Maci Arrington of Hinton thought she had won the Class 2A girls state championship when she walked off the 18th green Thursday at Trosper Park.
Arrington was playing in the group with defending state champion and tournament leader Kailey Campbell of Oktaha and knew she had overtaken her.
“I thought when I had the Oktaha girl I had it,” she said.
But she didn't count on Katie-Lee Wilson of Rejoice Christian posting a round of 72 on Thursday, finishing two strokes ahead of Arrington and capturing the state title.
It was the third year in a row that Arrington has finished state runner-up, all to three different golfers. Some of the sting of finishing second again, however, was softened as Arrington led Hinton to the school's first girls' golf state championship as a team.
The Comets bested three-time defending state champ Oktaha by three strokes, coming from 21 strokes behind on Thursday.
“It means a lot that we won,” said Arrington, a junior. “It feels like I won individually.”
Kailey Campbell of Oktaha failed to win back to back state championships and finished third in Thursday's Class 2A state golf tournament.
But the junior already has received several scholarship offers to play in college. Campbell said she is leaning toward accepting an offer from Oklahoma City University.
State academic champs
Pioneer finished 11th in the Class 2A girls state golf tournament, but claimed the state academic championship.
Each of Pioneer's five golfers in the state tourney have a 4.0 grade point average.
Haworth makes long trip to state tournament
The school that came the farthest to play in the state tournament at Trosper Park was Haworth, which is 254 miles from Oklahoma City in McCurtain County.
Haworth started a girls golf program three years ago and qualified to the state tourney for the first time.
“We just got four girls (on the team),” said head coach Patrick Williams. “We are hoping this trip to the state tournament is going to get more girls interested in the program.”
Haworth plays at the Idabel Country Club and at Cedar Creek in Broken Bow. Haworth also has started a junior high golf program and already has 17 girls playing.
“We are really pushing the girls' side hard,” Williams said. “There is a lot of scholarship money that goes unclaimed each year (in girls' golf).”
Golf is in the blood
Haworth's top player, April Hughes, has some big shoes to fill in the family.
Her great-grandfather, Vic Pedrola, was a PGA pro from California. He married a woman from McCurtain County and moved to Idabel where he was the golf pro at Cedar Creek in Broken Bow.
Pedrola, 78, died from cancer in October. A memorial tournament is scheduled at Cedar Creek May 12 in his honor to raise money for the Haworth golf team.
“He wanted me to play (golf),” Hughes said. “When he got sick (three years ago) I started playing and he coached me. I wanted to make him happy.”