GRAYSON LAKE The shot landed about 12 feet from the cup.

“That’s probably the smoothest ball I’ve hit all day,” Lewis County junior Logan Liles said during Sunday’s Bluegrass Golf Tour Junior Series stop at Hidden Cove Golf Course.

The short-iron stroke on the 18th green was one of 73 Liles took to claim boys ages 15-18 medalist honors. His 1-over-par total was six shots fewer than Pikeville senior Jon Bryant’s 79.

Liles carded a 3-over-par 39 on the front nine holes and recovered with a 2-under 34 on the back. His round also included birdies on the 355-yard par-4 13th hole and the 185-yard par-3 No. 15.

“I didn’t putt too well on the greens,” Liles said. “(It was) tough getting the speed to match up. Seeing a couple putts fall boosted my confidence a little bit coming down the home stretch.”

Sunday’s victory was Liles’s second in 17 days. He won a BGT tournament June 18 at Morehead State University’s Eagle Trace Golf Course, and he tied for fourth at the Kentucky Junior PGA tournament June 29-30 at Gibson Bay Golf Course in Richmond.

Bryant said Sunday was “definitely not my best.”

“Front nine, it was just tough to get started,” Bryant said. “I think I pretty much got it going on the back nine. I don’t know, I just wasn’t really controlling the ball; I think I was just pulling it a little bit.”

You could also sum up Liles’s summer success in a single word: serendipity.

Liles was a member of Lewis County’s basketball team that reached the 16th Region Tournament finals before falling to undefeated Ashland. He was supposed to play baseball, but the Kentucky High School Athletic Association wiped out the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which meant, golf was the only sport Liles could play. He drives to Laurel Oaks Golf Course in Maysville two days a week, and practices his short irons and lifted weights at home in Vanceburg to improve his core strength.

“Being able to rotate through the ball, put a lot of torque on it, increases ball speed,” Liles said. “It’s gonna help you increase spin rate and distance off the tee.”

What’s more, Liles says he is more precise with his shots; he’s able to hit farther with more control.

Liles harbors a little doubt about fall sports commencing, “but with golf being outside like it is, I think we’ll able to fare pretty well this year.”

After Sunday’s win, Liles, Bryant and third-place finisher A.J. Shagool of Bardstown huddled around Liles’s smartphone and watched a video of his successful wild turkey hunt last April. He shot two birds with his bow on his family’s farm, coated them in a mixture of flour and cornmeal and baked them.

“They tasted pretty good,” Liles said.

Bluegrass Golf Tour

Junior Series Results from Hidden Cove

Boys 15-18

Logan Liles    73

Jon Bryant    79

A.J.Shagool    81

J.T.Howie     82

Max Waddell    86

Boys 12-14

Chris Kelley    82

Evan Taylor    92

Alan Griffeth    93

Braydon DeHart    103

Girls 15-18

Brookelyn Hopkins    82

Adie Caldwell    88

Lauren Nolty    109

Girls 14-under

Morgan Kennedy    88

Kristen Ramey    121

Boys 11-12 (9-hole)

Radney Bales    36

Rylan Beighley    42

Will Jones    44

Gage Lykins    70

Boys 10-under (9-hole)

Mason Morton    49

Girls 12-under (9-hole)

Carol Ann Mendenhall 40

Kinzie Kilgore    55

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