MIDLAND Getting off to a good start proved to be a tough challenge Friday at Ranchland Hills Golf Club.
The Midland Trinity girls golf team was able to weather the chilly conditions the best, carding a first-round 313 to take the lead at the Tall City Invitational.
Aspen Escamilla led the way for the Chargers with a round of 74, while teammates Jules Crow and Alexandra Escamilla both shot 77.
The Chargers set the pace ahead of second-place Andrews I (332) and third-place Wolfforth Frenship (333).
“I think everyone played well today,” Midland Trinity golf coach Neil Duffold said. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start and that put us behind where we could have finished.
“I thought everyone fought back hard and played pretty well in order to finish with the lead.”
Ryann Honea of San Angelo Central leads in the medalist race after carding a 6-under-par 66. Midland Lee’s Rebecca Reed is second, three shots back.
“I was hitting my driver really well so that set me up with some good approach shots,” Honea said. “I was just trying to not make a lot of bogeys and I was able to do that today.”
Meanwhile, things were a little bit more difficult for both the Permian and Odessa High golf teams.
The Lady Panthers (368) currently sit in 11th place, but just 12 shots back of fifth place.
Adrianna Hernandez led the way for Permian with an opening-round 84.
“It’s just one of those things that we’ve seen this year with a young group,” Permian head coach Rodney Roman said. “The kids know that we can shoot better than what we did today.
“Overall, they are starting to focus more on the little things and that’s a good thing that I saw from our team today.”
As for the Lady Bronchos, they currently sit in 14th place after an opening 406. Chloe Aranda finished with an 86 to lead her team.
“There are a lot of little things that we need to work on,” Odessa High head coach Berry Borchardt said. “For us, it’s all about honing our skills putting and chipping because that’s where we lost a lot of shots today.”
Everyone will get a chance to reset Saturday when the tournament shifts to the Hogan Park for the final round, which begins with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. After relatively calm conditions Friday, the forecast is calling for cooler temperatures and steady winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph.
It sets up a final day where just about anything could happen.
“Anytime the wind blows over 20 or 30, it brings a lot of things in to play,” Duffold said. “The wind is a great equalizer. I just tell our players to settle down and embrace the lead and go out what they know how to do.”
“All the girls that are here today are going to be playing in the same conditions we are tomorrow,” Borchardt said. “We all have to deal with it. You just have to figure out a way to make it happen.”
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