Staff photo: Manny Fils Eastside golfer Matt Mitchell watches the wind push his putt off the line as Newton's Ar'mon Hickson see's the results while walking to his ball.
COVINGTON -- Low rounds by Alcovy's Zach Floyd and Kelsey Knight helped put the Tigers in the lead for the Newton Cup after the first round at The Oaks Course on Monday.
Even under brutal, windy, cold conditions, Floyd managed to shoot an even par 36 on the front nine holes while Knight beat fellow golfer Kaitlyn Doering by two strokes, shooting a 49 to Doering's 51. Alcovy's other scorer was Emily Moore, who shot a 59.
"Zach's a good player; he's had a couple of good rounds this year. He just has to stay consistent," Alcovy head coach Chris Newsham said. "Kelsey could play a little better, but under the conditions it's not bad."
Alcovy's two-stroke lead for the boys, 174-176, and seven-stroke lead for the girls, 159-166, put Eastside in a position in which it has never been -- trailing in the Newton Cup.
Newton, on the other hand, is far from contention as the boys shot a 237 and the girls shot a 188.
"It's a good start, but we still have a long way to go yet. For the last couple of years we've been young, so I feel that now we can compete with a lot of teams," Newsham said.
Scoring for the Alcovy boys with Floyd were Andrew Cochran (42), Justin Robinson (46) and Hunter Clark (50).
Eastside kept the score close with Quinn Murphy shooting a 2-over 38 followed by Dillion Leach (44), Matt Mitchell (45) and Jack Mitchell (49).
Newton's scoring came from Tyler Bystrom (55), Ar'mon Hickson (58), Riley Dameron (60) and Tommy Williamson (64).
For the girls, Eastside's 166 came from Savannah Upshaw (54), Taylor Maddox (55) and Autumn Whitten (57).
Scoring for Newton came from Jade Woods (61), Ashton McKinnon (63) and Logan Malcolm (64).
"We have a couple of girls that haven't played before so I was really proud of them," Eastside head coach Jay Cawthan said. "Seven shots is a lot to make up but I have confidence in my girls."
Eastside has won the cup every year since its inception -- the boys winning it eight times and the girls five. The second round of the Newton Cup will take place on April 15 at Ashton Hills Golf Club. The boys will play 18 holes in two-man team best ball format with the girls playing a nine-hole stroke play format.
"I hope it's to our advantage," Cawthan said about playing the second round at his team's home course. "We're real familiar with that course. We played under tough conditions so the scores that were shot were really good."
Even though Ashton Hills is Eastside's home course and could give the Eagles an advantage, Newsham does not think it will make a difference.
"They (Alcovy players) are used to the course even though they've changed the greens. We just have to go over there over spring break to practice and see how it goes," he said. "We just have to finish it off over there in a couple of weeks."