BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Two was the magic number Saturday afternoon for the Trinity Shamrocks boys golf team.
Trinity senior John Marshall Butler shot a two-day total of 73-70–143 to finish second to Marshall County junior Jay Nimmo (69-72-141) in the individual standings as the Shamrocks (608) finished second by two strokes to champion Taylor County (606) on the second and final day of the Leachman Buick-GMC-Cadillac State Championships wrapped up at Bowling Green Country Club. It was the second-straight title for Taylor County.
“There were a lot of contenders at the top and especially today,” said Butler, who entered the final round four shots behind Nimmo. “Jay played a solid, steady round and I had some ground to make up. I was just hoping he made some mistakes, but he didn’t, so kudos to him. But I didn’t execute this week and it shows.”
Nimmo’s 69 on Friday was the lowest 18-hole round by anyone in the tournament, while Butler matched third-place finisher Owen Stamper, an Allen County-Scottsville senior, with the Saturday low-round at 70.
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“I think there was more pressure today, knowing I had the lead and knowing the position that I was in,” said Nimmo, who led both days of the tournament. “Yesterday I just didn’t want to shoot myself out of it, and I didn’t obviously today. Just grinding was huge for me today.”
Both Butler and Nimmo could see each other again in college in the Southeastern Conference. Butler is an Auburn signee, while Nimmo committed to Mississippi State in April.
St. Xavier senior Drew Doyle and Wayne County senior Reese Sexton tied for fourth at 145, while Taylor County freshman Luke Coyle (147) was sixth and Bowling Green senior Collier Curd (148) finished seventh. St. Xavier senior Patrick Brooks (149) wound up in a four-way tie for eighth along with Lexington Christian senior Andrew Marrs, Taylor County junior Hayes Mason and Franklin-Simpson sophomore Chase Wilson. St. Xavier senior Bryce Beard (159) tied for 47th, while the Tigers senior Robbie Bender tied for 59th.
Taylor County entered Saturday in third place, eight shots behind Friday leader Lexington Christian and seven behind Trinity. But, just like it did last year when it rallied past St. Xavier on the back nine, Taylor County stayed the course Saturday and kept grinding.
“I think the one thing that made us play so good is I think we kind of came into today without Worring about the pressure and I think us being behind actually helped us out today,” said Taylor County coach Todd Polston, who had just 2-of-5 players (Coyle and Mason) back from last year’s title team. “I just told the boys to go out, (focus on) fairways and greens and the score will take care of itself. If it happens, it happens and if if it don’t, it don’t. I think they had that mindset and they came through for me.”
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Taylor County’s 301 on Saturday was six shots better than Marshall County (615) and fifth-place finisher Bowling Green (620). Lexington Christian (609) faded to third with a round Saturday 15 strokes worse than Friday. Estill County (630) was sixth and Wayne County (642) was seventh. Rounding out the team field were Covington Catholic (eighth, 655), Daviess County (ninth, 671, LaRue County (10th, 676), Montgomery County (11th, 678) and Grant County (12th, 691).
Trinity seniors Davis Money and Drex Gillaspie tied for 26th at 154. Shamrocks senior Ballard Harris tied for 55th with a 161, while Trinity senior Brion Tinsley tied for 77th with a 167.
“We just didn’t finish well down the stretch. A lot of players fell apart at the end of their rounds,” Money said. “It was just disappointing how we ended. I feel like we should have won, but it just ended bad.”