We have arrived at the finish line, the fourth quarter, the ninth inning, and, of course, the 36th hole.
The Llano High golf team—led by Clayton Meyers, Tyler McDonough, and Chance Craig, who have played the game about as long as Obama has been President—will be in Austin, April 27-28, for the state championship tournament. It will be their last.
"It's very bittersweet," said Meyers, "considering we've worked toward this for many years."
"Definitely surreal," noted Craig. "I know there will be a lot of tears shed, since we are seniors."
The Jackets, fourth in state a year ago under veteran head coach, Mike McIntosh, qualified for this opportunity by winning the Region IV tournament in Corpus Christi, April 13. Their four scores—from five players—totaled a superb 297 and beat the field by seven strokes. Rain washed out Round 2.
"It's a short course," McDonough says of the Onion Creek Club's Original 18, "but you have to tread carefully."
"Narrow," Holden Simpson contends. "You've got to hit the ball solid to post a good score." The layout measures 6,527 yards and is a par 70.
The club hosted a Legends of Golf event in 1978, and what do you know? The Senior Tour, now known as the Champions Tour, was born.
Clayton insists, "Onion Creek can test everything in your bag. Very fitting for the most competitive tournament we have ever played."
Chance, the talented lefty who fired a 77 in Corpus despite facing devilish trouble off the tee, does not think the pressure is off with the Region (and district) triumphs. "We know that we are a contender for the state title, and that is the ultimate goal."
Alex Benge and Clayton carded one-over 73s at regionals, but Alex acknowledges the road to Austin, "has been a grind for all of us—mentally and physically.''
"Argyle will be the favorite," coach McIntosh declared. "They have been all year long." Meyers mentions, "Texarkana-Pleasant Grove may be a dark horse." McDonough: "Argyle, Andrews, Fredericksburg {which tied for second in Corpus with La Vernia}, and Pleasant Grove."
Bothersome and gifted Lampasas did not make it to state.
Each youngster carrying the Orange and White golf bag—and all are seniors—has been a contributor, including Jai Bhakta and shortstop-and-pitcher Simpson, whose 76 helped win Region. "Everybody has begun to turn it on," he told me.
Chance: "Clayton and Tyler are never going to have a bad round, and Holden and Alex have started shooting their best {recently}, so I feel we are ready to take on state."

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