With any luck West Jessamine boys’ golf’s dominating performance at The Preview on Monday afternoon will indeed be a preview of the Colts season this fall.
Pitted against 11 other top schools from across the state, West Jessamine held its own Champion Trace in Nicholasville.
“I thought we played exceptionally well,” West Jessamine boys’ golf coach Adam Young said.
Shortly after 2 p.m. as groups began to finish their round and scores started to trickle in, the course’s difficulty was the major topic.
Most early scores were in the 80s before John Cornelison of Madison Central broke through with a 78.
His time atop the leader board didn’t last more than a few minutes as Ben Streepy (Lexington Catholic) carded a 3-under-par 69 and took the breath out of the competition.
Despite Streepy’s 69, Catholic wasn’t in contention as a team.
As team scores began to be finalized, Ryle jumped out ahead of the pack with a 319. Several minutes later, the orange clad Raiders were bested by Covington Catholic’s 318.
Throughout the day, West golfers were paired with golfers from St. Mary (Paducah) and St. Xavier (Louisville).
“We’re pretty much going to play in that pairing all year long,” Young said of West being matched up with St. Mary and St. X. “We like playing with better teams and that featured pairing and that’s what we thrive on.”
Those groups were the last to finish on the links and set up a nail-biting finish on the scorecards.
Travis Rose was the first to report and he came in 1-under-par at 71.
“Travis has played so consistant and has rose to every occasion,” Young said. “He committed to Eastern Kentucky University last week so that’s taken some pressure off.”
“I played well ... I kept grinding away and made good putts and made it out with a decent score so I’ll take it,” Rose said. “We know most of the breaks (on this course_ and know where to hit the ball.”
Not long after, Conner Haas carded an even-par 72.
“I got off to a bad start by bogeying the first two holes, but found away to get some birdies on the way in,” Haas said.
And Byron Speach’s 72 began the writing on the wall for West’s win. Most schools had one or two players in the 80s — the Colts had three players at 72 or less.
“I was really proud of Byron today, he had a little hiccup on 15 but kept the round going and kept it together,” Young said.
“I played pretty well and didn’t make any stupid mistakes like I normally do,” Speach said. “I made putts that I had to make and other than that bad decision on 15, I played well.”
Speach said he simply made the wrong club choice on the 15th hole, but rebounded with a big birdie on 17 to get back in contention.
Fred Allen Meyer shot a 73 to keep West’s scores at by far the best and by the time Landon Adkins’ 89 was posed West had secured a decisive win.
West Jessamine finished with a team score of 288, St. Xavier was second with 306 and St. Mary was third at 312.
Rose’s 71 held on and gave him second place. Haas beat Speach in a scorecard tie breaker — fewest bogeys.
“They play here everyday, so it’s essentially about as good a home course advantage as you can get,” Young said.
“It feels really good (to get some wins right away). Last year, we got off to a kind of slow start and got really hot in the middle. We’re hoping there’s no lull this year.”
The win was West’s second in three days as the Colts won the inaugural Five-Star General Lafayette Invitational at Gay Brewer, Jr. Golf Course at Picadome on Friday.
Rose placed second in that tournament as well with a 5-under-par 67. Meyer tied for fifth at 70.
St Xavier took second on Friday as well.