LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In previous years, it would have been a state tournament preview. Instead, it may have determined a state champion.
Trinity's top four players combined to shoot an 11-under 277 at a steamy, breezy Seneca Golf Course on Tuesday to claim the boys Region 6 title and the only team spot in next week's state tournament in Bowling Green. Two teams used to qualify for the state tournament. Now, it's just one after a KHSAA rule change that started this season. That leaves second-place St. Xavier in the awkward position of having four players having qualified individually but ineligible for the team title.
"It is strange," St. Xavier head coach Davis Boland said. "Probably the best two teams in the state: One's gonna go, one's not gonna go. But hats off to Trinity. They played better.
The Shamrocks were led by senior JM Butler. The Auburn commit shot a five-under 67 to claim the medalist honors. He won the state individual title last year but is thrilled to have a chance to add a team crown.
"Qualifying as an individual, it's not the same," he said. "Your teammates aren't there. It's just another tournament, right? But when your teammates are there, your brothers are there. That's what really matters."
St. Xavier shot a two-under 286 as a team, led by LSU-bound senior Drew Doyle who had a four-under 68.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to qualify was Christian Academy of Louisville eighth-grader Brady Smith, who shot an even-par 72 to take one of the seven available spots among those not on the winning team.
"I got off to a good start and was able to keep it going," Smith said. "My goal was just to play my best, and it worked out."
"I'm not surprised by Brady, " CAL head coach Greg Zimmerer said. "He's one of the hardest workers we have on the team and one of the better putters in the city. He shows a lot of tenacity. He's a bulldog. He's doesn't back away from anybody."
The boys state tournament is Oct. 10-12 at Bowling Green Country Club.
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