BURNSIDE - Last year, it took everything they had to win their first-ever regional crown. But on Monday at Burnside Island Golf Course, the Pulaski County High School girls golf team breezed to an easy win to cope back-to-back regional titles.
"We worked pretty hard this year," stated Pulaski County senior Macey Broughton. "We did a lot of strength training and other things to help our golf games. It was pretty exciting that we did something that has never been done before (at Pulaski), and we all got to be a part of it."
"We knew Rockcastle was going to be our toughest competition," Broughton added. "Then, we heard that their third girl was not playing today. We felt bad that she wasn't playing, but then we felt like we really had a chance."
The victorious Lady Maroons shot a score of 332, which was a whopping 52 strokes ahead of runner-up Rockcastle County's 384. Last year, Pulaski County and Rockcastle County tied after 18 holes of play with identical scores of 366. The Lady Maroons claimed their 2018 region crown on a sudden-death playoff hole with constant rain and darkness closing in.
"Last year we played all day in a monsoon, we were so wet, and then we had to go play in a playoff hole when it was dark outside," Anna New stated. "This year it was really hot."
It was all sunshine and smiles for the Lady Maroons on Monday, as their claimed their second straight regional gold trophy with ease. Lady Maroon sophomores Lauren Worley and Anna New - along with Rockcastle County's Autumn King - all shot identical low scores of 80. In a sudden death playoff, New was eliminated on the first hole and King claimed the region medalist victory on the third hole, as Worley finished as individual region runner-up. Just missing the playoff was junior Brooke Hopkins with a round of 81. Senior Macey Broughton shot a 91 and junior Hailey Halloran shot a 109.
"These girls continue to amaze me," Pulaski County High School girls golf coach Chris Adkins stated. "Sometimes in practices or weekday matches we sometimes struggle, but in the big matches these girls come out and compete. It has been a pleasure to take the ride along with them."
Pulaski County junior Brooke Hopkins explained that it was the team's camaraderie and their closeness that have made them successful over the past two seasons.
"I love these girls so much, they are like my family, and it is going to be sad when Macey (Broughton) leaves us next year," Hopkins said. "We have all worked really hard together, we have accomplished a lot together and we have come a long way."
Somerset High School's Abby Upchurch shot a 98 to qualify for state as an individual. Also for Somerset, Mary Beth Hawk shot a 112, Devan Neely shot a 113, Andrea Perry shot 129 and Ava Hunt shot 152.
For Southwestern, Destiny Turner shot 102, Ally Keith shot 115, Ansley Mounce shot 120 and Morgan Mounce shot 120.
The 2019 Leachman Buick·GMC·Cadillac/KHSAA State Golf Championships will be held Oct. 7-12 at the Bowling Green Country Club.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.