Black Bears dominate again to win Farm Bureau Invitational


Harlan County won the Bell County-Harlan County Farm Bureau Invitational on Sunday. Pictured, from left, are Brayden Casolari, Cole Cornett, Farm Bureau agent Pete Cornett, HCHS coach Greg Lewis, Matt Lewis and Alex Creech.

Harlan County put together another dominating performance on Sunday in the Harlan County-Bell County Farm Bureau Invitational at the Wasioto Winds course in Pineville. The Bears took four of the top five spots to win the team title with 317 points. Knox Central was second with 353 points, followed by Bell County at 356 and Corbin at 403.
“This team just continues to impress me every time they tee it up,” Harlan County coach Greg Lewis said. “If you don’t follow golf you can’t understand the impressiveness of these wins. Today we won by 36 shots. This season we have won by an average of nearly 24 shots a match. To win by eight or 10 shots is impressive. These kids are doing things I don’t know that will ever be matched.”
Brayden Casolari was the medalist once again with a 72, six strokes ahead of teammate Alex Creech.
“Brayden hit the ball today as well as I have seen him hit it all season long. When his ball striking is as good as it was today he is just hard to beat. This kid is just good,” Lewis said. “I was very happy to see Alex get the finish he had tonight. This is his best finish this season. He drove the ball very well. His iron game was a bit off, but he was getting the ball up and down from everywhere. Some of the shots he hit were just impressive to see.”
Knox Central’s Grant Miller was third with an 81, followed by Harlan County’s Cole Cornett at 82 and Matt Lewis at 85.
“Cole didn’t have his best stuff tonight but he battled and turned what could have been a bad round into a top five finish. He hit a few good shots that got caught in the wind that turned into bogies. He struck the ball well. He just didn’t score well,” Lewis said. “Matt hit the ball very well. He just had a uncharacteristically bad day with his short game. He lost several shots on putts and chips he normally makes with ease. It was just one of those days where the putts weren’t falling. Like Cole, he hit the ball very well. He just didn’t score as well as he could have.”
Harlan County will close its season Monday in the 10th Region Tournament at Somerset.
“This team continues to set records. After finishing with the golf program’s first conference championship, we follow that up with the program’s first invitational win,” Lewis said. “We are heading for some practice time at Burnside to get ready for the Region 10 tournament next Monday. If we can get just a few small things going on and around the greens, I like our chances with this team.”