MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

May 8, 2014

First rounds complete; Area girls teams in contention

Defending champion Hilldale is six shots back of Clinton after day one of the Class 4A state tournament Wednesday at Lake Hefner State Park’s South Course in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile, two area golfers are in contention in the medalist hunt. Fort Gibson’s Emilee Rigsby shot a 2-over 75 and trails Paige Neidy of Clinton by a shot going into today’s final 18 holes. Two-time defending champion Hannah Ward of Poteau is at 76 and Hilldale’s Katie Kirkhart is four back at 78.

Kirkhart, who was in a group that started on the back nine was even par at the turn and was just 2-over with two holes to play. She double-bogeyed No. 8 and bogeyed the ninth.

“I got in a little trouble with my driver there,” she said, noting an out-of-bounds shot on her next-to-last hole that started the tough finish. “I’ve got to come out and focus on 18 tomorrow and quit worrying about my end score. I really think that hurt me toward the end because it got in my mind pretty good.”

Rigsby played her nines in normal order. She was 3-over on the front and 1-under on the back, including an eagle on a par-5 16th. After landing left of the fairway on her tee shot, she used a 4 hybrid from about 200 yards out and put it nine feet from the cup, where she sank it moments later.

“The wind is at you the first three holes and that’s challenging,” she said. “I hit a few putts on the back nine and then the eagle really got me pumped,” the sophomore said.

While the other three top contenders will be playing as No. 1s on their team in today’s round, Rigsby will be lurking with the fourth through sixth place team’s No. 1. She says she won’t wrap herself up in what’s going on among them.

“I’ll just focus on myself,” she said. “I do like to keep up with my team scores, but not how they’re doing.”

Fort Gibson shot 355 and sits in a tie for fourth with Cache, five shots behind third-place Poteau. Kadrian Shelton (86), Savannah Gray (97), Abby Tsomas (97) and Shelby Phillips (101) are the other Tiger scores.

Along with Kirkhart, Hilldale scores include Shelby McGlothlin’s 87 and Kennedi Puckett’s 89, like Shelton in contention for top 10 honors. Paige Snyder shot 93 and Zoe Jones had a 100.

Catoosa (375), Seminole (378), Muldrow (379), Elk City (392), Wagoner and Ada (both at 400) and Harrah (411) round out the field.

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