Dornick Hills got the best of plenty of girls golfers on Wednesday, but not Durant’s Sydney Youngblood.

The freshman tamed the prestigious course with a 1-under 71 first round at the Class 5A girls state tournament, giving her a five-stroke advantage over Caroline Goodin of Deer Creek (76) for top individual honors.

Defending state champion Duncan had five players shoot 95 or lower to take the team lead into the clubhouse after Day 1. Duncan leads Deer Creek 337-342.

Deer Creek is the only team that can claim two of the top five individuals in the tournament. Haley Hill shot a first-round 79, good for fifth overall.

But in a day of drastic weather changes — from the mist-filled, dreary beginning of play to a warm and sunny afternoon end — Youngblood was the constant. She was the only golfer in the field to shoot below par or even close to it.

Not bad from a first-year varsity player.

“It was a tough day; it’s hot, the course is long,” Youngblood admitted. “But I just act like it’s a normal tournament. I just come out here and play.”

Host Ardmore is within its goal of a top 6 finish, as the Tigers (372) sit in sixth, firmly ahead of El Reno (386) and just two strokes behind fifth-place Lawton MacArthur (370). Sophomore Liz Hargis paced Ardmore with a first-round 88 and freshman Shelby Peters shot an 89.

The Tigers started their day on the back 9 and steadily improved. Ardmore’s second nine holes were 17 strokes better than its starting nine.

Ardmore coach Marc Peters attributed that to nerves and youth.

“Playing in the state championship, it’s nerves and anything can happen after the nerves hit,” Peters said. “We had some big numbers, but then we came back down and played well.

“I was pleased. It’s not where we want to be, but it’s a good step.”

Putting woes plagued the Tigers on Day 1. Shelby Peters said there were a lot of shots left on the course that will improve in the final round.

The Tigers are aiming for 365 or lower.

“We believe that we can finish in the top 6,” Peters said. “We kinda said ‘we can do this.’”

Duncan didn’t leave much on the course, paced by Savannah Martin’s 81 and three other scores in the 80s. No other school could claim such consistency.

Whitney Hall and Central Oklahoma signee Allyson Wilcox each shot an 84, but Demons coach Steve Etheridge is expecting more from his group.

Duncan has won nine of the last 12 state championships in 5A.

“This course is gonna make you play shots,” Etheridge said. “We didn’t play as well as I hoped we would, but we played just good enough to stay there.”

Youngblood, who’s played Dornick Hills before in the 2012 Red River Challenge, admitted Wednesday that she didn’t leave much regret on the course after her sterling first round. Her effort is single-handedly keeping the Lions within striking distance of the team title.

“Today was tough, everybody played well today,” Youngblood said. “I believe I played my best round today.”

Class 3A: Plainview’s Walker in top 10

DUNCAN — Katelyn Walker of Plainview shot an 84, good for a tie for sixth at the Class 3A state tournament on Wednesday.

Plainview finished the first round in sixth place with a 390, one stroke behind fifth-place Byng (389). Eufaula leads the team standings with a 345. Henryetta (355), Idabel (359) and Comanche (379) round out the top six.

Morgan Brown of Henryetta, Ali White of Idabel and Faith Lasiter of Eufaula each shot 80 for a three-way tie atop the leaderboard.
Tishomingo is in ninth place (404) followed by Kingston in 11th (435).

Class 2A: McGill leads qualifiers

OKLAHOMA CITY — Andi McGill shot an 81, the top score among individual qualifiers at the Class 2A state tournament at Trosper Park.

“I think she shot really well today, probably overall her best round,” Turner coach Steve Short said. “She made a lot of good putts, she just really played her all-around game today.”

McGill is fourth overall, seven shot back of tournament leader Katie-Lee Wilson of Oklahoma Christian (74).

Perri McGill (93) and Shelby O’Dell rounded out (97) Turner’s scorers. The Turner trio also played at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on Tuesday in the 2A slowpitch softball state tournament.