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Boys golf: Argyle misses state title by one stroke

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Staff report

AUSTIN — With four holes remaining in the Class 3A state tournament Friday, Argyle and Andrews were tied for first place.

Both teams sank key shots down the stretch. But after the final putt was holed, Argyle was one stroke short of its first state championship.

Andrews narrowly defeated Argyle and won the 3A title at Austin’s Jimmy Clay Golf Course with a two-day score of 631. Argyle finished the tournament with a 632.

Fredericksburg, the defending state champion, finished 24 strokes behind Argyle and won a playoff against Big Spring for third place.

“It was a lot of fun to watch,” Argyle coach Brady Bell said. “I just wish the outcome was a little bit different.”

Argyle senior Hunter Thompson led the Eagles on Friday and shot 4 over on the par-72 course. Senior Blake Lyle recovered from a tough first round and shot 6 over par in the second round.

Thompson finished the tournament at 10 over par and Lyle at 18 over.

Argyle junior Nick Louy shot 7 over on Friday and 15 over for the tournament. Sophomore Lance Roden finished the second round at 8 over par and the tournament at 14 over.

Argyle junior Colton Katzen’s round of 13 over was not counted, as the highest score on each team is not counted toward the squad’s score for the round. Katzen’s final score was 24 over par.

It was the Eagles’ second consecutive trip to the state tournament. Argyle entered the final round down by three strokes and quickly erased the deficit to create a thrilling finish.

Thompson and Andrews’ Josh Baltzell battled down the stretch to keep their teams in it. They were in the last group to play for both teams.

Thompson scored par on the winding, 474-yard, par-4 final hole while Baltzell bogeyed the hole, but Andrews held on to win the state championship.

Thompson tied for fourth overall and Baltzell finished seventh. Pleasanton’s James Sandoval won the individual title with a score of 4 over par.

“They went back and forth,” Bell said. “They both played solid [Friday]. The lead probably changed a couple of times throughout the round. It was an exciting day, no doubt.”

On the 10th hole, Thompson and Baltzell landed shots about 10 feet from the cup. Thompson and Baltzell both nailed crucial putts to keep their teams in contention for the state title.

“It was just exciting to watch,” Bell said. “There were a lot of pressure putts made and of course mistakes were made, but that’s golf.”

Bell said the conditions were tough for the second straight day. While it was warmer Friday, Bell said wind was still a factor in the final round.

Unlike last year, Argyle was able to finish in the top three spots.

In 2012, the Eagles entered the final day of the tournament trailing Prosper by six strokes. Argyle faltered and settled for fourth place.

The Eagles managed to finish strong, but Andrews was able to match Argyle’s execution.

“I know our guys are a little bit disappointed, but they’re also proud of what they accomplished,” Bell said.