Roden, Scots Claim State Title on Links

Highland Park won the 5A state title on Tuesday in Bastrop, with freshman Scott Roden earning an individual co-championship.

By Alonso Tacanga / Special Contributor

BASTROP — Two days and 36 holes weren’t enough to decide the best Class 5A boys golfer in the state.

But after three playoff holes on Tuesday evening could not separate Highland Park freshman Scott Roden from Mac Meissner of San Antonio Alamo Heights, an unexpected guest suddenly announced the boys would just have to share the honor.

In doing so, Mother Nature perhaps provided the fairest outcome after a long day was extended in thrilling fashion.

“I wish we could have gotten out there and finished,” said Roden, who along with Meissner was declared an individual co-champion. “But I’m satisfied with the way it ended.”

Roden took home more hardware, as the Scots claimed the team championship by shooting a 591 over two rounds at Wolfdancer Golf Club, which was 13 shots better than second-place Cedar Park.

Individually, HP’s Cash Carter finished with a two-round score of 146, Turner Hosch shot a 150, Blake Pettle carded a 154, and Preston Petty recorded a 160.

Roden, who shot a 2-under-par 70 on Monday, shot a 71 on Tuesday for a total score of 141. On most two-day stretches, that would have been enough for the win, but Meissner’s second-round 68 took the competition into a sudden-death playoff.

On the first playoff hole, Roden missed a close putt that would have given him the outright title. He atoned for that on the third playoff hole with an up-and-down after his tee shot ended up near a bunker.

“It was a relief,” Roden said. “I had a pretty-sure birdie putt that I should have made on [the first playoff hole], but I definitely was relieved with the up-and-down.”

A few minutes later, the first drops of rain fell and the horn blew, announcing the temporary suspension of the round, which then became permanent. Had a thunderstorm not started to move in, and with the way Roden and Meissner were going at it, only darkness might have stopped the match.

“They were throwing blows back and forth on every hole,” HP head coach Jeff Loyd said. “So it was an exciting playoff for the 3 holes that we went. But I’m happy because as well as those guys were playing, they deserved the co-championship.”

Individual achievement aside, Roden said winning the team title meant “the world” to him. Plus, the University of Texas commit is sharing the crown with Carter, a senior who signed with the Longhorns this winter.

“I hadn’t gotten a state championship yet,” Carter said. “To get one was really, really nice, and a really, really good note to go out on.”

As rain poured all around the clubhouse and lightning lit up the skies, the Scots had only a little time to rejoice following a long two days of golf. Waiting for them back home: Finals week.

“I’ve got probably some teachers biting at our heels to get back fast as possible and hopefully get these guys in the classroom,” Loyd said.

With rain, thunder and finals on their minds, but medals around their necks — and a trophy to share — it was a happy bus ride back to the Park Cities for the Scots.

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