AUSTIN -- Golf is known as a game of skill, but a little luck is always nice.
For the Guyer boys, and specifically senior Kyle Hodges, the luck was all bad on Monday during the first day of the UIL Class 4A state tournament at Austin’s Onion Creek Club’s North Course.
Guyer shot a 305 as a team, good for a seventh-place standing heading into today’s final round, but it could’ve been better if not for a stroke of bad luck for Hodges on the 18th hole.
Hodges hit the green on the par-5 green in three shots, but the ball rolled backward off the green. Then, his chip shot did the same thing, and Hodges ended up with a triple-bogey on the hole to finish his day with a 7-over 77.
“That’s golf, but I think we’ll do a better job [today],” said Guyer head coach Roddy Adams, who is making his first appearance at the state tournament as a coach — also Guyer’s first as a program. “Now that we’ve played it [the course] twice, it will really help a lot [today].
“I wouldn’t doubt if we have four scores that are pretty close [today]. One more day of seeing the course will help us. I know it helps everybody, but I just believe in these kids. I have faith in them.”
Guyer was led by junior Garrett Underwood, who shot a 3-over 73 and Jeremiah Earle, who shot a 74. If not for Hodges’ bad luck on No. 18, the lone senior on the Wildcats’ team could’ve joined them in the low 70s.
Brady Hanley shot an 81 and freshman Connor Ross struggled to a 93, which was thrown out as only the top four scores count for each team.
Guyer is currently seven shots back of sixth-place Austin Vandergrift and nine back of district foe Trophy Club Nelson for fifth place. The Wildcats lead Highland Park’s Gold team by two shots and Prosper and Granbury by three.
Highland Park’s Blue team is in first place after firing a first-round 286, four strokes better than San Antonio Alamo Heights and five better than third-place Cedar Park.
Heading into today’s second round, Adams said he wants to see his team better its first-round score by about 10 strokes and see where that puts them in the final standings.
“If we can shoot 295, I’ll be happy,” Adams said. “It’d be nice to get in the top three, but we’ll see what happens. If 295 is our goal and we get there, maybe we’ll shoot a 292 and that should put us in pretty good position to get a medal. That’d be nice. It’d be nice to beat Byron Nelson, but we’ve got to have some help, of course.”
With only one senior and with his team making the first state-tournament appearance in school history, Adams said a strong finish today, no matter where the Wildcats finish in the standings, could be a good omen for things to come down the road.
“If we could somehow bring home a medal, that’d be a really good start for our team, being so young,” Adams said. “Things are looking up for us.”