Tigers host junior summer golf tournament at Murray Country Club

Autumn Dowdy, left, from Ballard Memorial's golf team, tees off on Tuesday morning from hole nine with Murray High's Claire Whitaker looking on.

MURRAY — Scattered showers couldn’t put a damper on the spirits of golfers who took to the Murray Country Club course Tuesday morning. 

Over 30 golfers participated in the first Murray High junior summer golf tournament that aimed to raise funds for the high school team while also providing an opportunity for kids to get out and be active once again.

“The huge purpose is to get more kids out here golfing, because everyone can be golfing,” Murray High golf coach Denise Whitaker said. “We have some young players playing, a bunch of middle schoolers, and you can’t do other sports as much right now, but you can golf, so why not try to get more kids involved.”

Tee times started at 8 a.m. and ran until 11 a.m. with 10 minute intervals between groups to provide some cushion for social distancing protocols. Kids from all around the region made the trip to participate, from schools like McCracken, Graves, Marshall, St. Mary, Ballard, Murray and Calloway. Ages ranged from 10-18 and golfers were able to compete in either nine-hole rounds or 18-hole rounds.

It was also a chance for some newcomers to get out on the course and play in a tournament atmosphere for the first time.

“We have some sophomores and juniors playing golf for the first time for Murray High, so I just wanted to get them out here playing,” Whitaker said. 

Other than providing an outlet for athletes to compete, the purpose behind the tournament was to build funds for the high school golf team for their upcoming season. 

“We are trying to play more tournaments because the Kentucky Coaches Association has made their own state tournament for golf, but you have to play in more tournaments during the high school golf season to qualify,” Whitaker said. 

The KCA are going to take into account the top seven tournament scores to come up with qualifiers and Whitaker said that’s a lot more tournaments than the team has ever played in during a single season.

“We never play in seven tournaments. Murray High just hasn’t had the funds, so this year we are trying to play boys and girls in more tournaments. In order to play in more tournaments you have to have more funds because every tournament is $250-$300 for boys and another $250-$300 for girls, so every Saturday it costs Murray High $500-$600 to play in a tournament. That’s a lot of money. So we are trying to raise money to improve our season. We’ve had some great donations.”

The fundraising will continue for the golf team on July 31, when they host another golf tournament. All proceeds are set to go to the upcoming season as the Tigers look to qualify for two state tournaments.

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