OKLAHOMA CITY — There's no feeling like leading from start to finish. Just ask the Poteau Lady Pirates golf team.
The Lady Pirates pretty much led all 36 holes as they won the Class 4A State Tournament Thursday afternoon at Lake Hefner South Golf Course.
The Lady Pirates finished with a team score of 364 after a first-day score of 356 to end the 36-hole event with a 720, which was 21 shots better than state runner-up Anadarko (741).
“We really had wind both days, but we were able to play pretty good,” Poteau Girls Coach Randall Wheat said. “Although we had some tough holes, we overall played pretty consistent. That pretty much kept us in it, and gave us a chance to win it. All our golfers, No. 1 through No. 5, were pretty consistent. That's the first team state championship in about 40 years. I think girls track won state in the late 1970s.”
The state championship didn't stop with the team title. The individual state champion is a Lady Pirate.
Sophomore Hannah Ward, who was state runner-up a season ago as a freshman, captured the individual state title with a total of 150 after shooting a 74 on Thursday — which was two shots better than her Wednesday total of 76. Ward won the individual state title by eight shots over a golfer from Bristow.
Ward said finishing second left a bad taste in her mouth in 2011.
“It's awesome,” Ward said about her state title. “I was really motivated after finishing second last year. I've been practicing a lot more.”
There was still further good news for another Lady Pirate. Senior Addie Guthrie was eighth-place medalist, and was the second highest senior finisher from the east side — which automatically made her an All-Stater. Guthrie's 87 on Thursday put her at 165 for the two-day event.
“I was so happy to finish my senior year with an All-State performance,” Guthrie said. “That was my goal that I could go out as an All-Stater.”
Also being part of a state championship team wasn't too bad, either, for Guthrie.
“I teared up,” she said about the moment when the team was handed the state championship trophy. “It was like we finally did it. We won a state title. The accomplishment is overwhelming. We just kept having a positive attitude. We shot our best really both days.”
A third Poteau golfer also got a special honor. For those golfers who finish in the top 15, they are invited to play in the Hudiburg Open later this month in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Not only are Ward and Guthrie going to this prestigious event, so, too, will Cathleen Manlove.
Manlove shot a 92 on Thursday to finish the 36-hole event with a 184 to be the 15th-place medalist.
Rounding out things for Poteau, Skylynn Terry's 112 in Round 2 put her at 212 for this year's state tournament, while Paitton Callery had a 111 on Thursday to place her at 213 at the state tournament.