Ryle wins team regional, Cooper golfer tops leaderboard

Ryle boys golf team with its regional championship trophy.

Rylan Wotherspoon has learned to handle adversity in his golfing career.

Wotherspoon used a clutch bunker shot late in the round to hold off Ryle senior Christopher Harpum and pull away for his third consecutive Region 7 individual championship.

Wotherspoon shot a 6-under 65 to beat Harpum by four shots Tuesday at Lassing Pointe Golf Course. He will lead the local qualifiers into the KHSAA state tournament Oct. 8-9 in Bowling Green, where he was state runner-up last year.

The senior, who has committed to the University of Cincinnati, lost in a playoff for the title last year and has learned from that

“I’ll just rest up but not let up on my practice,” Wotherspoon said. “I’ll just go there and try to get the job done. Last year was a good performance. I just came up short in the playoff. There are a few things I could have done a lot better and I’ll get it figured out in the practice round.”

Wotherspoon started slow Tuesday, scoring 1-over through three holes. With three birdies over the next six holes, he made the turn at 2-under par, one stroke ahead of Harpum.

Wotherspoon led Harpum by a stroke heading into the 14th hole, which is a par-3 with a narrow green guarded by water in front.

Cooper senior Rylan Wotherspoon makes a putt in the regional tourney Sept. 28.

Both Harpum and Wotherspoon drove into bad lies surrounding the green. Harpum narrowly avoided the water and scrambled to make a bogey.

Wotherspoon was in a spot where he had to choose between keeping the ball in a bad lie or getting relief to a nearby bush where he might not get a full swing on the club. He chose to hit out of a bunker, and flopped the ball within three feet, then saved par. Harpum had to scramble to make bogey and fell two shots behind.

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