As the only senior on this year’s Harlan County High School golf team, Brendan Rutherford is being counted on for leadership, both on and off the course.
Rutherford provided just that earlier this week as he led HCHS to the Harlan County Championship title in the two-day tournament played at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club and the Harlan Country Club. Rutherford, who shot a 37 on both days of the tourney, won the individual title with a 74 and led HCHS to the team title with a 381.
“Brendan works extremely hard at improving his game throughout the season to prepare himself for these tournaments at the end of the year. Since he joined the golf team his sophomore year, he has improved every single year, which is a testament to his work ethic and attitude,” Harlan County coach Drew Chamberlain said. “If he plays the way he is capable of playing, he should have a chance to qualify for the state tournament, which would be a tremendous accomplishment, especially given the short amount of time he has played the game.”
Harlan senior Logan Murray placed second with a 78 as he shot a 39 on both days of the tourney. Harlan County’s Caleb Ashley was third with a 92. Harlan’s Zach Cornett and Harlan County’s Jonathan Wilder tied for fourth as each shot a 106. Hunter Goodwin rounded out the top finishers for HCHS with a 109.
“Caleb was my only other returning player from last year and has also improved tremendously from last year to this year,” Chamberlain said. “Jonathan and Hunter have just recently began playing but have worked extremely hard and put in a lot of time outside of our scheduled practices to improve their games.”
Carson Murray shot a 118 and Logan Clark finished with a 123 for Harlan. The Green Dragons finished with a team total of 425.
Murray was the winner on Wednesday in a three-team tourney at the Harlan Country Club as she shot a 36, three strokes ahead of Rutherford. Pineville’s Braxton Caldwell also shot a 39.
“Logan had a real good year, and I thought we grew as a team as the year progressed,” Harlan coach Terry Delaney said. “Logan qualified for the state All “A” Classic as an individual. We had three seniors this year with Logan Murray, Logan Clark and Hunter Morgan, and they all had good years.”
Harlan County finished with a 171 to win the team title as Wilder shot a 40, followed by Ashley with a 45 and Goodwin with a 47.
Carson Murray was second for Harlan with a 47, followed by Cornett with a 53, Morgan with a 65 and Clark with a 66.
Cody Goodin was second for Pineville with a 58. Chris Saylor shot a 60.
Both Harlan County and Harlan will be in action next week in the regional golf tournament at the Eagles Nest Country Club in Somerset.