The young Mason County boys’ golf team continues to grow before one’s eyes.
The Royals added to an already impressive early season resume with a win at the Ashland Invitational played at Bellefonte Country Club Monday. The Royals shot 326 as a team and won the Invitational by nine strokes over Greenup County.
The course played tough as no Royals cracked 80, but the team effort of consistent scores in the low to mid 80’s was enough to take home their second first-place finish of the season.
The two wins have also been accompanied by two seconds, a third and a fifth-place finish in their first six events of the season. Evan Schumacher’s 80 led the way, followed by Mason Butler’s 81, an 82 from Logan Shepherd and Kaden Grooms’ 83. Spencer Magee and Zach Ring also participated, shooting an 86 and 87, respectively.
“This one means a lot more to me because of the difficulty of the course,” Mason County coach Chad Mefford said to the Ashland Daily Independent’s Zack Klemme on Monday. “Three-twenty six, playing it ‘down’ out here, it was just a really, really tough grind, but really proud of the kids, and I thought everybody just hung in there and played for their teammates.
“With this kind of team, we don’t just kill the ball out there, but we got a couple kids that just get it out in the fairway, and that’s key here, and got a lot of good up-and-downs here. It was a really nice win for us.”
On Tuesday, the Royals went down to the Franklin Flyer Classic at Juniper Hills Golf Course with a stacked field that included some of the top teams in the state. They shot a 324 and finished outside of the top five for the first time this season. Mason Butler led the way with a 76, followed by Kaden Grooms’ 81, Logan Shepherd’s 83, Evan Schumacher’s 84 and Zack Ring’s 93.
They close out a busy first 13 days of the season on Wednesday with a tri-match against Grant County and Highlands at A.J. Jolley Golf Course. The match will be a good gauge for the Royals as Grant and Highlands are expected to be the top two teams in the 8th Region, followed by the Royals. A.J. Jolley is also home of the regional tournament this year.
“We’re still probably the third best team in our region. We beat Highlands and Grant here last time, so they know we’re right there,” Mefford said after Saturday’s Mason County/St. Patrick Invitational at Maysville Country Club. “This match will be good for us.”
Mason County shot 309 as a team during the Highlands Invitational at A.J. Jolley on August 1.
Lewis County also participated at Bellefonte on Monday, finishing fifth with a team score of 347. Austin Ruggles led the way with an 80, Cameron Ruckel 83, Logan Liles 86 and Avery Sexton a 98.
The Lions are off until August 15, when they face Mason County and Fleming County in a tri-match at Laurel Oaks.