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Paris High senior Tanner Napier finished with a birdie to become the only golfer to break par in Monday’s opening round of the Class 3A State Championships and will take a 3-stroke lead into Tuesday’s final round at Hyatt Lost Pines Resort outside Bastrop.
Napier justified his No. 1 Class 3A ranking by carding an opening round of 1-under par 71 on the 7,205-yard course. His round included 5 birdies and 4 bogeys. He finished with a birdie on No. 18.
Napier holds a 3-stroke lead over Boerne’s No. 3 player, Caden Wylie, who shot a 74. A group of players are tied for third with 75s: G. K. Morrison, the No. 1 player from defending champion Andrews; Llano’s No. 2 Clayton Meyers, Argyle’s No. 1 Nick Louy, and Decatur’s Drew Jones, who like Napier is also competing as an individual medalist.
Defending champion James Sandoval of Pleasanton shot an opening 76 and is 5 strokes off the pace.
Napier will tee off at 1:20 p.m. Tuesday in the final foursome.
Paris has won 5 state championships as a team, the last coming in 1988, but Napier is trying to become only the second Wildcat to win the individual medalist title. Mark Dees achieved that feat in 1980.
Perhaps an omen of a successful tournament to wrap up his high school career, Napier notched his first hole in one during a practice round before the tournament started.
Llano has a 5-stroke lead in the boys team chase, 313-318, over Argyle and Pleasant Grove. North Lamar is in 8th place with an opening 338. Panther individual scores were: Daniel Durham 80, Jessup Crutchfield 85, Chase Pasternak 85, Tanner Bowden 88, and Levi Graham 90.
Andrews has a commanding 45-stroke lead in the girls chase, 315-360, over Snyder. Shawnee Allen of LaVernia shot an even-par 72 to top the girls medalist chart.
This is the first year for the state tournament to be held at Lost Pines. There was a lot of confusion and delayed reporting of final scores and pairings for Tuesday’s schedule. The girls, who teed off in the afternoon Monday, barely beat sundown to finish their rounds.
The starting order has been switched for Tuesday, with the girls teeing off in the morning and boys taking the course in the afternoon.