South Oldham nips St. Xavier for first regional title

by Joanne Miller

South Oldham High School boys golf team secured their first-ever regional title on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone for the team. After being eliminated in the playoffs for the past two years, the Dragons finally got over the hump and emerged victorious at the Region Six Championships held at Oxmoor Country Club.

Led by Griffin Barke, who claimed the individual titlist, the South Oldham team shot an impressive 3-under-par 285 to clinch the team title. Coach Chris Cunningham expressed his excitement and acknowledged the team’s perseverance after coming close to victory in previous years. The team had lost in a three-way playoff in the 2021 regional and had been runner-up in the 2022 regional, narrowly missing out on the title.

Barke, a junior, played a pivotal role in the team’s success. Starting his round on the back nine at Oxmoor, Barke made consecutive birdies on holes 10-12 and sunk a 10-foot eagle putt on the 17th hole, placing him at 4-under through eight holes. Barke finished with an impressive 5-under 67, two shots ahead of Dylan Logsdon from St. Xavier and Tyler Wirth from Oldham County.

South Oldham’s team victory was by a margin of seven shots over St. Xavier, while Christian Academy secured third place. With the regional win, South Oldham qualified for the first round of the state tournament alongside the top two teams. The team’s sights are now set on a state championship.

Notable individual performers who earned spots in the state tournament include Caleb King from South Oldham, Will Judd from Christian Academy, and other top finishers from Collins, Trinity, Eastern, and Manual.

In a separate development, Spencer County’s boys golf team also triumphed at the Region Five Championships at Heritage Hill Golf Club in Shepherdsville. Seth Shelley, a senior from Spencer County, claimed the individual championship after a playoff with Rylan Jones from Central Hardin. Spencer County and Central Hardin secured their places in the state tournament’s first round. LaRue County finished third. Qualifiers from this region also include players from Grayson County, Bullitt East, Elizabethtown, DeSales, and more.

The South Oldham and Spencer County teams’ achievements highlight their dedication, skills, and ambition in the game of golf. These victories serve as inspiration for future successes and set high expectations for their performances at the upcoming state tournament.

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