A fierce and sudden thunderstorm, accompanied by hail, lightning and high winds, forced two delays on the first day of the UIL boys Class 5A state golf tournament, while the 4A girls won’t finish their first round until Tuesday.
When the rain cleared, the Mansfield boys finished their opening round at Morris Williams Golf Course with a flurry by forging a 3-under-par 285, good enough to grab a nine-stroke lead over Austin Lake Travis after 18 holes of play.
Mansfield’s Cole Barnett fired a 5-under-par 67 and shares the top of the leaderboard with Andrew Paysse of Belton. Andrew Spear of Flower Mound Marcus is in third place at 2-under 70 and Luke Neeley of Mansfield is among a group of four players at 1-under 71.
“It certainly was a long day out there with two rain delays, but our guys endured and did very well,” Mansfield coach Trampas Wilson said. “It helps when you have two guys shoot under par like we did today. Cole has been playing very well coming into this tournament and he was primed to go low.”
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Mansfield was the only team to post an under-par score but Wilson said his team would not rest on its early success.
“A nine-stroke lead can disappear in a flash in team play, so we are going into (Tuesday) with the mindset that we are all tied,” he said.
In the 5A girls event, defending champion Allen has a disastrous opening round, posting a 23-over-par 311, 12 strokes behind leader Austin Lake Travis . Austin Westlake carded a 14-over 302 to garner second place after 18 holes, while Coppell is at 22-over 310. Mansfield is tied for fifth with San Antonio Johnson at 24-over 312 and Southlake Carroll is tied for ninth at 33-over 321.
In the boys 4A event, Dallas Highland Park Blue fashioned an overall 6-over-par 286 and earned a four-stroke lead at the halfway point of the 36-hole tournament at Onion Creek Club’s North course, which played 6,530 yards.
San Antonio Alamo Heights, spurred by a low round of 1-under-par 69 by Sutherland Stith, was second at 290 with Cedar Park another stroke back at 11-over 291.
Highland Park sent two teams to the event. Levi Pettit, who led Highland Park Blue with an even-par 70, was originally set to play on the Gold team until he was elevated to the Blue this week.
Trophy Club Nelson was fifth at 16-over-par 294, with Denton Guyer in seventh at 25-over 305, Highland Park’s Gold team eighth at 27-over 307 and Prosper and Granbury tied for ninth at 28-over 308.
The Trophy Club Nelson girls were among the four 4A teams that were still on the course at Onion Creek when the storm struck and play was suspended. Twelve girl individual competitors, including two-time 4A titleist Lindsey McCurdy of Buda Hays, were also forced to seek cover — some in a restroom near the 14th green — as the rains poured down.
Those that didn’t finish will return to the course beginning at 7:30 a.m. today to complete the full 18 holes of their opening rounds before second-round play is contested.
When play was halted, Montgomery had a three-stroke lead on Nelson, with Prosper further back in fourth. Dallas Highland Park (65-over-par) and Aledo (76-over), which finished the full 18 holes, were in eight and tied for 11th, respectively.