C. J. Jones of Franklin County took individual honors in a three-man playoff and St. Xavier’s “Green’’ varsity squad edged Trinity by one stroke for the team championship of the 51st annual Knights Travel Kentucky Invitational Tournament yesterday at Nevel Meade Golf Course.
“This is the first time I’ve put it all together,” said Jones, a sophomore, after shooting a three-under 69. “I’ve been hitting the ball really good, but today everything clicked. The course was in fantastic shape and the greens were great.’’
Connor Hass, a senior from 2012 and 2013 KIT champion West Jessamine, shot 69 after going 3 under par on the first three holes he played. James Inman, a senior at Trinity, joined in the two-hole playoff after shooting 69.
St. X, with Matt Liston pacing the varsity Tigers with a 73, compiled a score of 298 from its four lowest players. That score nipped Trinity’s 299 and the 299 posted by St. X “Gold” (the Tigers’ No. 2 unit) for second place in the 20-team field. Jack Berger led St. X Gold with a 72, the same score Zach Mattingly shot for Trinity.
Liston’s three birdies came on No. 7, 8 and 18. “I just had a tap-in on 18,” he said. “The ball stopped two inches from the cup. It’s always exciting to see our team win, especially in our own tournament.”
Besides Liston, coach Dan Utley’s St. X varsity got a 74 from Drew Kiehl, 75 from Billy Basham and 76 from Michael Sass. All four are juniors.
“The team scores (McCracken County and Ryle both shot 300) were packed together, but these teams are the best of the best in the state,” Utley said. “We had a lot of good individual scores, but I thought the team scores would be lower.”
Jones, whose family moved from Bowling Green to Frankfort in June, and Haas both took par fours on the first playoff hole, actually No. 9 on the course. Inman was eliminated when he missed the green, chipped five feet past the hole and missed that putt for a bogey.
“I was disappointed because I had birdied (by sinking a 20-foot putt) that hole earlier in the day,” said Inman, who had six birdies and three bogeys in his 69. “I played pretty solid golf. When I’d make a bogey I would come back and get a birdie. I bogeyed 11 and 15, but I had two birdies in between those two holes.”
At Nevel Meade G.C., par-72
Teams – St. Xavier Green 298, Trinity 299, St. X Gold 299, Ryle 300, McCracken County 300, Franklin County 301, North Oldham 303, Lexington Christian 305, West Jessamine 309, Covington Catholic 310, Lexington Catholic 311, Scott County 311, Elizabethtown 316, Greenwood 320, Ballard 322, Bowling Green 323, Christian Academy 324, Madison Central 324, Kentucky Country Day 328, Collegiate 356.
Individual leaders (x-Won three-man playoff on second hole; y-runner-up in playoff): 69 – x-C.J. Jones, Franklin County; y-Connor Haas, West Jessamine; James Inman, Trinity; 70 – Jacob Poore, Ryle; 71 – Justin Baker, Lex. Catholic; 72 – Zach Mattingly, Trinity; Jack Berger, St. X Gold; 73 – Kyle Jury, E’town; Corey Damron, Scott County; Austin Squires, Ryle; Matt Liston, St. X; 74 – Tanner Wilson, Lex. Christian; Drew Kiehl, St. X; Peter Brown, St. X Gold; Sean Warren, McCracken County; 75 – Chase Korte, McCracken County; Gresham Wilson, Lex. Christian; Josh Maier, North Oldham, Avery Edwards, McCracken County; Jimmy Deitz, Cov. Catholic; Jacob Cook, Franklin County; Billy Basham, St. X; 76 – Spencer Carrico, Lex. Catholic; Drake Stepter, McCracken County; Jay Kirchdorfer, St. X Gold; Tyler Reller, North Oldham; Michael Sass, St. X; Michael Vissing, North Oldham; Mason Lenhart, North Oldham.