Photo courtesy of Ryan Bender
The University of Kentucky Women’s Golf team picked up a commitment from one of the best golfers in the state and the country in July. Ryan Bender, a two-time Courier-Journal Girls Golfer of the Year recipient, announced her commitment to Kentucky via her Twitter account in early July.
— Ryan Bender (@ryanbender42) July 9, 2017
Bender is a senior at Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, (KY), where she led her team to State titles in 2014 and 2016. This fall, Bender will look to add a third trophy to the case.
Bender has been one of the best players in the state since arriving at Sacred Heart in 2014. During the 2014 season, she led Sacred Heart to a 2014 Regional Championship and a State title. Individually, Bender was named First-Team All-Region.
The momentum from 2014 carried over to the 2015 season, where Bender was again selected First-Team All-Region while leading Sacred Heart to another Regional Championship. This time around, Bender paired a team title with her first individual Regional Championship. Bender also mixed in a victory at the Pepsi Little People’s in 2015.
Entering her junior season, Bender had the same goals, which was winning the Regional and take home another State championship. Bender and Sacred Heart achieved their goal, first by winning the Regional and following that with a 2016 State Championship. Her strong play led to her being named First-Team All-Region for the third consecutive year while winning a second individual Regional. Bender was also selected First-Team All-State in 2016, where she finished 7th in the State tournament.
Bender has continued her strong play in 2017. This last April, she placed 7th in the Justin Thomas AJGA and finished 11th in the Kentucky Women’s Open earlier this summer.
Sacred Heart has already begun the 2017 season and the team is off to a solid start with wins in the first four events. Bender can be found in her usual spot atop the leader board. Something tells me she will add more hardware to the trophy case at Sacred Heart while adding to her already impressive list of individual honors. Bender and Sacred Heart will tee off on Friday morning in the Central Hardin Lady Bruin Invitational at Elizabethtown Country Club.