HOPKINSVILLE — Ever so close a year ago, Apollo High School junior Macey Brown left nothing to chance this time around.
Brown carded a rock-solid 4-over par 75 on Tuesday to handily win the individual championship at the Girls’ 2nd Region Golf Tournament conducted at Hopkinsville Golf & Country Club.
Brown was four shots clear of runner-up Kaitlyn Zieba, who helped Madisonville-North Hopkins win its second consecutive team title.
“After coming so close last year, it really feels great to win,” said Brown, who finished a stroke behind champion Emma Payne of Owensboro Catholic in last year’s event. “I felt like a played pretty well, with only one three-putt on the day.
“I hit some good approach shots that gave me the opportunity to score pretty well.
“I felt the pressure in the sense that I knew I had a chance to win the region, but I just tried to play my game and take it one shot at a time — it worked out pretty well for me.”
Brown will be making her third trip to the state tournament.
Three area players will join Brown at state — Owensboro seventh-grader Alexa Salamah (85), Daviess County junior Holly Holton (88), and Apollo freshman Mary Ann Lyons (88).
Salamah was good on the greens.
“My putting was pretty good,” she said. “I made a bunch of saves for par, and one birdie. The greens were fast and hilly, so I was glad I was able to putt it so well.
“I really just tried to stay focused on every shot and move on to the next one no matter the result. I believe that approach served me well in this tournament.”
Holton and Lyons, meanwhile, survived a sudden-death playoff for the final two state-qualifying spots that also included University Heights Academy’s Conlee Linsdey. On the Par 4 No. 1 hole, Holton made par, Lyons made bogey, and Conley had a double-bogey.
“The adrenaline was flowing up on that first tee and it felt like I had noodle arms,” Holton said. “I was first to tee off, so that added a little pressure, but I was fortunate to hit my best tee shot of the day and things worked out for me after that.”
Lyons also felt the pressure of the moment.
“I was very, very nervous,” Lyons said. “I hit a pretty good drive and I just did my best after that — fortunately, it was enough.”
“It means everything to me because my two older sisters (Emily Lyons and Lindsey Lyons) also made it to state.”
Other individual state qualifiers included Hopkinsvsille’s Kate Blane (80), UHA’s Rhaegan Lindsey 84), and Hopkinsville’s Anna Fort (86).
The Lady Maroons qualified their team for the state tournament with a winning score of 344.
Daviess County was runner-up at 360. In addition to Holton’s 88, scoring came from Hadleigh Hunter (89), Emilee Clark (92), and Addison Heady (91).
Muhlenberg County and Ohio County finished with identical scores of 399.
The Lady Mustangs featured Tanner Robards (89), Caroline Hope (93), Whitlee Stovall (108), and Karsyn Grundy (109), and the Lady Eagles’ scoring came from Elli Graves (94), Kursten Chinn (100), Mary Beth Conway (102), and Jocelynn Magan (103).
In addition to Brown’s 75 and Lyons’ 88, Apollo (411) got scoring from Addison Carter (121) and Peyton Rust (127).
Scoring for Owensboro Catholic (428) were Abby Bahnick (89), RC Porter (112), Lainey Ann Osborne (113), and Conleigh Osborne (114).
In addition to Salamah’s 85, scorers for Owensboro (461) were Phoenix Barnett (116), Caroline Henderson (118), and Jasmine Tong (142).
• On Tuesday morning, the final two boys’ qualifying spots for the state tournament as Muhlenberg County’s James Soderling and Webster County’s Grant Turner survived a three-way playoff that included Owensboro Catholic’s Reece Higdon. Darkness prevented the playoff from being contested on Monday evening.