A couple hours after shooting a 75 in the first round of the Class 5A girls state golf tournament on Wednesday, Altus senior Megan Blonien was on the Lincoln Park practice green, already focused on preparing for her final round.
Blonien's putter had let her down Wednesday, and with a historical achievement in her grasp, she knows she'll have to play better Thursday.
The Oklahoma State signee has won three straight 5A individual state titles, and is looking to become the second girl to ever win four.
Blonien shot 75 Wednesday on Lincoln Park's East course, trailing Guthrie senior McCandren Lewis and Bishop McGuinness sophomore Alexis Sadeghy by one stroke.
Blonien was honest in admitting that she felt pressure before Wednesday's round.
“If you were a three-time state champion, would you feel any pressure for the fourth, knowing that you'd only be the second girl in Oklahoma to be a four-time state champion?” she asked rhetorically. “Yes, I do feel pressure, especially how it's been the last three tournaments this season. I've lost all three, and all my other tournaments I had won.”
But under pressure is where Blonien feels most comfortable. She had to come from behind to win state titles as a freshman and sophomore, so Thursday's experience will be nothing new.
“I like being in this position, knowing that I don't have the outright lead and the perfect situation for a state championship,” she said. “I like coming from behind. I deal with pressure well.”
Idabel's Lacey Jones is the only other girl to win four straight titles. She dominated Class 4A from 2001-04, while 11 other players — Blonien included — have won three.
The list of three-timers includes names like Stacy Prammanasudh, Heather Bowie and Sue Maxwell.
Five of the 12 three-time winners have achieved the feat in the 2000s, but the first came 71 years before Blonien won her first.
Cushing's Pat Grant was the first to win three, earning titles in 1935 and 1937-38. Before Blonien, Hinton's Amanda Arrington was the most recent to join the list, with her last coming in 2008.
Wednesday's post-round practice was nothing out of character for Blonien.
“This is very typical for her,” coach Vickie Roop said. “She's a perfectionist in her game. She finds things she doesn't like while she's playing and she'll go out and correct them.
“Megan's just an exceptional young lady, aside from the golf talent she has. She's just a pleasure to be around, a great demeanor. Her competitive nature, I'd stick it up against anybody.”
Blonien has 18 holes left in her high school career, but she has already achieved a significant goal, having signed with OSU.
“When I was in seventh grade, my brother went to a wrestling camp up there, and I fell in love with the place,” Blonien said. “Ever since then, that was my goal to be a Cowgirl, and now I'm there.”