LUBBOCK — Brownwood Lion Michael Hemm, the District 6-4A boys golf champion, fired an opening round of 77 at the Region I-4A boys golf tournament Wednesday at Shadow Hills Golf Course.

With 18 holes remaining, Hemm is nine shots off the pace of tournament leader Drew Jones of Decatur, who carded an opening 68. In the quest for a state berth, however, Hemm is just three shots back.

For Hemm to advance to the Class 4A boys golf state tournament at Onion Creek Golf Course in Austin April 27-28, he must finish among the top three individuals not associated with the top three teams.

The top three teams after the first round were Andrews (295), Monahans (305) and Decatur (306). District 6-4A squads Stephenville (319) and Graham (323) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Sweetwater’s Michael Hunt, tied for third place overall, is the top medalist after a round of 72, followed by Bryce Parker of Pampa, 6-4A runner-up Tyler Bilbo of Abilene Wylie and Jacob Lair of Monahans, with rounds of 74. Big Spring’s Tyler Bryan (75), as well as Luke Wimmer of Seminole, Ty Wright of Godley and Sam Harris of Big Spring — all with 76s — stand between Hemm and one of the top three spots.

Hemm will tee off at 8 a.m. today.