Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

June 11, 2014

Star power teeing it up

ASHLAND — Kentucky high school’s Mr. Golf award-winner of the past two seasons and two-time defending girls’ champion Haylee Harford headline the field for the 31st annual Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior.

The 54-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association begins at 7:30 this morning at Bellefonte Country Club.

Pre-tournament activities concluded Tuesday with a morning practice round, afternoon Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament and Junior-Am Dinner and Awards Reception.

Billy Tom Sargent, from Georgetown, hopes to add a Bluegrass Junior title to his resume before beginning his college career at Western Kentucky University this fall.

Sargent won the point-based Kentucky Mr. Golf award as a junior and senior at Scott County High School.

Last year, Sargent shot 211 at the Bluegrass Junior to place fourth. Runner-up Nabeel Khan of Westerville, Ohio, is also back to pursue the title after posting a 208 to finish one shot behind winner Patrick Martin.

Luke Miller of Venetia, Pa., is the highest-ranked boy in the tournament at No. 160 in the Polo Golf Rankings. Miller began AJGA play in 2008 and has eight Top 15 finishes, highlighted by a third-place showing last year at Penn State.

Grayson’s Ryan Gillum made a strong showing in last year’s Bluegrass Junior, shooting 67 in the first round on the way to a tie for eighth place. Gillum recently won a Kentucky Amateur qualifier at BCC with a score of 72.   

Harford, from Leavittsburg, Ohio, will be trying to become only the second player in tournament history to win three consecutive championships here. She captured the 2013 title in dramatic fashion by sinking a 50-foot putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory.

Harford, a Furman University commit, is No. 64 in the Polo rankings and has eighth Top 10 finishes in AJGA competition.

Elsa Moberly of Science Hill, is the second-highest ranked player in the girls division at No. 122. She has verbally committed to Mississippi State.

“It’s amazing, the quality of young golfers that come through here year after year,” said Co-Tournament Chairman Jeff Conley. “As always, we’re appreciative to the Bellefonte membership for sharing their course and the club.” 

Ashland’s Evan Cox was among 12 players to earn spots in the Bluegrass Junior via Monday’s 18-hole qualifier.

Other local Kentucky players competing this week will be Drew Burke, Logan Jones, Tate Justus, Baylee Salyers and Bryson Bennett.

The 144-player field representing 17 states and five countries will be cut following Thursday’s second round.

The Bluegrass Junior is one of five AJGA tournaments being conducted this week. Others include an All-Stars event in Plano, Tex.; Rolex Girls Junior Championship in Rochester, N.Y.; FootJoy Invitational in Greensboro, N.C.; and an open tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Kentucky’s other AJGA tournament in 2014 will be played at Crooked Creek Golf Club in London next month.

Former AJGA alumni, including Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Paula Creamer, have amassed more than 500 wins on the PGA and LPGA Tours.

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014