Junior Rachel Shelton, and senior Josiah Dennis will both be participating in the Kentucky State Golf Championships after their showings at the Fifth Region Golf Tournament, held at the Lindsey Course at Fort Knox last week.
Shelton overcame miserable playing conditions on Monday to fire a 3-over-par 75 to become only the second player since 2004 not from the Elizabethtown area to win the tournament.
“I started the day bogey-bogey and by the middle of the second hole it was pouring down rain,” Shelton said. “It was disgusting.”
She was four over after the first nine and was thinking that finishing with a 40-40 for an 80 would get her a qualifying shot. But she came into the final hole at just five over and had a 30-foot putt for an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole.
“I thought ‘I’ve got to bear down and make this putt,’” she said. And that’s just what she did.
It was something of a remarkable performance because at an earlier tournament at the Lindsey Course, Shelton had carded a score of 100.
“I’ve had my ups and downs with that course,” she quipped.
Her best round this year coming into the regional had been an 86, which she fired at Bowling Green Country Club, the site of the state tournament.
Dennis said, “I’m excited about going to state, it’s always been one of my goals. I don’t think 80 should have made state, I didn’t play my best. I want to go to state and do my best.”
Shelton said she had never really put in the work that would have made her an elite golfer until this season. She said she hopes to go to a Division 1 school to play golf.
“Coaches Cox and Brown always told me I had to work hard to do that so earlier this year I went to the Man O’ War Golf Academy and I also got a personal trainer.
“I never thought I would win the region, my goal was to make it to state,” she said.
She said despite the extra work, nothing was really coming together for her until her regional round.
“At the regional everything just seemed to click,” she said.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.