Aug. 5—Nathan Hutchinson
Madison Central's line-up for the Kentucky Cup featured a trio of players — freshman Boo Crawley, sophomore Radney Bales and junior transfer Braydon Bond — who had never had the opportunity to compete in a big-time event against some of the best competition in the state.
Given the chance, though, they rose to the occasion.
Madison Central advanced to the championship round of the event before falling to Trinity, 3-2, on Thursday in match-play competition.
The event was held at the University Club of Kentucky in Lexington.
"It was good to have some young guys step up and get us (to the finals)," Central coach Kyle Congleton said. "Boo was playing in his first high school tournament and he went out there and got a big win for us. Braydon played unbelievable."
The Indians had the lowest team score — by six strokes — on Wednesday in the stroke-play portion, even without senior Clay Pendergrass on the course, then beat Frederick Douglass, 3-2, in the semifinals on Thursday.
Junior Warren Thomis earned a pair of match-play victories for Central.
"To almost win (this tournament) without Clay and to win the stroke play without Clay — that's special," Thomis said.
Pendergrass is competing in the 2022 Junior PGA Championships this week in Illinois.
Central shot a +1, 289, on Wednesday in the opening day of the tournament. Thomis shot a -5, 67, and tied for second, while Bales finished at -1, 71, and tied for fourth.
Only the top four teams moved on to the match-play portion of the event.
In the semifinals against Frederick Douglass, Central got wins from Crawley (3&1), Bales (7&5) and Thomis (2&1), while Mason Hamrick (1 up) and Bond (5&3) suffered losses.
"We knew after the morning session we had a little momentum," Congleton said. "We realized pretty quick once the final round started we were pretty tired."
All five Central players fell behind early in their individual matches against Trinity in the championship round.
Crawley lost the first four holes and went on to suffer a loss (8&6) to Matt McGuire. Bond also trailed by four holes at one point, but fought back before falling to Jack Talbott (4&3).
Bales lost the first two holes, but won four-straight on the back nine to claim a win (3&1) over Sam Travelstead.
Hamrick was down two holes early and was able to pull even, but William Hudson pulled ahead again and claimed the win (3&2).
Thomis wrapped up a great tournament with a 1-up win over Michael Long in the final match.
"I started hitting the ball pretty good, then in match play, I started to see some putts go in. Everything was clicking," Thomis said.
The Indians are set to return to action Saturday in The Battle at the Bridge in Danville.