By JESSE SMITHEY
Lance Simpson already has a state title to his credit.
But the Tennessee Vols golf commitment and Farragut High senior is out for more than that win from the 2018 TSSAA Division I Large Class State Tournament.
After all, that was a rain-shortened event, and Simpson shared the title with Jackson Skeen of Science Hill.
Simpson is in position to earn a solo 36-hole title from the TSSAA this week in Manchester, Tenn.
He opened with a 5-under-par 67 Tuesday at WillowBrook Golf Club, carding six birdies against one bogey to sit atop the leaderboard heading into Wednesday’s final round.
But he isn’t alone on the perch. Dickson County’s Jackson Herrington also shot 67, and Oakland’s Garrett Chumley posted 68. After those three, the next closest player is at par 72.
The Farragut boys’ team is in the No. 1 spot on the team leaderboard by one stroke over Ravenwood and two over Greenbrier. The Admirals are after their first boys’ team state title since 2014.
Farragut freshman Brady Harville came through in a big way Tuesday with a 74, which was good enough for a tie for 11th place on the individual leaderboard.
A.J. Rinehart birdied his final hole Tuesday to sign for a 77. Connor Price rounded out Farragut’s team total of 12-over 300 with an 82.
Knoxville West’s Carson Kammann was even after nine holes but slipped to a 76. He’s tied for 21st heading into Wednesday. Campbell County’s David Bates (77) and Bearden’s Jayden Morrell (78) are tied for 25th and 31st, respectively.
GIRLS STATE TOURNAMENT
Farragut senior Lexanne Halama has championship-caliber talent but has some work to do on Wednesday to find the winner’s circle.
Even after 12 holes Tuesday, Halama made three consecutive bogeys en route to an opening-round 75 at WillowBrook for the Illinois commit.
The reigning 5Star Preps Player of the Year is tied for eighth and seven shots back of leader Isabella van der Biest, a senior from Dobyns-Bennett and an Alabama commit.
Halama’s Farragut teammate, Lindsay Ott, shot a 79 and is tied for 16th place. Vivian Wang shot 81 for the Lady Admirals, but her score didn’t count toward the 154 total that has Farragut in third place in the team competition.
Tennessee High leads the field of girls’ teams at 144. Station Camp is second at 151. Farragut’s girls last won state in 2006.
Other local notables in the field: Madilyn Newman (Hardin Valley, 81), Maya Hira (Bearden, 86) and Madison Atchley (Maryville, 88).
DIVISION II-AA REGIONAL
at Bear Trace – Harrison Bay
The Division II state tournaments will be held next week at WillowBrook, and the Knoxville Catholic girls team secured their spot in the field. Two individuals from the Catholic boys’ team will be making the trip, as well.
Chase Fuller (74) and Harrison Thompson (83) advanced out of region on Tuesday.
Kennedy Noe (81) and Jodie Spangler (87) teamed up to get the Lady Irish to a runner-up region finish and state-tournament berth. Amelia Rechter shot 88 for the Catholic girls.