After firing a three-over-par round of 75 on the opening day of the 2017 Leachman Buick GMC Cadillac/Kentucky High School Athletic Association state golf tournament, Allen County-Scottsville sophomore Owen Stamper struggled on the day of the event. Stamper posted a second round score of 83, 11 shots over par, finishing with a two day score of 158 (+14).
Stamper’s first state tournament appearance began with a solid back nine Tuesday afternoon despite a bad tee shot from the 10th tee box. His ball landed inches from a tree, forcing Stamper to pitch to the fairway to set the stage for his approach shot to the green. Stamper bogeyed his first hole but bounced back with pars on the next five holes.
On the par-4 16th, Stamper birdied to pull even on the afternoon. Pars on the 17th and 18th holes as well as the first and second holes left Stamper at level par with seven holes remaining in round one.
However, the next three holes would be tough. Consecutive bogeys on holes three, four, and five dropped Stamper to three over. After regrouping with a par of the par-4 sixth, Stamper bogeyed the par-three seventh, leaving him at four over on the round and in danger of missing the cut. Stamper responded with a par on the eighth and a birdie on the ninth hole to finish the first round at three over. At the end of the day, Stamper’s round of 75 was safety below the cut score of 77.
Stamper---the first boys golfer from AC-S to reach the second day of the state tournament since Dustin Stovall in 2004---would struggle from the start Wednesday. Starting play at 8 a.m. on the front nine, Stamper triple-bogeyed the first hole. After a birdie and par, Stamper double-bogeyed the fourth to fall to +7 for the tournament. A bogey on the fifth hole was followed by pars on the rest of the front nine.
The 10th hole would again hurt Stamper. A triple-bogey would be followed by a par and bogeys on holes 12 and 13. After a par on the par-5 14th, Stamper’s struggles continued with a double- bogey on the 15th. Back-to-back pars were followed with Stamper finishing on a positive---a birdie on the 18th hole.
Stamper’s +14 total placed him in a tie for 52nd in the field of 85 golfers. Jansen Preston from Lexington Christian won the individual championship with a seven under par two-day score of 137. South Warren’s C.M. Mixon placed third overall (-3), Brandon Fykes (+5) from Franklin-Simpson, Collier Curd (+6) from Bowling Green, and Franklin-Simpson’s Clay Spears (+11) and Alex Gilbert (+12) were Region 3 golfers who finished ahead of Stamper in the tournament.
Lexington Christian was crowned team state champion. Region 3 team winner Franklin-Simpson placed fifth overall.