Sep. 28—MOREHEAD — Kristen Ramey had never carded an 82.
The Boyd County sophomore picked an excellent time to post her best score on the links. Ramey recorded that number after a superb 18 holes at Eagle Trace Golf Course on Monday to claim the girls Region 12 individual title.
The moment had not sunk in as she awaited the medal ceremony in the clubhouse. She started steady to open her round, and even chipped it beside the flagstick for a par on No. 2. A birdie on the back nine had her believing a low score could be possible.
"It is amazing," Ramey said. "I honestly didn't think it would happen. I just came out here and tried my best.
"On the first hole I barely missed a putt for par," she added. "I started parring out, and then I got a birdie. Then I thought, oh wow, I'm doing pretty good."
The individual region title stays in Boyd County hands after Morgan Kennedy won it last year. Kennedy shot an 85 Monday for second place.
"I must be a pretty tough coach because my girls finished one and two," Boyd County coach Missy Kennedy said with a grin," and I am daggone proud of them. We have practiced and worked really hard. We have played in a lot of tournaments this year.
"Kristen works her tail off," she continued. "Kristen and Morgan are a great combination. They like to play and practice together. They push each other a lot."
Ramey said Morgan Kennedy has been an inspiration and helps raise her game. Kennedy has already achieved region success in middle school. Now, as a freshman, she stepped to the first tee relaxed with the spotlight shining on her Monday morning.
"I was really looking forward to playing," Morgan Kennedy said. "I knew today would be tough with the competition. ... I just felt good walking in here as a (defending) region champion. I was happy to have that under my belt."
Added Ramey: "Morgan is my best friend, and we do everything together. She said (playing at Eagle Trace) would be tough, but to just do my best."
Kacey Carver knows the feeling of winning a team title as a player and a coach. She guided Greenup County to the championship after posting a combined score of 383, which was 22 strokes better than runner-up Montgomery County.
The Musketeers went from wondering if they could field a qualifying team last year in Mount Sterling to hoisting the title trophy 12 months later.
"When I took over, there were three girls that I knew were playing," said Carver, who won an individual Region 9 title and team title with Mason County in 2006. "We thought we would compete, then half the girls basketball team came out along with a couple girls in my class. We put a solid team together. They stuck it out and worked hard the last few years. I could not be more thrilled for them right now."
Carver said her team has improved their short game and putting this season. It helped the Musketeers navigate their approach shots after the winds picked up later in the day.
"I thought they grinded it out," Carver said. "We talked about how this was a tougher course. There are penalties everywhere. They all knew what job they had to do. They all came out here and did it."
Sophomore Cambria Burke led the team with an 85. She hit plenty of fairways and it was the key to her round.
"I feel like I was pretty accurate with a lot of shots," Burke said. "Most of my shots were consistent. I made a few putts that meant a lot to my day."
Greenup County advances to the state tournament in Bowling Green on Oct. 5-6. The team includes Rachel Bush, who placed sixth with a 90, Emily Maynard, Emma Kay Ruark and Taylor Gammon.
"I am so proud of them," Burke said. "They have put in so much work. It's amazing how they were beginners last year, and now we are going to State together."
Burke went to the state tournament last year, but it will be the first trip for the rest of the Musketeers.
"Everybody on the team will agree that the team is run by Cambria," Carver said. "She works hard and has had a great year. She has won a tournament and had some top-10 finishes. She played well today. We wouldn't be here without her."
Ramey and Kennedy will make their third trip to Bowling Green. Boyd County did not have enough team members to qualify last year. The squad reveled in the team atmosphere this time around.
"There were a couple of holes that were struggles," Morgan Kennedy said. "The course conditions were wet and muddy. The ball didn't roll much, but I did save birdie on the last hole.
"I am proud of Kristen," she added. "She deserves it."
Missy Kennedy said the strategy started in the tee box. The players did not have to pull the driver out of the golf bags. Using the smaller club, they could keep the ball in the short grass.
"We came out as a team and did a few practice rounds at Eagle Trace," Missy Kennedy said. "Our game plan, according to Kristen, was to tee off with clubs that would put us in play. We wanted to stick to our plan. They were putting and chipped well during the practice rounds. There are a lot of narrow fairways here. Morgan hit a lot of fairway woods."
The top seven individual scores for players not on the winning team qualified for the state tournament. The list includes Fleming County's Sadie Price (86), Mason County's Macey Littleton (87), Rowan County's Cadence Caskey (91), West Carter's Kenzie Kilgore (92), East Carter's Emily Ledford (92), Kennedy and Ramey.
Kilgore and Ledford secured their spots by winning a playoff.
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2021 Girls Region 12 Tournament
(Top four individuals count towards team score)
1. Greenup County (383) — Cambria Burke 85, Rachel Bush 90, Emily Maynard 101, Emma Kay Ruark 107, Taylor Gammon 134.
2. Montgomery County (405) — Kylie Brown 95, Jordyn Smith 103, Delaney Wills 118, Peyton Patrick 103, Ava Vanderhoof 104.
3. Boyd County (406) — Morgan Kennedy 85, Kristen Ramey 82, Jossy Pack 113, Maddi Dixon 126.
4. Mason County (410) — Macey Littleton 87, Laci Burns 109, Maura Hartman 104, Morgan Parker 110, Sydney Ullery 121.
5. Fleming County (414) — Sadie Price 86, Sophia Sims 102, Peyton Allison 106, Ariana Adams 120, Hanley High 141.
6. Ashland (471) — Tori Brown 109, Laney Sorrell 92, Ella Sellars 131, Mikayla Martin 139, Abby Prichard 191.
7. Lewis County (473) — Mikayla Kielman 103, Larra Kennedy 110. Maddie Sparks 125, Bri Horsley 135.
No Team Score
East Carter — Emily Ledford 92.
Fairview — Jacey Armstrong 100.
Lawrence County — Kailey Prince 121, Kassadi Burke 125.
Raceland — Gracie Martin 135, Taylor Bowden 145.
Rowan County — Cadence Caskey 91, Alana Kidd 143, Kyndra Howard 166.
Russell — Olivia Martin 142.
St. Patrick — Alexandra Arn 119, Allie Cascio 123.
West Carter — Kinzie Kilgore 92.