By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Baldwyn is 18 holes away from its third straight Class 2A state golf championship. The Bearcats’ 318 on the opening 18 holes Tuesday at Natchez Trace Golf Club is good for a 12-stroke lead heading into today final round.
“We could have shot better. I’m hoping with us being up 12 and our top two didn’t play up to par, we’ll look for those guys to play better tomorrow,” Baldwyn coach Michael Gray said.
Mize finished Day 1 with a 330 for second place.
For the Bearcats, Jacob Dixon and Will Moore each shot 78, while team leaders Clayton Gray and Tucker Jenkins shot 79 and 83. Cason Collins shot a first-day 93.
“We’d like it to be a little better but that will do for tomorrow,” said Clayton Gray, who birdied the final hole. “If we just play better than we did today, I think we can win it.”
Moore was 2-under through six holes on Tuesday.
Bruce shot 335, Union 340 and Calhoun City 351. Loyd Star (360) and Scott Central (404) rounded out the field’s seven.
Chasing the bearcats
Mize, which features four seniors, has finished second in each of the last two tournaments. Baldwyn is three sophomores, a junior in Moore and a freshman in Collins.
“We expect a strong battle tomorrow,” coach Gray said. “We’ve just got to be consistent and play the best we can.”
Bruce and Calhoun City each had two players shoot 82, Parker Ellard and W.D. Newlin for Bruce and Noah Hill and Brandon Walker for Calhoun City.
Mize’s Patrick Dickson and Union’s Andy Ogletree lead the individual scorers with 75s.
The Bearcats won here two seasons ago before winning it at Mize’ home course of Okatoma in Collins last May. Tuesday, rain came in as the final two groups were finishing.
“It was in great shape,” Clayton Gray said of the course. “The greens were pretty quick. All around, it was pretty good.”