Having watched his golfers cut 40 strokes off their total scores over the course of the season, Purcell coach Mike Gowens is anxiously anticipating the Class 3A girls state golf tournament, which begins Wednesday at Fountainhead Golf Club in Checotah.
“I feel like we’re one of the top three teams,” said Gowens, who coached Purcell to three state titles in 2004-06. “Idabel, Eufaula and us can all play pretty well.
“The girls have worked really hard, made a lot of improvements from early in the year. I feel like the girls are peaking at the right time.”
Purcell has won three of its last four tournaments, with sophomore Ashton Nemecek taking the individual titles at the same three events. The Dragons were second at regionals last week, coming in two strokes behind Idabel.
While Nemecek has been leading the way, all five Purcell players can contribute — a quality Gowens’ previous state title teams didn’t have.
Seniors Hunter Gowens and Jaelynn Lamkin join two more sophomores, Peighton Walker and Kara Davis in the starting five.
“On those three state title teams, we really had four girls who were gonna contribute,” he said. “My fifth girl really never was in the mix. This year, we’ve got five who can contribute and it’s been really nice.
“We started the year off shooting in the 370 or 380s. Now we’ve brought it down to the 330s. The girls have really practiced hard, and really improved their short game, which has made the biggest difference.”