McALLEN — Parents, coaches and others gathered together as they saw the oncoming group of golfers approach the No. 13 green at Palm View golf course on Wednesday.
Their kids had already left the No. 11 tee box, which overlooks the No. 13 green and No. 14 tee box. The adults, however, waited, to get a glimpse of Jimmy Lee, Sharyland’s No. 1 golfer, the best high school golfer in the Valley and the defending Region IV-5A champion.
It didn’t take long to realize what all the hype was about regarding the highly heralded Rattler.
Lee, a senior, shot a 3-under 69 – which included a bogey when his drive splashed in the water off his drive on the 392-yard par-4 No. 13 and still put his approach shot from about 130 yards about 12 feet from the hole, saving what could’ve easily been a double bogey during the first round of the 2019 Region IV-5A tournament at Palm View.
Lee holds a four-stroke lead in the individual competition over Zach Hefferman of Boerne Champion’s Navy team and Jake Sitterle of Dripping Springs, who both shot 73s. Ethan Lee from Sharyland Pioneer and Sam Sewell of Dripping Springs both came into the clubhouse with 75s. La Joya Palmview’s Derek Zuniga is also in the hunt to advance as an individual, shooting a first-round 77. The top three teams and the top three individuals not on those teams will advance to the state tournament. Briana Silerio became the first golfer ever to qualify for state from Palmview on Tuesday at Palm View Golf Course.
In the team competition, Boerne Champion Navy shot a 304 and holds a 10-stroke lead over Dripping Springs (314. Sharyland Pioneer (319) is third, Corpus Christi Veterans (323) is fourth, Boerne’s White team (326) is fifth and Sharyland High (327) is sixth.
Pioneer was led by Lee’s 75. Luis Chavez shot a 76 for the Diamondbacks while Ryan Bagwell (80), Alex Guerra (88) and Ryan Montoya (95) rounded out the team scoring. Following Lee for Sharyland High was Dylan Killelea (79), Ander Erana (82), Ryan Silva (97) and Orlando Deandar (99).
Lee is slated to tee off at 8:50 a.m. today for the second round at Palm View.
In the Region IV-6A tournament at The Republic in San Antonio, play was suspended due to inclement weather. The remainder of the first round and the second round are scheduled to take place today.