With two days to earn a trip to the UIL state golf tournament in two weeks, several area athletes are vying for berths in the state tournament at this week’s regional tournaments.
In Abilene, the Guyer boys are in second place after the Class 4A Region I tournament’s first day after shooting a 304 at the Diamondback Golf Club in the two-day tournament. Guyer is one stroke back of Trophy Club Nelson, which shot a 303 behind a 1-under par 70 from Johnny Jones.
In Pottsboro, Argyle is two-strokes behind leader Decatur in the Class 3A Region II tournament being played Tanglewood Golf Resort.
In Stephenville, the Ponder girls are in a tie for fourth place after the first day at the Class 2A Region II tournament at Legends Country Club.
The Wildcats were led by a consistent performance up and down their lineup as the top four players each shot a 5-over par 76 to give Guyer a first-round score of 304. The Wildcats are two shots up on third-place Granbury and lead fourth-place Wolfforth Frenship by eight strokes.
Senior Kyle Hodges, junior Garrett Underwood, sophomore Jeremiah Earle and sophomore Brady Hanley turned in identical scores for Guyer, while freshman Connor Ross shot an 89. In team golf, the worst of the five scores is thrown out.
“That’s a nice luxury to have as a coach,” Guyer coach Roddy Adams said. “That’s the way I prefer it. I’d rather rely on that than just one lead horse. It’d be nice if Kyle could go low tomorrow. He’s a senior and I’m sure he wants to.
“Three of them have the ability to go really low. I think Kyle, Garrett and Jeremiah all have the ability to shoot par  golf.”
After the tournament’s completion today, the top three teams and the top three individuals not on qualifying teams will advance to the state tournament.
The Class 4A state tournament is set for April 29-30 at Onion Creek Club Golf Course in Austin, while the Class 2A tournament is scheduled for May 2-3 at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin.
Adams said he’s counting on his lone senior, Hodges, to have a low-scoring day today to propel the Wildcats to the state tournament.
“For us to do well as a team, Kyle has to play well,” Adams said. “I just know, for his own resume and his personal goals, I know he wants to go as low as possible.”
Adams went on to compare Hodges to a quarterback in football or a pitcher in baseball, in regards to the amount of pressure on him entering today’s play.
“Usually, if the quarterback or the pitcher has a bad game, you’re not gonna win too many of those games,” Adams said. “Sometimes your defense can pull you through in football, but in golf, I’m not sure there’s a defense. It’s just what it is. We really need him to have a low day. He’s got to play well for us to do well as a team and he knows that.
“I’d rather be in his shoes than be the No. 5 player. If you don’t have pressure, you’re not significant. That’s what it’s all about.”
Decatur leads the 3A Region II tournament after a first round score of 313, followed closely by Argyle at 315.
Blake Lyle paced the Eagles with a opening round 76 on the par-72 Tanglewood Course. Lance Roden and Nick Louy came in with 79s while Colton Katzen had an 81 and Hunter Thompson posted a 87.
Ponder, led by junior Elizabeth Chilson’s 92, shot a 412 and is tied for fourth with Red Oak Life.
The Lady Lions trail third-place Howe, and a trip to the state tournament, by 20 strokes heading into today’s final day of play. Salado and Cameron are in first and second place, respectively.