By Sam Humphreys
Shaking off a rain delay of nearly four hours followed by a shaky front nine that included a run of six consecutive bogeys, Edmond North sophomore Rylee Roberts rallied to shoot 1-over on the back nine and capture the Class 6A girls state championship with a one-shot victory over Lily Stanton of Jenks and Mimi Hoang of Westmoore Thursday at Lincoln Park.
Roberts’ late rally gave her rounds of 73-79 on the West Course for a 152 total. Stanton shot 73-76 and Hoang 75-78 to tie for second at 153.
There was a great consolation prize for Stanton, as she led the Jenks girls to a 24-shot victory over defending champion Edmond North to take the team title and complete an undefeated season, also ending a run of three state championship victories for Edmond North.d
Roberts, with mentor Jim Woodward of Oak Tree National and father Ronnie watching every nerve-wracking shot down the stretch, told herself after the bogey run to pull it together.
“If I’m going to win this thing, I need to start playing better now,” Roberts said of her self pep talk.
Woodward said he once showed a clip of Roberts’ smooth swing to instructor Butch Harmon, who told him in graphic terms not to mess with it.
“It meant a lot that Woody was there today,” said Roberts, who began her junior career at OTN at age nine. “And my dad has always been my biggest supporter.”
Despite the rain and sloppy conditions, Jenks shaved four shots from its first round, coming in with a season-best 313 after an opening 317. In addition to Stanton, the Trojans received rounds of 79 from Gracie Doke, 80 from Isabella Suttee and 78 from Sophia Lefler. Lefler improved by six shots from her opening 84 and Suttee by nine over her opening 89.
The win capped an unbeaten season for the Trojans, winners of all 10 events in which they competed.
“We came in very relaxed today and we really wanted to play this round,” said Jenks coach Vicky Hughes. “This is a very special group of girls. It’s hard to go undefeated but we just went 10-0 and it’s the best feeling. It’s all because of our jayvee girls pushing this group to get better and it’s just incredibly exciting.”
Players were forced off the course by heavy downpours shortly after the leaders teed off in late morning. Play finally resumed in a light rain at 2 p.m. and skies cleared by 6. The Lincoln Park grounds crew did yeoman work making certain the players got to decide the event over the full 36 holes.
Roberts said winning as a sophomore has raised her expectations for the rest of her career.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “I didn’t think it would happen this year, but it did, so hopefully now I can win it the next two years.”
Besides Roberts, Edmond North was led by Livia Blevins (83-83) and Whitney Moore (81-86. Edmond Memorial was five shots behind North in third, led by Spencer Holleyman (84-76).