Daviess County, Owensboro Catholic and Apollo finished second through fourth at last year’s 2nd Region tournament, and with Madisonville-North Hopkins graduating its top golfer, it could be time for an area team to take the crown.
Three standout sophomores from a year ago are back as juniors as Macey Brown (Apollo), Holly Holton (Daviess County) and Addison Heady (Daviess County) will try to get back in the top 10 at the regional tournament.
Brown finished second at the 2nd Region tournament as a sophomore, and coach Jarrod Carter will be looking for her to continue to lead the E-gals in 2020.
“We will have a varsity team with some returning experience,” Carter said. “Junior Macey Brown will be a regional frontrunner. She placed second in the region last year and had a decent showing at state. We are hoping to get some tournament wins this year for her as an individual. I think she’s ready to break out.”
Carter said freshman Mary Ann Lyons could be the No. 2 golfer for Apollo as she’s progressed a lot during the summer and has shown her potential.
Addison Carter and Peyton Rust are two more golfers that’ll be in the starting lineup in addition to two younger players that are new to the sport.
“I want our team to focus on improving,” Carter said. “That’s a victory in my book. I like to see each player get better and play their best at the end of the season.”
Daviess County Lady Panthers coach Logan Clark has a lot to look forward to this season as he returns two top-10 finishers from last year’s region tournament, plus a big junior class.
“I have a very positive outlook to this season,” he said. “We have our entire team returning from last year, along with a couple of talented newcomers. We are coming off of a second-place finish in the region and we’re looking to build even more off of that going into this season.”
Clark will also have some younger players in the mix, including two new players.
“We had a lot of success last season but we’re looking to grow from our experiences last year and make this season an even bigger success,” he said. “We just have to focus more in the moments that count and continue to put in the hard work and the success will come. This is a great group that wants to win, but more importantly enjoys and loves the game of golf.”
The Owensboro Lady Red Devils return five players from last year’s squad, but coach Kip Walters said it’ll be a learning experience for some of his team.
“We are still a very young team with minimal experience playing in big matches,” he said. “All of our players are in either their first or second year with the team, so we are needing more experience. But, we have some young players who are showing potential. We want to take this year to continue to get that experience and understand what it takes to compete at the highest level.”
Walters returns Ellie Watson, Phoenix Barnett, Kaylei Moore, Caroline Henderson and Jasmine Tong this season, but will welcome six new players to the roster as well.
Seventh-grader Alexa Salamah is in her first varsity season and is coming off of a tour title in the GO Junior Series.
Wells said his team has several things it can do going forward this year.
“Being that we lack experience, we have lots of things to improve on,” he said. “We need to spend lots of time talking and working on our short game. I think we can cut several strokes just by doing a much better job of chipping and putting.”
Owensboro Catholic finished third in the region tournament last season, but they lost region medalist Emma Payne to graduation.
Coach Stacey Johnson said with three returning players, she is looking forward to the season.
“We are just trying to focus on improving and fine-tuning our skills this year,” she said.
Abby Bahnick, Conleigh Osborne and RC Porter are all returning for the Lady Aces.
Johnson said with a few inexperienced players, preparing for the future will be key.
“We will be working on getting more experience for my younger players,” she said. “Hopefully we will make it through a whole season this year and we get to play in some tournaments.”