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Edwards, Hendrickson capture PTIT titles

By Mike Stunson mstunson@paducahsun.com

Season-opening tournament victories didn't completely satisfy the likes of Cayce Hendrickson and Avery Edwards, as the two local golfers know a state championship is the end goal.

Hendrickson, a Marshall County senior, and Edwards, a McCracken County junior, both shot 1-under-par 70s to win the individual titles at Saturday's Paducah Tilghman Invitational Tournament at Paxton Park Golf Course.

While shooting under par for the first tournament of the year is a positive for most, Edwards and Hendrickson focused on the small negatives of their rounds and how they can improve on those as this young season progresses.

"I hate to say it, but it was probably the worst 70 ever," said Edwards, who had five birdies to go along with two bogies and a double-bogey. "Those bogies killed me. It was a big confidence boost to win though."

After shooting a 2-under par during her first three holes, Hendrickson said she just tried to hold it together and stay under par.

"I think I could have done better, but it's definitely not a bad start," said Hendrickson, who went on to say her 70 was "all right."

Edwards' 70 helped lead McCracken to the team title at the event, which six full teams competed in. The Mustangs shot a 293, with Drake Stepter and Sean Warren joining Edwards on the six-man All-Tournament Team.

Coming off a Region 1 team championship, McCracken coach Nick Mills said his Mustangs squad is even more balanced this year.

"Honestly, we don't look at it as 1 through 5, we look at it as a top five with them all being even," Mills said. "We have kids who shoot similar scores. Sometimes it's Avery being the low guy, other times it's another one of them."

Clarksville shot a 302 to finish in second among the boys, followed by Marshall County, which shot a 317 to round out the top three. Joining the McCracken trio on the All-Tournament team was Eric Jinnette and Logan Reynolds from Clarksville, as well as Graves County's Blake Thomas.

Hendrickson's under-par round helped the Lady Marshals defeat Calloway County, something the Missouri commit said had not been done since she has been on the team.

Marshall County's 330 trailed only Clarksville, which won the PTIT for the second straight year with its score of 319. Calloway shot a 333 to finish third.

"I love how our team did," Hendrickson said. "We have everybody playing so much better and I love seeing it happen."

The top five golfers, who represented the All-Tournament Team, each came from different schools, as Anna Hack (Calloway), Mariah Smith (Clarksville), Emily Whitnell (Graves County) and Teri Doss (Paducah Tilghman) joined Hendrickson.

The PTIT is normally held during the second Saturday in August, but it was moved up a week due to the PGA Championship being played next week at the nearby Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville.

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