Kentucky’s Mr. Golf Starts His Own Charity

Scholar-athlete-billy-tom-SargentBilly Tom Sargent

• School: Scott County High
• Grade: 12th
• Sports: Golf
• Academics: Billy Tom has a 3.6 grade-point average, excels in math and works for his mother’s tax preparation business.
• Parents: Leslie & Billy

It’s just like Billy Tom Sargent, the two-time state Mr. Golf from Scott County High, to deflect attention from himself to his teammates.

When asked to cite his favorite memories, he could have chosen the 12 tournaments he won in three years, or his Regional championship this year as a senior or his back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the State tournament.

But that’s not Billy Tom.

His most memorable moment? The team’s second-place finish in this year’s Regional tournament.

And it’s quite a memory. Scott County, which hadn’t qualified for the State since 2001, finished in a three-way tie for second at the Regionals. Only the top two teams advance.

So all five players from Scott, Madison Central and Henry Clay played the 18th hole, a long par 5 at Kearney Hill.

The tiebreaker came down to the No. 5 players, the last ones on the course. Cooper Bergman, a Scott County junior who shot 82, needed a birdie to send the Cardinals to State.

Amazingly, he hit the green in two and faced a treacherous, 12-foot downhill putt for eagle. A three-putt or worse was a definite possibility.

Cooper’s hand trembled as he marked his ball. But he steadied himself and drained the putt for his first-ever eagle in high school competition.

“We went crazy,” Billy Tom said. “We tackled him on the green. It was great, by far my best memory.”

Those memories started when he was 4 when he joined his father, Billy, the team’s coach, at practices. At 6, Billy Tom was adding up team scores for his dad.

(Those math skills have helped Billy Tom in his mother’s business – she owns a tax preparation business in Georgetown.)

By eighth grade, Billy Tom made the varsity en route to his record-breaking career.

He will play next year at Western Kentucky where he will study business.

He has a 3.6 GPA with strong math skills and an interest in giving back to the community.

Not yet 18, he already has started a charity. After Crissy and Dwayne Ellison’s son Finley died of SIDS last spring, Billy Tom pledged to raise funds on behalf of his former second-grade teacher and her husband, who taught him to play chess.

Billy Tom set up a charity through the American Junior Golf Assn. web site, linking donations to every birdie he made this season.

He finished with 63 birdies and five eagles with a goal of raising $3,000.

(The web site is

Now, that’s the way to make a lasting memory.