While golf is intrinsically an individual sport, the Duncan Lady Demons used a collective group effort to bring home the team runner-up trophy Thursday at the Class 5A State Tournament at the Lakeview Golf Course in Ardmore.

Duncan was also named State Academic Champions at the end of the awards ceremony.

The Lady Demons finished the tournament with a final round 341. The round bested their first-round total by four shots, and gave the team a two-day total of 686.

“I think we did exactly what we came here to do,” Duncan golfer Alexandrea Rahill said. “I think we should all be excited about that.”

Tulsa Bishop Kelley earned first place, finishing with a score of 650. Coweta finished in third with a score of 695 – nine shots behind the Lady Demons.

With Kelley running away with first place after the first round, the race for second place became the goal for Duncan. The Lady Demons had a two-stroke advantage over Coweta going into the day, but as play began the advantage was quickly reversed.

“We didn’t get off to a very good start,” Duncan head coach Chuck Croy said. “They (Duncan) gave away the two-stroke lead pretty quick, but they have been here before so they knew what it takes to get back into play. They’re young, but they’re veterans.”

Duncan trailed Coweta by five shots going to the back nine, but used strong rounds from each of its golfers on the back nine to regain and build on its original lead. The Lady Demons shot five fewer strokes in the last nine holes than on the first nine to clinch the runner-up status. Duncan finished in third place last season at the state tournament.

Duncan junior Jillian Gregston finished the tournament in sixth place as an individual. Gregston shot a 75 in her final round, bettering her first-round score of 79 at the par 71 course.

“I only hit three greens,” Gregston said. “And I forced myself into a lot of up and downs. Overall though, it was good. I just didn’t hit my approach shots that well.”

Gregston struggled on the front nine, but improved as the golfers made the turn into the back nine. She shot a 40 on the front, but turned it around for a 35 on the back nine. Gregston finished with a two-day total of 154.

Morgan Totty finished with a round of 84. The Duncan junior finished the tournament with a score of 168, and was forced into a playoff to settle the 10th-place spot on the leader board. Totty and Ashley Howard of Coweta were both vying for the medal position when they walked back to Lakeview’s first tee box. Totty brought out her driver, and found a safe spot along the right-hand side of the fairway. Howard wasn’t as fortunate, as she was positioned behind trees on the opposite side.

The advantage paid off as Totty was able to get onto the green in fewer shots, and was staring at a 5-foot par putt to win the playoff. The thoughts in Totty’s mind were to end it there. Her actions answered the request as she drained the putt.

“I was really hoping to get it over on the first hole,” Totty said. “If I didn’t, that was fine, because I knew we could go onto the second hole. I was real excited I made the putt to win it.”

Duncan sophomore Mackenzie Gray finished with a two-day total of 174. Gray shot an 86 on Wednesday and followed the performance with a 88. With the team’s runner-up status in jeopardy, Gray said she was ready for the challenge of the back nine. She improved from a 46 on the front nine to shooting a 42 on the back nine.

“I really didn’t hit the ball that bad,” Gray said. “I just wasn’t able to hit the greens. In order to get a low score, you have to hit the greens. Coach Croy told me on the back nine that we had fallen behind the team that we were ahead of after the first day. I tried to step up my game, and beat my girl by seven.”

Rahill finished the tournament with a final-round 94. She had a two-day total of 190 to help the Lady Demons into the second-place finish.

“It wasn’t my best or worst round,” Rahill said. “From a personal standpoint, it wasn’t perfect, but for the team it worked out.”

In her first state tournament, Jill Spradlin shot a 194. In her final round, she shot a 96, which was two better than her first-day total.

“I’m pretty excited about the experience,” Spradlin said. “This was the lowest score that I’ve had, and I think I did pretty good today.”

Croy said that he was proud of the way she stepped up for the team.

“We’re fortunate to have five strong players,” Croy said. “Jill did a really good job for us throughout the tournament. It’s a luxury to have a fifth player like her.”

Along with playing and passing the strong competition, Croy was also pleased with how his team reacted to the weather conditions. The final round was delayed by two hours, and the golfers were forced to play on a swamp-like surface at the beginning of the day. The Lady Demons played through the conditions, and maintained their focus through seven hours of play.

“It was a long day with the course being so saturated,” Croy said. “They adapted to it, and were able to change their game. They started putting different as the day went on, and did a good job of course management to adapt to the conditions. They played real smart.”

Tulsa Bishop Kelley’s Kelley Fuchick won the individual title in a sudden-death playoff over teammate Alex Schulte on the first playoff hole. Schulte was the three-time defending state champion.

Duncan will host next year’s state tournament at The Territory.

Marlow at Class 4A State Tournament

Marlow finished the Class 4A state tournament in eighth place Thursday at Lake Hefner. The Lady Outlaws shot a two-day total of 790. In its final round, Marlow shot a 391 which was eight fewer than its day-one finish.

Megan Pierce shot a 94 on the final day, finishing as the top Lady Outlaw performer with a two-day total of 192. Haley Harris shot a 100, while Tess Bullard improved by five shots with a 97 final round. Courtney Davenport came in with two rounds of 100 for a two-day score of 200. Becca Smith shot 213 at the tournament after ending her Thursday round with a 102.

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