Caldwell wins conference match at Wasioto course


Harlan County’s Matt Lewis placed fourth in a Pine Mountain Golf Conference match Tuesday in Pineville.

Bell County senior Andrew Caldwell continued his early-season domination of the Pine Mountain Golf Conference with a win Tuesday in a five-team match at the Wasioto Winds Golf Course in Pineville.
Caldwell finished with an even-par 36 to edge Middlesboro’s Tyler Harris by two strokes. Knox Central’s Bryce Imel was third with a 39. Harlan County sophomore Matt Lewis was fourth with a 40.
Bell County won the team competition with a 184, seven strokes ahead of Middlesboro. Harlan was third with a 215. Harlan County and Knox Central didn’t have enough golfers to compete for the team title.
Hayden Clark was second for Bell County with a 47, one stroke ahead of William Miracle. Gunnar Sams and Bub Treece finished with a 55 and 57, respectively.
Garrison Warren was second for Middlesboro with a 48, one stroke ahead of Nick Cox. Warren Vaught shot a 56 and Luke Bayless finished with a 65.
Brayden Casolari was second for HCHS with a 46.
“I was very happy with my guys tonight. Matt has changed his swing from playing a cut to a draw, which is one of the hardest things to do in golf, not to mention doing it during a tournament season is really tough. The last few matches the things he’s been working on have started to become natural to him, and he doesn’t have to think about it. He was spot on tonight. He struck the ball this week as well as he ever has. Today he had his short game on as well. Seeing the results come as a coach is pleasing knowing Matt’s best golf is coming, but as a dad I can’t say how proud I am of him. I’ve seen the dedication and effort he’s put into his game and it’s good to see the results to start showing for him,” said Harlan County coach Greg Lewis. “Brayden played well tonight as well. I don’t think his score truly represents how well he’s hitting the ball. As I’ve said before, as soon as he figures out how to play a few holes out here he’s really going to post some low scores. I think the late start to the season from COVID has hurt him more than anyone else because we haven’t had the practice time to work on course management as much as I’d like. Like Matt, it’s great to know his best golf is ahead of him.”
Aiden Johnson led Harlan with a 43. Carson Murray finished with a 53 and Kevin Thomas Lee added a 59. Chris Taylor and Story Miller each finished with a 60.
“I’m very pleased with the progress I’m seeing from every player. Aiden Johnson is starting to play at a high level and is finishing in the top five individually. I expect that to continue and improve the remainder of the season,” said Harlan coach Jeremy Lee. “Carson Murray is very consistent and improving each match. Kevin Lee is starting to make better and more consistent contact, creating better shots. Chris Taylor and Story Miller have made great strides in a short amount of time to be new players. I am most impressed with their perseverance and willingness to improve every match. We are right where I wanted us to be at this point in the season.”
Local teams return to action with a match Tuesday at Pineville.