By Ken MacLeod
Jenni Roller of Regent Prep shot what is believed to be the lowest round of golf by a female golfer in any class in state championship history Wednesday, firing a 10-under par 62 in the first round of the Class 3A State Championship at Lake Murray State Park Golf Course near Ardmore.
Roller, a senior who has signed with the University of Tulsa, started her round in the shotgun start on the par-4 18th hole with a perfect tee shot to cut the corner on the dogleg right, then chipped in from 20 yards for an eagle.
She went on to record birdies on four of the par-5s and eight holes overall without a single bogey on the tree-lined course. The second best score of the day was recorded by Wichita State signee Brooklyn Benn of Oklahoma Christian School, who shot even-par 72.
Oklahoma golf historian Mike McGraw, who has researched and recorded results for every state championship in state history, said it was unquestionably the lowest round in high school golf. Morri Rose, director of the Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour, concurred, saying he could remember no rounds that low shot by a female in high school or OJGT play.
Roller said the eagle on the first hole helped kick start her magical round. Using her gentle fade, she was able to keep her drives in play on the short (4,945 yards) but tight course. But the key to her round was on the fast Bermuda greens, as she had just 27 putts, including two birdies of close to 30 feet and a slew in the 10-15 foot range.
“It was all the putting,” Roller said. “I really wasn’t even hitting my wedges that well, but I was just making everything.”
Roller has been working on her takeaway with a putting mirror and also credited a recent change to picking out a target short of the hole and putting to that.
The previous record women’s round at Lake Murray was a 66 by Reagan Chaney, now of Oklahoma City University and the daughter of course head professional Wesley Chaney.
“That’s a really amazing round,” Wesley said. “Typically this course plays a lot harder than a lot of the other venues they use for the state championships. To shoot a round like that with eight birdies and an eagle is just remarkable.”
Roller is the daughter of former University of Tulsa golfer Maggie Roller, currently the director of instruction at Cedar Ridge Country Club, and long-time Jenks and Regent coach Bill Roller. Her brother JP Roller is a redshirt freshman on the golf team at Texas Tech.
Her previous best round was a 66 in winning the 2A State Championship in 2021 at Cimarron National in Guthrie. She also won 2A in 2019.
“When we got to hole 11 or so, I just said I’m not even going to keep track of where I stand and I had no idea when I finished,” Roller said. “Instead of putting pressure on myself, I said let’s just see how many birdies I can make.”
The answer was a lot.