The most inspirational person in the 3A girls state championships is not a player, but Plainview coach Andy Bloodworth.
Bloodworth, who played on three state championship golf teams at Plainview, wears a prosthetic after having his leg amputated below the knee in 2000.
He was diagnosed at age 25 with a cartilage-based cancer in his ankle.
“I had a swollen ankle and I couldn't remember turning my ankle,” Bloodworth said. “It actually turned out to be a tumor.”
The kind of cancer Bloodworth had is most prevalent in children, so he was treated at the Cook Children Medical Center in Arlington, Texas.
“That was the hardest part,” he said. “I became very close to those kids. Most of them that I became close to were between 10 and 14 and they didn't make it.”
Jerri Ann Fick, whose daughter, Allie Cook, is a Plainview golfer, said Bloodworth is an inspiration to everyone, especially his athletes.
“I think he is an awesome example,” she said.
Bloodworth hit his first hole-in-one on the golf course three weeks ago.
DEFENDING STATE CHAMP NOW NO. 2 BAG
Idabel's Madelyn Lehr is the defending state champion, but she is the No. 2 bag for the team this season behind junior Ali White.
“They have gone back and forth their whole career,” said Idabel coach David White.
Lehr, who admits struggling with her swing this season, didn't expect to win the state championship last season as a sophomore.
“Everything came together that day,” she said.
White has played the No. 1 bag most of the season for Idabel.
PURCELL BUILDING FOR FUTURE
Purcell brought a very young team to the state golf championships: three freshmen and two juniors.
“We have played pretty good golf this year and I think we are going to continue to get better,” Purcell coach Mike Gowens said.
“We had kind of an off day today. Not a whole lot went good today. I think next year we are right there.”
HURST MAKES HISTORY FOR STIGLER
Stigler's Brook Hurst is the school's first female golfer to earn a scholarship.
She has signed to play golf at Central Baptist College in Conway, Ark.
“It was a really big deal for me,” Hurst said of the scholarship.
Hurst only started playing golf seriously two years ago. She shot a 91 on Wednesday.
“I left a lot of shots out there,” she said. “The course is tough. The greens are fast. They are insane.”