Floyd Central High School senior Devin Jenkins shot a 4-under-par 68 on Tuesday to share the first-round lead with two other golfers at the Indiana high school boys’ state championship at The Legends Golf Club.
The Highlanders are third in the team standings at 4-over 292, two strokes behind Columbus North and one behind Westfield going into today’s final round. Avon is fourth at 294 and Jasper fifth at 295.
“He had a real solid round and kept it in play; he hit his wedges close,” Floyd Central coach Mike Cason said of Jenkins, who had five birdies and one bogey — on No. 18. “I hate to call a 68 an easy round, but it looked pretty easy.”
As for the Highlanders’ chances today, Cason said: “We’re in very good position. I would rather be a couple of shots behind going into the last round. The kids are playing well, so we can go out and do just what we’ve been doing.”
Jenkins is tied with Kyle Meihofer of Valparaiso and Adam Wood of Zionsville. Six other players are within two strokes of the leaders, and 20 of the 100 in the field shot par or better on a sunny, calm day.
“I felt like the course was gettable,” Wood said. “If you put yourself in position off the tee, you could take advantage of some opportunity out there.”
The junior did just that on the par-5 sixth hole.
“I hit a really solid drive (and) I had 232 left (to the green),” Wood said. “I hit a 4-iron out of the rough and it roll up right in the middle of the green, about 29 or 30 feet.
“As soon as I hit the putt, I knew it was on a good line. When it got near the hole, I knew if it took the break it would go right in the middle. It took the break.”
It was one of three eagles on the 539-yard hole. Noblesville’s Stuart Alvey and Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger’s Casey Cooney had the others.
With the new no-cut format, teams were trying to lurk atop the leaderboard in order to set themselves up to make a run during the second day.
“Our goal is to be in the hunt with nine holes to play,” Westfield coach Jon Hoover said. “I think we accomplished what we wanted to after Day One.”
The Shamrocks’ total is a 26-stroke improvement from last year, when they failed to make the cut in the previous format.
Westfield was led by the Hildebrand brothers. Sophomore Tim shot a 70, and senior David had a 71.
“It is a team tournament; it is not about me,” Tim said. “Four scores below 76 shows that I think we have the best five players in the state.”
Keith Ponsler and Colton Smith both shot 3-over 75s for the Shamrocks.
“We are deep throughout,” Hoover said. “My freshman shot 76 and started with an 8, and Keith (Ponsler) had a little hiccup there at the turn. I think any of these five guys can shoot a 72.”