If the Hornets want to compete in next week’s regional tournament, they’ve got plenty of ground to make up.
Junior Chandler Phillips shot a tournament-leading 71 at College Station’s Pebble Creek Golf Course on Monday, but the rest of the Huntsville boys struggled in the first round of the District 18-4A tournament.
The Hornets shot a 328 and are in fourth place with 18 holes to go.
“It was a disappointing first round,” Huntsville golf coach Marcus Evans said. “Chandler had a really solid round. We were just inconsistent.”
Chris Gardner turned in an 85, while Chase Bacon, Rex Herklotz and Jackson Hunter all finished with 86s.
“Some of them had bad starts, while a few others struggled on the back nine,” Evans said.
Thanks to a strong opening round, Phillips, who finished as the district’s runner-up in a playoff after tying for first with Bryan Rudder’s Jonathan Vasquez in 2013, is positioned well to win an individual medalist title.
Phillips holds a four-shot lead over Montgomery Purple’s Cameron Holzshu (75). Montgomery Purple’s Nick Gennuso and Brian Dunn of Magnolia I are tied for third with a 76.
“Chandler lipped a couple of holes and only hit into two hazards," Evans said. "Since he played so well, he’ll have a nice lead going into tomorrow.”
In order for the Hornets to qualify for the Region III tournament, which is scheduled for April 15-16 at River Ridge Golf Club in Sealy, they’ll have to finish in second place or higher and also erase an 18-shot deficit.
Montgomery Purple leads with a 309. Magnolia I is in second with a 310 and Brenham is in third with a 327.
“No question, we’ll have to put a good round together and have a couple of scores in the mid 70s and have another around 80,” Evans said. “We’ll also have to have other teams ahead of us struggle. I’ve seen it happen in district tournaments where the No. 4 or 5 teams make a run. We have to do our part, though.”
Huntsville II is tied for eighth. Derek Danford fired an 80, Thomas Hamrick turned in an 83, Stephen Langlois shot a 96, while Cody Ferguson had a 102 and Ross Rozell finished with a 105.
Playing as an individual medalist was Tristan Grimes, who shot an 89.
Huntsville II will begin its final round at 8 a.m., while Huntsville’s top team will begin teeing off at 8:40 a.m.
1. Montgomery Purple 309
2. Magnolia I 310
3. Brenham 327
4. Huntsville I 328
5. Montgomery Gold 331
6. Magnolia II 343
7. Willis 354
t8. Rudder 363
t8. Huntsville II 363
10. Magnolia West 373
Individual medalist standings:
1. C. Phillips (Huntsville I) 71
2. C. Holzshu (Mont. Purple) 75
t3. N. Gennuso (Mont. Purple) 76
t3. B. Dunn (Magnolia I) 76
5. I. Powers (Magnolia I) 77