With 31 City Championships in her pocket, Scott birdied half of the first six holes on her way to a two-stroke lead over five-time champion Linda Mullins after the opening round at the Cleveland Country Club Tuesday.
Lydia Triplett is looking to “three-peat” as the event’s Junior champion and headed into today’s final 18 holes with a three-stroke advantage over best friend Sloane Rakestraw.
In the team double low ball competition, the Cleveland Country Club foursome of Scott, Mullins, Robin Russell and Sarah Stutz posted a commanding 145-176 lead over Chatata Valley’s Kay McDaniel, Beth Harper, Freeda Allegratti and Mickey Wooten.
Weather permitting, the two-day event was slated to wrap up this morning at the Chatata Valley Golf Club.
Scott, who stayed away from the links for a week prior to Tuesday’s tee off, birdied the par 4 first hole and then did the same on No. 4.
On the par 3 sixth hole, the retired school teacher put her tee shot pin high in the center of the green. With the hole placement in the front right, Scott was left with a 25-foot downhill putt, which she drained as playing partners Mullins, McDaniel and Amy Blackwood cheered.
Scott added another birdie after the turn on No. 11, but a double bogey on 16, along with a few other bogeys put her back over par. She finished atop the leaderboard with a 1-over 73.
“If taking a week off helps you play like that, I better take a month off,” laughed Mullins, who posted a consistent 38-37 for a 3-over 75 on her and Scott’s home course. “Maggie and Amy (Blackwood) both played well. It was hard to keep up with them.”
Blackwood, who played at Berry College before graduating a few years ago, had a birdie and a double bogey in her round as she posted a 79 for third place in the Championship Flight.
Despite playing in the “teenage” division, Triplett kept pace with the top of the leaderboard, posting the first day’s third best score with a 6-over 78.
Rakestaw had the fifth-lowest score of the opening round with an 81 to keep her within striking distance of Triplett. Rakestraw and Triplett are both rising seniors as Bradley Central and Polk County high schools respectively.
Olivia Williams (97), Heidi Rakestraw (97), Kelsey Cassada (98) and Danielle Bates (101) are also competing in the Junior division.
Among the adults, McDaniel leads the First Flight with an opening round 86, while Russell is four strokes back at 90 and Cheri Wood is right behind at 91. Stutz is just four strokes back of Wood.
Lynn O’Hair and Wanda Evans are knotted atop the Second Flight standings with 96s, while Allegratti is four strokes back. Harper and Judy Ozawa are just five shots off the pace.
Mary Lou Miller holds a five-stroke advantage in the Third Flight race, with Jola Burch as her nearest competitor. Wooten and Honey Climer are also competing in the flight.