Gary Meszaros inherited a pretty sweet deal.

Meszaros, a first-time head golf coach for Greenwood’s boys’ team who, along with wife Mary Jane, co-owns Mary Jane’s Chocolates in Bowling Green, has watched his Gators put together a strong early-season performance.

It continued Tuesday in the SOKY Shootout at CrossWinds Golf Course, as Greenwood picked up a five-stroke team victory with a combined 299 in a tournament designed to preview the Region 3 Tournament set for later this season at CrossWinds.

Meszaros is happy he stepped in for former Greenwood coach and current athletic director Dan Dillingham to lead the Gators in his coaching debut.

“I think I got real lucky,” Meszaros said. “We have a lot of talent. So it’s sort of a little bonus, taking over in coaching. This is new to me, first year as a golf head coach. They have a lot of talent, a lot of them have swing coaches and things like that. It’s been easy on me – I’m more of a motivator and more involved in the mental aspects of the game.”

Some of that motivation came from taking on familiar faces. Greenwood’s Jacob Lang, an incoming freshman, played in the same group with Bowling Green rising sophomore Charlie Reber. Both carded 70s, good for co-medalist honors along with Franklin-Simpson’s Chase Wilson.

“They both belong at Bowling Green Country Club, so I think they have their own internal competition a lot of the time,” Meszaros said of Lang and Reber.

Reber helped the host Purples to a runner-up finish with a 304 in the 15-team tournament. It was the latest solid outing for Reber, who opened his season last week as a co-medalist – as was Lang – in the Monroe County Falcon Invitational. He followed that up with a third-place showing in the Somerset Invitational on Saturday, then tied for seventh in the Greenwood Gator Invitational on Monday before scoring another co-medalist honor with his 2-under par 70 on Tuesday at CrossWinds.

“This is my best on this course, best this year,” Reber said. “I’m trying to move forward and do good this week.”

Greenwood’s Nathan Oliver tied for sixth with a 74, Mason Williams was 10th with a 77 and Jaxon Moss tied for 11th with a 78 to provide the Gators’ scoring.

Bowling Green got a even-par 72 from Carson Myers, who finished fourth as he continues to settle into the golf season after a summer playing baseball.

Myers said there’s a welcome sense of normalcy on the golf course.

“With all this corona, it’s one thing to get away from everything,” Myers said. “It’s just one more thing to enjoy, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit.”

Myers finished his day with five birdies, and Purples coach Adam Whitt thinks there could be better days ahead as he settles in and plays with more consistency.

“Talent level is through the roof,” Whitt said. “He generates a ton of clubhead speed, and he can do things – he made five birdies today, a triple and two bogeys. If we get the triple reined in, he’s sub-70.”

Ben Davenport (79) and Reed Hensley (83) added scoring finishes for Bowling Green, who also got an 82 from Zach Buchanan on the Purples’ ‘B’ team.

Wilson paced Franklin-Simpson to a third-place finish with a 309. Also scoring for the Wildcats were Dalton Fiveash (74, tied for sixth), Dalton Owens (81) and Ben Banton (84).

South Warren posted a combined 320 to finish fourth, with scoring from Chase Hodges (75), Brennen Smith (79), Clayton Daniels (80) and Gavin Ballard (86).

Rafe Blankenship (76) led Allen County-Scottsville (323) to a sixth-place finish, along with Payton Cline (80), Eli Stamper (82) and Tyler Ford (85).

Glasgow (325) was sixth, with scoring from Drew Richardson (79), Clay Pippen (81), Ethan Harlow (82) and Bo Shelton (83).

Barren County tallied a 342 to finish ninth, with scoring from Jameson Corbin (81), Evan Johnson (85), Mason Trent (86) and James Corbin (90).

Dalton Hogan’s 80 led Warren East (372), which also got scoring from Sam Wheeler (82), Gabe Marr (96) and Tanner Flora (114).

Logan County (377) got scoring finishes from Elijah Forbes (85), Braydon Bond (87), Braden Engler (101) and Hunter Holloway (104).

James Talley (86), Evan Stice (104), Jarrett Prunty (124) and Brandon Cassady (131) provided the scoring for Edmonson County (448).

Whitt thought the first-year tournament went over well this year.

“This is the first year I’ve taken over as regional tournament director, and I thought it would be a really good tradition to start,” Whitt said. “It’s early in the season, hoping that whoever is going to host the regional tournament will give us kind of a chance to see it and try to get all the regional teams here to see it and get access to it under tournament conditions.

“We’ve got kind of a wide, spread out region as far as travel is concerned. It will make sure Cumberland County, for example, or Metcalfe County – they’re not going to be able to get down here on a random Tuesday to see the golf course. So I wanted to have a tournament to let that happen.”{&end}

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