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Grant County golfers represented in NKY 7-UP tour

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By Matt Birkholtz

Five golfers from Grant County competed in the Northern Kentucky Junior Golf 7-UP tour, which concluded with a two-round championship tournament, July 25-26 at Lassing Pointe and Boone County Links Golf Course.

Zach Wright, who graduated in June and is attending NKU this fall on a golf scholarship, placed third in his age group, shooting a two-day total of 158, five strokes short of winner Chris Desmarias.

“I wasn’t pleased, but it’s golf,” he said. “You are going to have good and bad rounds. The back nine I had a good round going and hit one out-of-bounds on the 16th hole. On 17, I hit a tree on my back swing and I don’t know how you do that, but I did. Now I am looking forward to playing at the collegiate level.”

Wright got to play along side his friend and teammate Tim Livingood, who will be the leader of the Grant County Braves golf team this fall.

“It’s fun,” Wright said. “We have been buddies forever and I played a U.S. Amateur Open last week and had Tim as my caddy for 36 holes. That was tiring. I finished tied for fourth. We make a good team together.”

For Livingood, the 7-UP tour had a different affect on him missing the cut by one stroke.

“I never played a solid round at Lassing Pointe and have not gotten along with that course,” he said. “I had a three-stroke lead going into the final two holes. I double-bogeyed the 17th, which still gave me a one-stroke lead on the 18th hole. I hit a nine on the last hole and missed the cut by one stroke.”

Braves coach Lance Robinson said any of the golfers performing in the tournament would say they could have played better.

“Any day can have a different effect on you,” he said. “Rain can affect your game.”

With Wright heading to NKU, Robinson reminisced about coaching him.

“Zach is just a great player,” he said. “I have never been around someone that is so focused. Nothing really fazes him and as long as he can stay focused, the world is his.”

Other Grant County golfers performing in the 7-UP Tour were Sarah Boden, Jacob Vrolijk and Cody Kellam. Vrolijk placed fourth in the 12-13 age group, with Boden and Kellam missing the cut in their respective age groups.

“I didn’t play very well both days,” Vrolijk said. “I didn’t play to my expectations. I could have been up with the leaders there if I played better. I had silly shots and threw them away.”

With the season here, Livingood is ready to be a senior leader.

“It is something that I have relished watching Zach the last couple of years,” he said. “I take pride in it and that the younger ones get the fundamentals down and are successful.”