Apollo sophomore Macey Brown and Owensboro Catholic senior Emma Payne both made it through to the final round of the girls’ golf state tournament for the second year in a row with their performances Tuesday.
Brown tied for 11th place with her 78 (6 over par) and is only three shots back from a tie for fourth place. Payne tied for 68th place with an 88, making the cut by one stroke. Both have tee times early Wednesday morning.
Daviess County’s Holly Holton and Addison Heady also competed in Tuesday’s opening round at Bowling Green Country Club, but they did not make the cut.
Brown — who started on hole No. 10 — had to shake a slow start after recording a bogey on each of her first four holes. She birdied hole No. 14 and 16 before another bogey on 17.
“Macey was timid, trying not to make big mistakes,” said Apollo coach Jarrod Carter. “She never hit a solid iron shot until 14. After her fourth bogey, I told her we need to go one-under on holes 14-18. She started striking the ball with more confidence.”
Brown added one more birdie on her second nine, and she saved two pars with putts that were more than 10 feet long.
“My putting was solid today,” Brown said. “I made a few long ones for birdie that saved me. My driver was also pretty good today. I had difficulty getting close on my chips.”
Carter said he’s got higher expectations for Brown this time around after she advanced a season ago.
“I told her this morning just advancing to the second round wasn’t good enough this year,” Carter said. “We want a top-15 finish, maybe a top-10. I needed her to know just advancing was last year’s goal, and we wanted more from this year.”
After still finishing high on the leaderboard despite a rough round, Carter said he and Brown feel like there’s an opportunity to finish strong.
“We both felt we left a few strokes on the course,” he said. “Tomorrow, our expectation will be to certainly improve from today’s score. We felt like low 70s was achievable today but the slow start took us into a different direction. Today ended up being about perseverance.”
Brown is happy to be playing on the last day of the season.
“I feel blessed to have played well enough to make it to the second day,” she said. “My goal is to play well and try to slide into the top 10.”
Payne finished with four pars, recording two on the front nine holes and two on the back.
“The only thing messing me up was my putts I could not get them to drop,” she said. “I’m glad I have another chance to hopefully play better tomorrow and finish my senior season on a good note. My goal for tomorrow is to really focus on my putting and really just have fun and enjoy my last round as a Lady Ace.”
Holton, a sophomore, shot 90 and made four pars, with two on each nine. Heady, also a sophomore, finished with a 95 that included three pars on the back nine.