For the first time in school history, the West Jessamine boys’ golf team is the state champion. The Colts held at even par on the second day of the tournament as other teams struggled and fell victim to the difficult Bowling Green County Club golf course Friday and Saturday.
Not only did West claim the team title, but junior Fred Allen Meyer won the individual title in a playoff.
“We did this as a team,” West coach Adam Young said. “A lot of golf teams thrive off one player ... but tournament in and tournament out, we have had different people lead us, and it was a team effort, and that’s what I’m most proud of.
“I think we play better team golf than anyone out there,” Young said. “These kids don’t worry about winning tournaments or titles as individuals — they want to win team titles.
“They were just elated that we were able to pull it off and in the fashion that we did it — it speaks volumes about the kinds of kids we have.”
Entering the second day of the tournament, West Jessamine was in second place; however, 18-time state champion Saint Xavier held a 12 stroke lead over the Colts.
West shot a combined 305 (17-over-par) in the first round, and Saint X carded a 293 (5-over-par). The team cut was 326.
“They felt like they hadn’t played their best and was just hoping that we weren’t too far back” Young said. “We talked a lot and we realized that it wasn’t that far out of the realm to come back because we hadn’t played our best yet and we figured that we were all due.”
Meyer was 1-under-par in his first round on Friday. He shot a 71 and converted an eagle on the 14th hole to help his cause.
Needing to make up 12 strokes in round two did not look to be an easy task.
St. Mary’s entered day two just three strokes behind West but soon fell off with a rough front nine by several of its players.
With the Vikings falling out of contention, it turned into a duel between West and Saint Xavier.
For West to have a chance, it had to drastically improve some of its scores from Friday, hope for Saint X to stumble and simply hold on.
Byron Speach and Connor Haas, who struggled on day one, turned their games around on day two.
Speach went from an 11-over-par 83 to a 1-under-par 71. In the front nine Saturday, he picked up two birdies and on the back he overcame four bogeys to improve his score by 12 strokes. He tied for 17th overall with a 154.
“I can’t say enough about how far Byron has come over the last two or three years,” Young said. “It’s a credit to him. He works hard, and his attitude it great. He told me before he started that he was going to get the job done.”
Speach was able to sink some birdies early to help fuel the team.
Haas was 7-over-par on day one and was even on day two. He sank birdies on the 11th and 18th to stay even. Haas tied for ninth with a 151.
“This round was kind of vindication for him,” Young said.
West began to rally around the sixth hole and really started to close in on Saint X on the 11th hole.
Speach chipped in a birdie on the 11th hole, and Haas followed up with a birdie of his own to cut the Tigers’ lead down to five strokes.