL¿COUNTY, 4:30 p.m.; 23 — at Lincoln County, 4:30 p.m.; 28 — at East Jessamine, 5 p.m.
4 — ADAIR¿COUNTY, 4:30 p.m.; 10 — at Rockcastle County, 5 p.m.; 15 — at Danville Invitational; 20 — at Adair County, 5 p.m.