Once Thursday evening arrives, the Ardmore area could be home to three girls golf state champions.
Ardmore, Turner and Plainview each have the state crown within reach as they begin the state tournaments this morning. The Lady Indians are joined by Lone Grove and Tishomingo in the Class 3A state tournament at Falconhead.
The Lady Tigers will compete in Duncan, and Turner will compete at Trosper Golf Course in Del City.
Ardmore is coming off its first regional golf title in 25 years, and among four teams considered favorites to win state.
Deer Creek, Duncan, Durant and Ardmore have consistently finished 40 to 50 shots ahead of the other teams in the field.
“There are four teams that could win it, and it wouldn’t be a major upset,” Ardmore coach Marc Peters said. “All four of us have beaten each other at different tournaments.”
Peters said all five Lady Tigers are playing well heading into the tournament, and should fare well if they can maintain focus over two days of tournament play.
“We came in second during the season tournament there earlier in the year, and we’ve played several practice rounds there,” Peters said. “We’re pretty comfortable with it.”
Duncan Golf and Tennis Club features two holes that can be tricky, the No. 14 and No. 15. But, the Lady Tigers have done well on the difficult pair in the past.
“I told the girls during our practice round, ‘These two holes right here are probably going to win the state championship for somebody.’ And, we’ve played those holes well,” Peters said.
No. 14 has a creek near the front of the hole that players have to lay up to be successful, and No. 15 has a pond to the left of the fairway.
“It’s a good layout, the greens are rolling really good right now,” Peters said. “It should be a true test of high school girls golf. It’s going to be fun.”
Plainview, Lone Grove like
chances at Falconhead
In Class 3A, Plainview, Tishomingo and Lone Grove’s girls will compete at Falconhead, along with several individual qualifiers from Dickson and Kingston.
The Lady Indians won the Lake Country Conference meet at Falconhead earlier this season and took second at Lake Murray in the regional tournament.
Plainview’s last girls golf state title win was in 2007, but they’ve won several tournaments during the season and were a top 10 team at state last season.
“I think we’re capable of shooting quite a bit better,” Plainview coach Buddy Capps said.
Lone Grove is making its first state tournament appearance in two years, and has hopes of finishing in the top six.
Longhorns coach Buck Chatham said there are four teams with a shot at the state title.
“There are going to be some good teams there, Idabel and Eufala are my two picks to be battling it out,” Chatham said. “I look for Purcell and Plainview to be there, too. But, right now, if we’re in the top six or eight teams, I would be very, very happy.”
The Longhorns finished third at Falconhead by a few strokes in the Lake Country Conference tournament.
Dakota Barron and Christie Harris reached state as freshman for Lone Grove and should be prepared for the pressure of two days on the course.
Chatham said Falconhead is similar to Lake Murray, but more spacious around the greens and fairways.
“Falconhead is a little more forgiving (than Lake Murray), as far as tightness,” Chatham said. “It’s a little more hilly, too. The tight fairways down at Lake Murray are harder to negotiate than the areas at Falconhead. As far as distance, it’s comparable.”
Turner has sights set on first title
After a state-tournament run in girls basketball, the McGill sisters hope to lead the Lady Falcons to a state title starting today in Del City.
Andi, Perri and Tracy McGill along with Shelby Odell have finished in the top three against much larger schools throughout the season and should have a good chance at state glory.
Turner has two state baseball titles in the school’s history in 1989 and 1996, and a boys golf championship in 2004. The girls have never won state in the school’s history.
By Thursday night, that could change.