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Playing against one of the strongest fields assembled this golf season, the Henry County girls’ team shot a 356 and finished runners-up in the Bullitt East Tournament at the Tanglewood Golf Course on Saturday.
Ally Vaughn made the top-10 list on the leader board with a solid 85 for 18 holes, was named to the All-Tournament Team, and combined with her teammates to finish just three strokes behind Notre Dame‘s 353.
Most notably, the Ladycats were in front of Oldham County, Shelby County, Central Hardin, Assumption, Sacred Heart, Russell County, Ballard and Owen County — a team that defeated Henry in the North Central Kentucky Conference Championship a week before but lost by 23 strokes at this outing. There were 15 full teams that competed with Shelby coming in third at 364.
To go along with Vaughn, MacKenzie Peyton shot an 86, Samantha Woods a 92, Emily Hensley a 93, Taylor Stanley a 108 and MacKenzie Clifford a 112. Team scores are the lowest four golfers combined.
“We knew we could be in the top five, but really we just went there and played really well,” HCHS coach Kathy Peyton said. “We were really excited about some of the teams we were able to beat. Coming in, we thought we had a shot at it. It would have been wonderful if we could have won it but we were thrilled to get second.”
The Ladycats are coming off their best season on record in 2008 and, based on the early-season matches and tournaments, could surpass last year’s results. The school record for an 18-hole tournament was set last year at 334. They finished third at the region tournament with the top-two advancing to state.
While the Cats shot well against a strong field, they know they could have finished with a lower score on the up-and-down course that had some blind spots. Peyton said Woods was not satisfied with her individual score, Vaughn took a two-stroke penalty when she lost one of her balls teeing off and Peyton took an eight on one hole. One strong point was the play from Hensley, who is Henry’s fourth golfer and has been trying to average in the 40s for nine holes this season. She finished at 46-47 for 18.
“Each one of the golfers could look back and think ‘what if I hadn’t done that’ afterwards,” Peyton said. “But overall, it was a good day for us. If we can knock just a few strokes off, we’ll be right where we need to be when region gets here.”
Before the Bullitt East Tournament, the Ladycats traveled to Oldham County last Tuesday to play against all three Oldham schools — Oldham, South and North — then hosted Sacred Heart at the Henry County County Club on Wednesday.
At the Oldham County Country Club, the host school shot a 175, Henry was just two strokes back at 177, North Oldham shot a 225 and South Oldham shot a 257. Individually, Woods finished at 41 for nine holes, Peyton at 42, Vaughn at 44, Hensley at 50, Stanley at 57 and Clifford at 62. The score was just five strokes off the school record of 172 set last fall.
“All of them felt like they could have done better on a course that was in great shape, but I thought we played pretty good,” Peyton said. “We wanted to beat Oldham that day but it didn’t happen. We’re so evenly matched with them this year.”
The following day, the Ladycats were back on the greens when they hosted Sacred Heart, shooting another 177 and coming away with big win over a team that finished at 197. Peyton finished at 41 for nine holes, Vaughn at 42, Woods at 45, Henlsey at 49, Stanley at 58 and Clifford at 68.
Sacred Heart was without its top two golfers but, even if they would have played, it would have been hard to make up the 20-stroke difference.
“I was pleased with that,” Peyton said. “If they would have had their top two golfers it would have been a much closer match but I’m not sure how much closer. We had four girls in the 40s, and that’s what we need to do. They all have the potential to get in the 40s, stay in the 40s, and drop down to the high 30s. They’re working really hard right now.”
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