MANCHESTER — A pair of Polk County golfers are a little farther down the leaderboard than they’d like after the opening round of the TSSAA Class A-AA State Championships, but they are within striking distance of a Top-10 finish.
Seniors Lydia Triplett and Evan Ball are tied for 14th and 16th respectively in the girls and boys divisions, while junior teammate Emily Massengill is getting her first taste of state competition.
Starting on the 10th tee, Ball fired a 7-over-par 79 in Tuesday’s opening 18 at the WillowBrook Golf and Country Club, shooting a 42 on the treacherous back nine before bouncing back with a 1-over 37 on the front.
Making his third straight state tournament field, Ball stumbled with a double-par 8 on the 13th hole, plus bogeys on 12 and 14 to go with a half dozen pars on the back. He countered a double bogey on the par 3 third hole, with a birdie on No. 4, plus had seven pars on the front.
Ball is seven strokes off the pace set by Jeremy Fultz of Carter and Chattanooga Christian’s Scott Stephens, who shot par on the opening day.
Triplett, who is also making her third state tournament appearance in four years, shot matching 43s on Tuesday, with two pars and seven bogeys on the front and five pars, three bogeys and a double-par 8 on the 14th hole on the back. She also started on the 10th tee.
After finishing sixth for all-state honors last fall, Triplett is just two strokes out of the Top 10 heading into today’s final round.
CAK’s Sophia Schubert held a six-stroke lead after an opening round 1-under-par 71 on Tuesday.
Massengill outshot seven other golfers with her 107, posting a pair of pairs on the front nine while carding a 48, but like her teammate struggling on the back with a 59.