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GIRLS' PREP GOLF: Lady Bruin Invitational shaping up for great day (08/16)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

After dealing with storms and immense sunshine and heat during the previous 12 years of the Lady Bruin Invitational, Cen-tral Hardin golf coach Chris Adams can hardly believe what should be in store for his tournament Saturday at Fort Knox’s Lindsey Golf Course.
The run of unseasonably cool weather will continue with the forecast calling for a high of 84 degrees, partly cloudy skies and little to no chance of rain.
“We’re going to pay for this weather,” Adams said. “Something is just not right and we will pay for it down the road.”
The weather, combined for a slightly smaller field than usual, could mean an early ending for once. The tournament begins with a 12:45 p.m. shotgun start and Adams hopes all scores are tallied by 7 p.m.
Further helping speed of play is moving to threesomes from the usual foursomes and the use of rangefinders, which were not allowed previously.
More than 90 players from 19 schools – Breckinridge County, Bullitt East, Central Hardin, Christian Academy-Louisville, Covington Notre Dame, Elizabethtown, Fort Thomas Highlands, Glasgow, Grayson County (individuals only), John Hardin (one individual), Lexington Henry Clay (two teams), Logan County (individuals), Louisville Assumption (full team for first time), Louisville Sacred Heart, Meade County, North Hardin (two individuals), Oldham County, Owensboro Catholic and Williamsburg – are entered.
While those numbers are still considered on the high end for a tournament, it’s down from years in which more than 20 schools and 100 players were featured.
“In the past, I had told my boosters to be prepared for up to 125 players,” said Adams, noting South Warren’s decision to move its invitational to this weekend at Kenny Perry’s Country Creek pulled past Lady Bruin participants Bowling Green, Greenwood and Franklin-Simpson from the list of teams he was counting on. “You can’t fault a bunch of people for wanting to play 30 miles from home. In fact, that’s where we are sending our boys to play this weekend, too.”
Elizabethtown, Henry Clay, Sacred Heart and Williamsburg are in foursomes as those schools are expected to be near the top four of the team standings. Sacred Heart is the reigning Lady Bruin champion, shooting a record 312 last year to win by 23 strokes over Shelby County.
Among the top individual title contenders are Lauren Hartlage and Rebecca Black of Elizabethtown, Glasgow’s duo of Ashton Foushee and Emily Alexander, Henry Clay’s twosome of Leslie Ginter and Alison Miller, Owensboro Catholic sisters Olivia and Elizabeth Cason, Williamsburg’s Bethany Jervis and the Sacred Heart foursome of Meredith Moir, Maddie Hamil-ton, Rachel Gathof and Katie Gathof.
Adams pointed out many future greats have played at the Lady Bruin, including the last five Kentucky Women’s Amateur champions (Karisa Akin and April Emerson), a multiple-time Kentucky Miss Golf (Lydia Gumm) and the reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion (Emma Talley).
The par-73 course is slightly longer than past years at 5,832 yards after changes to the first and ninth tee boxes.
“We were out there in the end of July and it was in great shape,” Adams said. “And with the rain and cool temperatures re-cently, every course we’ve been to has been great, so it looks like it could be the best one ever.”
Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 270-505-1758 or nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com.