By Drew Bergman
Last Wednesday and Thursday, Laker Clay Anderson competed against 92 other high school golfers from across the Commonwealth in the Kentucky PGA Boys Junior Amateur at Boone’s Trace National Golf Club.
Clay shot a +1 (145) and finished tied for 16th place, eight strokes behind event champion Hayden Adams -7 (137), and only two strokes out of the top-ten.
“The state of Kentucky has some outstanding junior golfers… [we’re] in the top-ten nationally,” said Coach Chris Anderson. “Clay did well enough to give himself a chance against this field. All the state’s top players were here competing in this event…. We were definitely wanting to get a top-ten performance, but we fell just a little bit short of that.”
On the first day of competition Clay shot -1 (71) with six birdies and was tied for eighth overall. “He played a lot better than his score indicated,” Anderson said. “He had a lot of really good birdie looks but could not just get the putt to fall. He finished the first day with a one-under score, but truly could have been five or six under.”
Day 2 brought more frustration as Clay shot +2 (74). Unlike Wednesday, Clay struggled more from the tee and excelled at the green. “This course, the key shot is the tee shot. He did not have as many opportunities to get birdies on day two and given that he didn’t hit his tee shot well, I thought he did an excellent job of getting three birdies,” Anderson said. “I was really proud of Clay and his performance. Our goal was to come out and compete and play as well as we can.”
While the KHSAA golf season doesn’t tee off for another two and a half weeks, the amateur circuit has continued on with many of their events helped on by the fact that golf is the sport best suited for the current climate.
“The tours that we play on are doing an excellent job,” Anderson said. “The first thing Clay had to do when he stepped out on the golf course was to have his temperature taken.” Officials provided hand sanitizer throughout the course, and especially around water coolers. While players were not required to be masked, as golf naturally creates separations greater than six feet between players, officials wore masks.
Players were prohibited from congregating together, even before and after competition. That prohibition also limited the number of players who could be out on the driving range and the putting greens before the event began. Anderson said that, “with the protocols in place the golf community has done an excellent job of protecting the players and adhering to the safety mandates set out by our government.”
Clay returns to competition this weekend in Sea Island, Georgia where he will compete in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s Mid-Season Invitational.