Blanket owns 10-shot lead at halfway point; Kinkade tied for third place just three shots back

AUSTIN — The Blanket Lady Tigers are halfway to their goal of capturing the Class A girls golf state championship.

The Lady Tigers fired an opening round 382 composite score Monday to take a 10-stroke advantage over defending state champion Utopia (392) at Lions Municipal Golf Course. The second round will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Region III-A champion Blanket, which finished fourth at state a year ago, and Region IV-A champion Utopia were the only teams to eclipse a 400 team score. The rest of the team standings featured third-place Tioga (404) followed by Iredell (405), Happy (406), Bronte (411), Fort Elliott (414), Robert Lee (416), Ackerly Sands (429), Knippa (439), Motley County (465) and Moulton (492).

“For the most part we stayed out of trouble,” said Blanket golf coach Monty Jones. “We played smart and with poise and kept high scores off the cards. We showed a lot more confidence than last year and I was very proud of their efforts today.

Marki Kinkade, who finished second overall in 2015 and seventh last year, is back in the state championship hunt again as she led Blanket with a round 81, good for a third-place tie just three shots off the lead. Cassie Furry and Emily Furry both chipped in rounds of 100 while Kenzie Tidwell carded a 101.

Richards' Skylar Mast posted the low round of the day with a 78 followed by two-defending state champion Shaley Goad of Fort Elliott with an 80, then Kinkade and Utopia's Mikaela Loman. Other golfers threatening for medals heading into Tuesday's final round include Motley County's Sierra Jameson (84), Kristen Cox of Utopia (86), Robert Lee's Kelby Clawson (88) and Iredell's Ally Johnson (90).

Richland Springs' Kamree Lewis is competing as a medalist out of Region II-A and fired an opening round 101 Monday.