AUSTIN — It’s a huge step forward for the Guyer boys when players are more concerned about a handful of shots that got away Monday in the first round of the UIL Class 4A state tournament than the fact they garnered third place after 18 holes at the demanding and wind-swept course at the University of Texas Golf Club.
Guyer, behind a team-leading 2-over-par 73 by senior Garrett Underwood, carded a 22-over 306 to remain in shouting range — though faint it may be — in the team standings.
The Wildcats, who are making their second consecutive appearance in the state tournament after a 21-year absence in the event by Denton teams, are 15 strokes off the pace set by Austin Vandegrift (7-over 291) and 10 shots in back of defending champion Dallas Highland Park (12-over 296).
Guyer is just one stroke ahead of San Antonio Alamo Heights at 307, two in front of Cedar Park at 308 and five up on Mansfield Legacy at 311.
Defending state champion Scottie Scheffler of Highland Park — a University of Texas signee — posted the day’s low round and only under-par score, a 5-under 66. Vandegrift’s Cooper Dossey led his team with an even-par 71 on the 6,824-yard layout.
Chase Phillips of Vandegrift is tied for third in the individual standings with Brandon Smith of Frisco at 72, while Underwood, Charles Kim of Cedar Park and William Martinez of Vandegrift are at 73.
Guyer coach Rodney Adams said that his team would be doing its share of second-guessing as it prepared for today’s final round.
“We let a few shots get away from us on the back nine, and that’s a result of the conditions, the difficulty of the course and some really demanding hole locations that just got to some of the boys,” Adams said. “We have a target score for the second round — a 289. If we can get to that score, then we will have a chance to make some noise.”
Underwood rolled to a 1-under 34 on the par-35 front-nine but made bogeys on three of his final four holes and a miss from six feet for birdie on the 18th.
“I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole at the end of the round,” said Underwood, who has signed with New Mexico Military Institute. “We played pretty well as a team and now we just have to play better. You can’t win the tournament on the first day, but you can sure lose it. We are still in position to win.”
The Guyer girls, the first girls’ team from the Denton ISD since 1986 to play in the state tournament, was forced to play the course at its toughest with the wind up and the greens more firm than in the morning. The Lady Wildcats posted a 384, the highest team score of the 12 squads at the tournament. Piper Gleadhill’s 18-over 89 was the best individual score for Guyer.
Huntsville leads the girls’ team competition after carding a 34-over 318, with Aledo second at 324 and Montgomery third at 325.
Aledo’s Cheyenne Knight, who played in the final girls group and endured a nearly six-hour round, posted the day’s lowest round with a 74. That’s one stroke better than Devin Edwards of Frisco Liberty (75) and two shots lower than Huntsville’s Courtney Tibiletti (76).