The move from Class 4A to 5A clearly has not fazed the Lake Travis golf teams, which played their way into contention Monday in the first round of the UIL Class 5A state championship tournament at Morris Williams.
The Lake Travis girls, led by an even-par 72 from Julia Beck, took the first-round lead with an 11-over-par 299. Westlake, the state champion in 2010 and 2011, was just three strokes behind with a 302 total. Coppell was third at 310, and defending champion Allen was fourth at 311.
In addition to Beck, the Cavaliers counted scores from Kristen Gillman (73), Ann Parmerter (75) and Courtney Ford (79).
Two-time defending individual champion Sierra Sims paced Westlake with a 72. The Chaps also counted scores by Christine Campbell (73), Maya Walton (78) and Robin Tan (79).
Maddie Szeryk of Allen, runner-up to Sims a year ago, took the first-round individual lead with a 3-under 69. Sims and Beck were tied for fifth.
The Lake Travis boys, state Class 4A champions in 2011 and 2012, finished the first round in second place. Mansfield, paced by a 5-under-par 67 from Cole Barnett, took the first-day lead with a team score of 3-under 285. The Cavs were next at 294, and San Antonio Reagan was third at 295.
Cavalier senior Klein Klotz, who was second in last year’s 4A championship, shot a 70 Monday to tie for third. Lake Travis also counted scores from Dillon Van Essen (73), Joey Hearn (74) and Andrew Liu (77).
Barnett made seven birdies Monday, including four in a row on Nos. 10-13, on the way to his 67. Andrew Paysee of Belton matched his 67 late in the day to tie for the individual lead.
Sims’ round of even-par 72 was anything but even. She carded six pars, seven birdies, three bogeys and two double bogeys.
“Obviously, it was an up-and-down round,” Sims said. “I lost two balls and had to take penalty strokes. I actually played OK and putted pretty well. I just need to eliminate those mistakes and big numbers tomorrow.”
Klotz was looking at a 40-foot birdie putt on the 18th green when the siren sounded at 6:05 p.m. to call players off the course because of lightning, the second such delay of the afternoon. He returned at 7:05 and two-putted for par and the 2-under 70.
“I had it to 3 under at the turn, but I kind of got out of rhythm after the first delay,” Klotz said.
“We’ve been pointing to this all year, trying to prove ourselves in 5A,” he added. “Actually, we felt we could have won 5A last year with the way we were playing. But we’re in it and have a chance.”