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BHS owns 1-stroke lead in state tourney

Brookhaven, riding a wave of first-round momentum in the Class4A State Golf Tournament, hopes to claim its first-everchampionship today at the Brookhaven Country Club. The Panthersshot a first-round team score of 305, led by Grant McDonnieal’s par70.

That score on a sunny, windy Tuesday, gave the Panthers a1-stroke lead over George County’s 306. West Jones was third with a312. St. Stanislaus was next at 314. Defending state champion Terrywas at 322.

Greg Gowen of Oxford fired a 2-under 68 to claim first roundmedalist honors. Gowen is an Arkansas State University scholarshipsignee.

McDonnieal nearly aced the par-3 17th hole yesterday. Using a9-iron from the tee, his drive rolled within 12 inches of thecup.

“I didn’t see it (land) but I heard some people start yelling,”said McDonnieal. “I’ve never made a hole-in-one.”

McDonnieal rolled in the birdie putt, his second of the day. Healso birdied the par-5 14th. He bogeyed No. 3 and No. 16.

“I was up and down a lot,” said McDonnieal.

Cody Jordan followed McDonnieal with a 76. He said theconditions affected him.

“It (course) played pretty tough,” said Jordan. “The wind andpin placements made it pretty tricky.”

Jordan was followed by teammates Austin Mills at 77, and PhillipHammond and Brandt Hinton at 82.

BHS golf coach Steve Huey was encouraged by his team’sperformance on their home course, especially under state tournamentpressure.

“There’s an old expression about how you can’t win a tournamenton the first day but you sure can lose it,” said Huey. “Right nowwe are in pretty good shape.

“We are nine strokes behind our division (winning) score,” Hueypointed out. The Panthers shot a 296 to beat Terry by 5 strokes inthe Division 6-4A Tournament two weeks ago.

Brookhaven, George County and West Jones, the top three teams,were scheduled to tee off at 9:30 this morning, the last groupsgoing out.