ARDMORE — Pauls Valley senior Garrett Fisher grabbed the early lead at the Class 3A boys’ golf state tournament after shooting a 1-over-par 72 in the first round on Monday.
Fisher also helped Pauls Valley take the team lead as part of a combined 301 opening round for the Panthers.
Teammates Matt Henry (74) and Daniel Whitehouse (75) are in the top five with Fisher. Carter Tate (80) and Chase Ensey (80) also turned in solid rounds for Pauls Valley on Monday.
The focus now becomes maintaining the lead they’ve built, something the Panthers couldn’t do last year when they held a first-round lead only to finish third.
“Experience is what can do it for us the rest of the way,” said Pauls Valley coach Dean Hill. “Our top three guys are back from last year, and have been here for four years, so they know what it’s all about.”
Defending state champion Plainview is second after shooting a 310, and Oklahoma Christian School (316) is third.
Plainview’s Nate Hoben and OCS’ Ethan Smith both shot a 3-over-par 74 in the first round to sit two shots back of Fisher.
“I’m going to take it one stroke at a time and hopefully I end up a state champion at the end of it,” Fisher said. “As a team, we’re capable of doing it as well. We’ve got to stay in the present and try to play the best shot you can in that moment without looking ahead.”
Almost immediately after all first-round scores were in, a thunderstorm ended Monday’s second round of play.
Had the final first-round group not finished before play was stopped, all scores on the day would have been voided.
Several golfers had already started playing their second 18 and will resume from their stopping point at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
The final round is now scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon with a shotgun start.