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Coach Larry Dunn’s North Oldham boys golf team has already had a strong start to the year.
The Mustangs won the John Hardin Bulldog Invitational and placed in the top five in the Kentucky Invitational and Oldham County Invitational Tournaments.
But for Dunn, the Oldham Cup Challenge, which started Tuesday and wraps up Thursday, is his favorite part of the season.
“This is always the highlight of the year,” Dunn said. “It’s always a lot of fun.”
The three-day event matches North, South Oldham and Oldham County High Schools in a Ryder Cup-type of competition.
Tuesday the teams battled in a nine-hole scramble at Oldham County Country Club in Buckner. Wednesday the teams played a nine-hole alternate-shot format at Harmony Landing Country Club Goshen.
Thursday they’ll finish the Cup with a nine-hole match play competition at Nevel Meade Golf Course in Prospect. Play begins at 4:30 p.m.
The unique style of play, coupled with the rivalry aspect, makes the Oldham Cup a fun challenge, South Oldham golfer Nick Fowler said.
“Match play’s a lot of fun,” Fowler said. “And the fact that we get to play all the guys from different Oldham County schools. Most of us know each other. It makes it more fun and there’s a lot more camaraderie.”
Fowler’s Dragons and the Oldham County Colonels are out to take the cup back from North Oldham this year.
The Mustangs won last year when they scored 7.5 out of eight possible points the final day, edging Oldham.
That win gave North five Oldham Cup titles, drawing it to within one victory of the Colonels’ six wins. South has won the challenge twice.
“We were down going into the last day and came back to win it,” Mustang golfer Tyler Reller said. “It was a lot of fun because we had a couple of seniors on the team, so it was good for them to win their last year.”
Reller, Michael Vissing, Josh Maier and Mason Lenhart will all be counted on for big weeks if North is to repeat, Dunn said.
South is looking for strong performances from Phillip Nelson, Brian Hunt and Adam Bullard, Fowler said.
Meanwhile the Colonels need good outings from Grant Larimore, Jordan Gates and Jacob Marcum, Oldham golfer Steven Estes said.
“I think we’ll have to play pretty well against South,” Estes said. “And if we can just pull off a match or two against North, we’ll be OK considering North’s a pretty strong team.”
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