BOWLING GREEN — Courtney Swindle wiped her eyes as she walked off the green Saturday at the end of the final round of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Girls State Golf Championship. A senior on the Glasgow High School team, Swindle was full of emotion.
The other senior on the Lady Scotties' squad, Blair Dennison, fought back the tears as she headed to the scorer's tent after finishing her round. Dennision was stopped several times before getting there to receive hugs from temmates and coach Jonathan Belcher.
It was difficult for Swindle and Dennison to hold back their emotions as they realized they were playing in their final tournament in the Blue and White. But as disappointed as they were, none of the Lady Scotties seemed to be able to muster much offense Saturday as the Glasgow girls tried to conquer the Bowling Green Country Club course.
Glasgow shot a 350 in the first round on Friday and followed that with a 360 for a two-round total of 710, good enough to finish in a tie for sixth with Notre Dame High School.
"We're obviously disappointed with the result. But our girls put forth the effort, they battled and they never quit. Some days you just don't have it," Belcher said. "We just picked the wrong two days to not have it."
Dennison led the Glasgow charge with an 84 on Saturday. Emily Alexander had an 89 with Taylor Phelps at 93, and Swindle and Ashton Foushee fired 94s.
"In golf, some days when you're firing on all cylinders, the game seems easy. But when you're not firing on all cylinders, it gets really hard not to quit. We didn't have our full games this week and when the game starts going downhill, it really goes downhill quick. That's what happened."
Sacred Heart finished first in the final team standings, shooting a two-day total of 649. Green County was second at 692 with Williamsburg third at 693. Shelby County finished fourth for the tournament with a 694, one stroke ahead of Scott County in fifth. Henry Clay was eighth with Central Hardin, Russell County and Mason County rounding out the field.
"This is a great group of girls. They never give up. It would have been easy after the round we had yesterday to just throw in the towel. But they didn't," said Belcher. "They came out today ready to go, ready to do better today than we did yesterday. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.
"But they never quit, they battled it out to the end and that says a lot about them. A lot of kids would have packed it in today and just gone through the motions. But these girls were grinding it out. I am very happy about that."
Belcher is also very happy about the play of his seniors - Dennison and Swindle. He said their impact on the golf program has been great.
"I can't say enough about Blair and Courtney. They have meant a lot to this program. Blair has played very consistent this year. I know she's going to be upset it is over and she didn't finish as well as she wanted to," Belcher said. "Courtney has only been playing golf for three years and from the time she started until now, it is remarkable how much better she's gotten."
And now as Belcher looks to the future of his program, he can only smile. Most of this year's team will be returning and he said the youth on the team is getting better and better.
"Our golf program has always had a rich tradition and I think that begins with the girls. They know we've always had a good tradition and they want to keep that alive," Belcher said. "We return three of the girls from this year's team and we have three or four girls in the pipeline. So, if they continue to develop, they should be good to go next year."