By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Austin Rose shot a 6-under-66 in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 6A state golf tournament Wednesday to put the Golden Wave in primed position to win a sixth straight state championship.
“We definitely wanted to shoot a good score today and set the tone,” Rose said. “But I think we can play even better tomorrow.”
Tupelo, the lone of 13 teams to shoot in the 200s, is 20 strokes ahead of second-place Madison Central, 296-316, with 18 holes to play today at Tupelo Country Club.
Rose is one of three juniors on a senior-less team. His dad, Jim, was the club pro here for 14 years.
“I hit it good off the tee and putted really good,” Rose said. “I made several 10-15 footers.”
Tupelo got a 2-under-70 from Hayden Buckely, followed by Kirk Reeder’s 79, Blake Harris’ 81 and an 84 from Miles Johnson.
Greens have played fast all week. No. 9 may have given golfers the most fits. Conditions threatened rain and became windy in the afternoon, some 12 holes into Rose’s day, but he said it didn’t have much affect on his play.
Tupelo has enjoyed comfortable leads after day one the last couple of years.
“I just think you go out with the same approach you had today,” Tupelo coach Mark Enis said. “You just try to hit fairways, greens, make putts here or there. You don’t have to do anything fancy, just keep it simple.”
holes in one
Tupelo had the best score of the day. Warren Central’s Kyle Murphy may have left Day 1 with the most memorable shot after his hole-in-one on No. 12.
Tupelo’s Harris had a hole-in-one on the course as well.
“Proud of all five guys and really pleased with the way Buckley and Rose both played. That was pretty solid golf,” Enis said. “I don’t care where you’re playing from, 6-under is a good score, great in these conditions.”