LUBBOCK — Out of their element in golf conditions typical of the South Plains, the Belton Tigers made themselves at home Wednesday in the Region I-5A golf tournament.
Belton withstood wind gusts of 25 mph and made its way around a trouble-ridden course with little harm, posting a 311 that’s good enough for third place halfway through the 36-hole event.
The Tigers’ 311 on Texas Tech’s The Rawls Course has them 12 shots behind leader Mansfield Black, seven back of Southlake Carroll Black and one stroke ahead of fourth-place Flower Mound Marcus.
The forecast for today’s final round calls for more wind and temperatures in the high 30s for the morning tee times. If the Tigers can hang on to one of the top three spots, they’ll secure a berth in the state tournament — closer to home at Austin’s Morris William’s course.
Andrew Paysse and Zach Plunk fired matching scores of 5-over-par 77, Nick Ratliff carded a 78 and Kyle Revis turned in a 79. Preston Parker had an 83. Paysse and Plunk and part of a 12-way tie for 11th place in the individual standings, five shots back of a three players who came in at even par.
In addition to the top three teams, the top three individuals not on advancing squads also qualify for the state tournament.
Harker Heights’ Logan Fox put himself in contention for a state berth with a first-round 74 — good enough for an overnight share of sixth place — and Copperas Cove’s Drew Dewald is part of the clump of players at 77.
Brunson advances to Region II-2A final
Florence sophomore Tristen Brunson has already secured a state title berth.
But, first she has to win the Region II-2A girls tennis tournament today. Brunson cruised Wednesday in the tournament’s opening round. She had a bye in Round 1 and then defeated Aly Carey of Whitesboro 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinal.
In the semifinal, she won even easier with a 6-1, 6-0 defeat of Tobi Prater of Brock.
In the finals today at 9 a.m., Brunson faces Jaycee Talbott of Rogers. This will be the sixth match between the two rivals this season. Brunson, who won the 2A state singles title as a freshman last season, has defeated Talbott in four of the previous five meetings.
Florence’s doubles team of Rebecca Horton and McKenzie Payne defeated a team from Malakoff 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round, but were eliminated by the No. 2 seed out of Whitewright 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
Salado boys second after first day of Region II-2A golf tournament
Three years removed from the third of three straight state championship runs, the Salado boys golf team enters today just four strokes behind first-place Whitesboro at the Region II-2A boys golf tournament at Stephenville’s Legends Golf Club.
The Eagles are primed to get back to the state tournament as a team for the first time since 2009 after hitting a combined 339 on the first day of the Region II tournament Wednesday, just behind leader Whitesboro (335).
Salado junior Dane Hankamer shot a 3-over-par 75 to finish in third-place individually, just four strokes ahead of teammate Kyle Heiner, who’s tied for fifth with Whitesboro’s Zach James at 79.
Junior Kase Spears (89), Brandon Womac (96) and Javier Cruz-Cortes (102) follow Heiner.