The South Laurel boys golf team recently hosted its 14th annual South Laurel Invitational at the London Country Club with 11 teams competing from across the region and beyond, including the South Laurel and North Laurel boys golf teams.

South Laurel Coach Steve King said there were 75 players total that competed in the invitational.

There was a three-way playoff to determine the lowest individual in the invitational between CJ Corum (Clay County), Kannon Tucker (Somerset) Joe Benton (Estill County) who were all tied at 72 and had to participate in a sudden death playoff to determine the low individual spot where Benton was eventually crowned the low individual champion, with Tucker taking runner up and Corum taking third place.

Wayne County took first place as a team in the invitational with a score of 309, while Clay County fell behind by just one stroke.

As a team, South Laurel finished in fourth place, with the Cardinals being led by Brayden Reed with a score of 76.

“Brayden had one bad hole on 16,” King said. “He took a four over par eight on that hole. Without that, he would have been right in the mix for lowest individual. I’m very proud of Brayden for putting that hole behind him and continuing to play really well. That was a sign of maturity and determination.”

The rest of the team followed with Brett Norvell shooting an 80, while Ashton Garland had an 85, Ryan Boswell scored a 94 and Trey Jackson had a score of 107.

With the fourth place finish, King said that this was his Cardinals best outing as a team in a tournament so far this year.

“I was pleased with fourth,” he said. “We could have certainly had a better score but Clay County and Wayne County are the two best teams in our region this year. And Estill County will likely win their region. So for us to be in the hunt with those quality teams means we are making the kind of progress we need.”

“The South Laurel Invitational was a tough one for us,” said North Laurel Coach Chris Stone. “We finished bottom of a very strong field, where the top team had all four players shoot 82 or below. We had three players, Jimmy Storm, Lucas Binder and Jack McArdle finish in the mid 90’s. It was just an all around tough day.

“Once we got one aspect of the game working for us, the next aspect would disappear. We started off struggling to get off the tee, after a few holes we would fix that and we would lose our touch around the green and with putting. That inconsistency can made it very hard to score well. That seem to be our M.O. for the day.”

Though his varsity team struggled in the invitational, Stone said he saw some promise from some young golfers.

“On the bright side, we had two seventh graders, Ben Baker and Tydus Summers, compete in the JV event that ran along side the invitational,” Stone said. “The two showed very well in their first true JV event. Ben Baker finish second amongst all JV competitors will Tydus Summer finish fourth.”

King said there were several individuals he wanted to thank for helping his team to put on this year’s invitational.

“I’d like to especially thank our golf parents and boosters for all the hard work they did in making this another very successful tournament,” King said. “Another big thank you to all our sponsors and also, Jared Franklin, Mr. Robinson and the membership at London Country Club for allowing us to use the facility and for having everything is such good condition.”

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