Durant's Sydney Youngblood says she has long looked up to Oklahoma State golfer Megan Blonien, who last year as a senior at Altus became the second player in state history to win four individual state golf championships.
After shooting a 76 in cold, windy, rainy conditions Thursday at Dornick Hills in Ardmore, Youngblood took the first step down Blonien's path, winning the Class 5A title as a freshman.
“Megan's been my role model ever since I can remember. Seeing her winning state four years in a row, that's just been my dream,” Youngblood said. “But I couldn't have imagined this day being any better than it has been.”
Youngblood was the only player to shoot under par on Wednesday, with a 1-under 71, and she had Thursday's best round as well. Her 147 total was good for a seven-stroke victory over Deer Creek's Caroline Goodin.
“It was a tough day and I knew the scores could be high,” Youngblood said. “I felt like if I could keep it in the 70s, I'd have a good chance.”
MCGUINNESS MOVING UP
McGuinness junior Alexis Sadeghy completed an impressive feat with her third top-three finish at the state tournament in as many years, shooting a 79 Thursday for a 156 total.
With four of their top five players coming back next year, the Irish, who finished fourth as a team, have a lot of promise ahead. However, the road gets tougher.
Thursday's performance was their third top-eight finish at the Class 5A state tournament in the last three years. According to the OSSAA's private-school success rules instituted two years ago, McGuinness' girls golf team will have to move to Class 6A next year.
Sadeghy, however, was excited by the idea.
“We have a lot of young players on our team, she said. “I think it'll be a great move for us. It'll push us to work harder, and that's always good.”
FOUR EARN ALL-STATE
It took one playoff hole, but Deer Creek senior Haley Hill earned a spot in the All-State match next summer, along with three other Class 5A players.
Hill was joined by teammate Caroline Goodin to represent the West team at All-State in July in Tulsa.
From the east, Tahlequah's Emily Pippen and Claremore's Allysa Brown earned All-State spots.
After playing in warm weather and light wind Wednesday, players had the exact opposite Thursday, with temperatures in the mid-40s and gusting winds.
But the difficult conditions didn't reflect in all the scores. Several players posted better scores Thursday, and a few saw significant improvements.
Pryor's Ashlin Taylor cut 16 shots off her first-round total, the biggest drop of the day. Tahlequah's Mikal Yahola shot 15 strokes better Thursday, and four others reduced scores by at least 10 shots.
BY SCOTT WRIGHT