Owen Stamper

Owen Stamper walks off the course Tuesday at Bowling Green Country Club after winning a Bluegrass Golf Tour tournament.

Before Tuesday, Owen Stamper hadn’t played a round at Bowling Green Country Club since Oct. 12, when he was finishing up his high school career at the 2019 Leachman Buick-GMC-Cadillac/KHSAA Boys’ State Golf Championship.

The recent Allen County-Scottsville graduate is always happy to play there, however.

“The wedge yardage after my driver – they play really good into my game. I love these greens and I love putting on them,” he said. “That equals a good day, I think.”

He had a good day in the fall, when he finished third in the state, and had another Tuesday in his first tournament of the summer. Stamper fired a 4-under 68 to finish first in the boys’ 15-18 division at the Bluegrass Golf Tour event at BGCC.

“It was good to get a good warm-up tournament in,” he said. “I finished with a good day and got the first spot on the leaderboard, so that was fun.”

Stamper got off to a rough start, bogeying No. 1. He bounced back with a birdie on the following hole. He moved to 1-under with a birdie on the par-5 fifth, but bogeyed the sixth hole and ended the front nine even.

He remained even and in front of the 27-golfer field through No. 14, but caught fire to end his round. He birdied the final four holes, sinking a short putt on No. 18 to close out the four-stroke victory and giving group members Grant Puckett, of Clay, and Riley Grindstaff, of Thompson Station, Tenn., a wave instead of the traditional handshake due to social distancing guidelines in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The first hole I hit a nice cut into the water, so I made bogey from there and then I just tried to get into a rhythm and made another bogey and started hitting my driver and wedges really good down the stretch,” Stamper said. “That led to birdies.

“I feel like the last four holes here kind of set up to my game. They set up to a driver and wedge for me, and I just executed my shots. It feels great to do it like that.”

Stamper was unable to compete in his senior baseball season at Allen County-Scottsville due to the coronavirus pandemic, but has been attempting to get to the golf courses as much as possible, with most of his work done at Scottsville Country Club. The KHSAA officially canceled the spring sports season April 21.

“I’ve just been trying to practice and play every day,” he said. “I’ve been getting out to our course and going to play with buddies at other courses and just trying to stay healthy right now.”

He says he has a couple of other tournaments planned throughout the summer, but is still working on his schedule with postponements and rescheduled dates. Stamper signed with Middle Tennessee in December and plans to make the move to Murfreesboro in mid-August.

“I’m ready to be down there,” he said. “I love it down there and I love the guys, so I’m ready to go.”

Grindstaff finished second with an even-par 72, while Allen County-Scottsville rising sophomore Rafe Blankenship was third with a 2-over 74. Jiles Wyatt and James Folz rounded out the top five by finishing tied for fourth at 3-over.

Ben Davenport was first in the boys’ 12-14 division at 3-over, Eli Turner was first in the boys’ 13-18 (nine-hole) division at 23-over, Landon Hunt was first in the boys’ 11-12 division at 7-over and Griffin Jackson was first in the boys’ 10 & Under division at 4-over.

Macey Brown finished 4-over to place first in the girls’ 15-18 division, while Madison Glisson and Emma Harmon followed in second and third, respectively. Isabella Wiley and Nina McMurtrey tied for fourth. Keira Yun placed first in the girls’ 14 & Under division at 9-over and Allyson Kaelin was first in the girls’ 12 & Under division at 24-over.{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit bgdailynews.com.

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