The 2021 KHSAA boys golf season got underway in stirring fashion on Friday afternoon.
Host Daviess County posted a 10-stroke victory over ever-improving Ohio County and Madisonville-North Hopkins’ Jackson Hill edged Owensboro Catholic’s Jakob Wellman in a one-hole playoff for the individual title at Ben Hawes Golf Course.
The Panthers, led by freshman Grant Broughton’s even-par 71, finished at 312. Others scoring for DC were Dawson Lamb (79), Gabe Vincent (79) and Braden Whistle (83).
“It’s a good way for us to start the season,” Daviess County coach Lars King said. “Some of our guys started out rough but were able to hold it together, and Grant was out there in position to win the golf tournament.
“We just need to stay together as a team and continue to finish strong. If we continue to play for each other and put the team first, good things are going to happen for us.”
Individually, Hill and Wellman — both battle-tested seniors — finished at 1-under par 70, before Hill birdied the first playoff hole (No. 1) to secure the victory.
“I played the playoff hole pretty well — it was a good way to finish the day and a good way to start the season,” Hill said. “It definitely gives you some confidence and momentum to start the season this way, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the fall.”
Wellman, too, was pleased with his performance.
“It was a good day,” Wellman said. “I’m fine with getting beat in a playoff when I didn’t give it away — sometimes those things go your way, sometimes they don’t.
“I made some good putts coming in to be able to get into the playoff — I’m really looking forward to rest of the season.”
Broughton, meanwhile, was 2-under through 10 holes.
“One the front side I did a good job of chipping and putting, did a good job of scrambling,” Broughton said. “My ball-striking was better on the back side and I was able to make five straight pars coming in.”
Ohio County put three players in the 70s to finish at 322. Leading the way for the Eagles were Seth Moore (77), Matthew Brown (78) and Jacob Blackburn (79). Also scoring was Kellen Raymond (88).
Owensboro got a strong performance from Will Hume (76) and finished at 357.
Others scoring for the Red Devils were Will Rickard (89), Cole Crews (96) and Ryland Chaney (96).
In addition to Wellman’s performance, Owensboro Catholic (362) got scoring from Houston Danzer (87), Hayden Crabtree (102) and Luke Estes (103).
Max Gray shot an 89 to lead the way for Hancock County (383), which also got scoring from May Gray (89), Dec Lewco (92) and Mason Tuell (107).
McLean County got an outstanding performance from Harrison Sallee, who shot a 74.
The upstart Cougars also featured Evan Ward (106), HB Whitaker (108) and Alex Stratton (127).
Heath Embry shot a 93 to pace Muhlenberg County (477). Others scoring for the Mustangs were Dawson Hambrick (121), Wes Jarvis (123) and Cameron Hambrick (140).
Daviess County Red (434) featured Hayden Sapp (93), Hunter Webb (103), Bransen Berry (114) and Preston Hartz.
Apollo was represented by Trevor Cecil (92) and, among players competing unattached to a team, Jax Malone had the top score with a 78.