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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Strong Day in Warsaw for Highlands Golf

Highlands Boys Win, Toole Takes Third in Birdie Bash

Highlands Twitter Photo. The Highlands girls golf team participated in the Walton-Verona Birdie Bash on Saturday. Freshman KJ Toole took third overall shooting an 85 in the 18-hole tournament out of 50 golfers.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys and girls golf teams ventured to Warsaw on Saturday for the Birdie Bash Tournament hosted by Walton-Verona.

The Highlands boys won their second tournament in two days while the girls had three compete individually. Four golfers are needed to form a team.

The Highlands boys shot a 328 to win the tournament. Highlands Head Coach Bert Richey said the biggest challenge was neither himself or the players had ever seen Sugar Bay Golf Course.

"We had no idea of the layout," Richey said. "There are a lot of blind shots that we didn't know about. The kids did a good job of playing what was in front of them."

Richey said sophomores Luke Muller and Justin Gabbard shot their drivers well leading to great scores. Muller finished second shooting a 73 and Gabbard finished third with a 76 on the 18-hole par-71 course.

"(It's about) just having the confidence to not let back. You just have to try to swing as hard as you can," Gabbard said. "When we don't swing very hard, you can go really far left or really far right. You just have to adjust your swing."

The Bluebirds rotate eight golfers on varsity. Senior Brady Walz shot an 89. Eighth grader Joel Craft shot a 90 in his first varsity action this year and seventh grader Ryan Toole shot a 90 in his first varsity action ever.

Highlands plays in the Northern Kentucky Tournament on Sunday at the Northern Kentucky Golf Club in Butler. Tee time is 2:30 p.m.

The Highlands girls played in their first tournament of the year earlier in the day. Head Coach Mike Lipscomb liked how the three girls played. He said the Bluebirds probably would have finished in the top three if senior Olivia Hopper had been available to play. Hopper is currently out of town.

"There were quite a few times where they initially had a driver or club that they may not have necessarily needed to hit," Lipscomb said. "I just gave them a quick little, 'Let's think about this a little bit.' They thought about it a little bit more and put themselves in a position to score by hitting a different club. Overall, these girls showed up. They grinded. They did everything that they had to do."

Freshman KJ Toole finished third overall in the 18-hole tournament out of 40 golfers shooting an 85. Sophomore Ellie Rowland followed with a 93 and junior Clara Bushman shot a 96.

"I was working on smarter shots," Toole said. "I was playing loose and enjoying myself. I think it helps because your team is relaxed and is ready to play golf. We play with a short memory and we always like picking each other up so if I see someone has a bad tee shot, I'll just say, 'Hey. You can rebound with the approach shot."

Highlands has a Father/Daughter Day on Monday. It starts at Noon at Highlands Country Club. The next match is Thursday against Beechwood at Twin Bridges Golf Course in California, Kentucky. Tee time is 8:30 a.m.

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