Natalie Blonien was originally listed among the competitors for the girls 14-15-year-old division at the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament.
But the 15-year-old from Altus decided to opt into the open championship before Monday’s first round at the Wichita Falls Country Club.
It looks like a sound decision.
Blonien leads the girls open championship after the opening round, carding a 3-over 74. That’s enough for a 4-stroke lead on Jaci Hartman of Burneyville, Oklahoma, who shot a 7-over 78. Emerson Purcell of New Albany, Ohio, is in third at 79.
Blonien finished her round stroke, birdying two of the final three holes and shooting 1 under on the back nine. More importantly, Blonien limited her mistakes during the round with just five bogeys, making par on 10 holes.
Much of the back nine played into a stiff wind for the girls who teed off Monday morning, while the heat also played a factor.
Last year’s second-place finisher, Kodi Nolen of Midlothian, was among those who struggled, shooting 85. Makayla Smith, who represented Holliday at the Class 3A State Tournament last month, is the lone local competitor in the girls open and carded a 99.
LARSEN HOLDS EARLY BOYS OC LEAD
Granbury’s Tanner Larsen started his round with an eagle and those two strokes proved pivotal in him earning the boys open championship lead after the first round.
The 16-year-old finished his round 1 over, spotting him a 2-stroke lead over Baylor Bostick heading into the second round Tuesday at Weeks Park.
Larsen was 3 under after a birdie on No. 6 but bogeyed back-to-back holes to finish the front nine. He got a stroke back with a birdie on the par-5 10th but struggled to finish the back nine as well, bogeying Nos. 15 and 17.
Bostick limited his mistakes, finishing with one birdie, four bogeys and 13 pars. Third-place Mitchell Kalka (4 over 75) also took a steady approach with 14 pars, four bogeys and no birdies.
Landry Rogers had a notable round with an eagle on No. 6 and three birdies on the back nine. However, a quadruple bogey on the par-4 16th puts Rogers at 5 over and in a tie for fourth with Bradley Knodle and Collin Moody.
TEXAS-OKLAHOMA JUNIOR GOLF TOURNAMENT
BOYS OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP (at WFCC, Par 71) – 1. Tanner Larsen, 72; 2. Baylor Bostick, 74; 3. Mitchell Kalka, 75; 4t. Landry Rogers, 76; 4t. Bradley Knodle, 76; 4t. Collin Moody, 76; 7t. Beau Perry, 77; 7t. McKane Kiser, 77; 9t. Hank Germany, 78; 9t. Abb Rozell, 78; 9t. Finn Rankin, 78; 9t. Brady Mann, 78; 9t. Carter Ray, 78; 9t. Kaige Daughrity, 78; 9t. Kendrick Hoster, 78; 9t. Caden Stevens, 78; 9t. Hayden Nitz, 78; 9t. Jacob Yarbrough, 78; 9t. Caden Cawvey, 78. Local results:
GIRLS OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP (at WFCC, Par 71) – 1. Natalie Blonien, Altus, 74; 2. Jaci Hartman, 78; 3. Emerson Purcell, 79; 4. Jaiden Gregston, 80; 5t. Madison Wert, Argyle, 81; 5t. Charlee Thacker, Amarillo, 81; 7t. Rylie Rodriguez, 82; 7t. Lily Stanton, 82; 7t. Sydney Kincade, 82; 10t. Alyssa Stewart, 84; 10t. Scarlet Sturch, 84; 10t. Makena Junkin, 84; 10t. Alli Reilly, 84. Local result: Makayla Smith, Wichita Falls, 99.
BOYS 14-15 (at Weeks, Par 72) – 1t. Kyler Ezell, 72; 1t. Deuce Monroe, 72; 3. Max Chan, 73; 4t. Boston Roberts, 7; 4t. Jack Vetere, 75; 4t. Avery Jones, 75; 7t. Benjamin Bowser, 76; 7t. Ty Krismer, 76; 9t. Aaron Cummins, 77; 9t. Jackson Tyler, 77; 9t. Eli Falls, 77; 9t. Jack Shannon, 77.
GiRLS 14-15 (at Weeks, Par 72) – 1. Sophia Lefler, 75; 2. Beans Factor, 77; 3t. Ryan Jean Purczynski, 80; 3t. Avery Glanzer, 80; 5. Emile Chile, 82.
BOYS 12-13 (at Weeks, Par 72) – 1. Miles Cooper, 71; 2. Owen Mitchel, 72; 3t. Maxwell Wymore, 73; 3t. Slayde Stevens, 73; 5. Edward Lehner, 74; 6t. Chase Roman, 76; 6t. Colby Fournier, 76; 8. Karter Domingos, 79; 9t. Tyler Robertson, 80; 9t. Drake Kaunch, 80.
GIRLS 12-13 (at Weeks, Par 72) – 1. Elle Pistana, 72; 2. Colleen Dewbre, 78; 3. Sage Bearden, 79; 4. EB Burkhalter, 80.
BOYS 10-11 (at Weeks, Par 72) – 1. Trayce Rodriguez, 71; 2. Landry Reed, 73; 3. Hunter Rodriguez, 78.