Paced once again by Emily Reyna, the Fort Walton Beach girls golf team opened Tuesday’s 2A state tournament with a 366 at Mission Inn & Resort.
The Vikings weren’t expected to compete for a state title after finishing second at districts with a 348 and third at regionals with a 359, so that they trail leader Naples by 50 strokes headed into the final round is of no surprise.
But there is room to improve from their position in 11th to follow up last year’s ninth-place finish. A top 10 showing is within reach as Lake Wales is just five strokes ahead and Sebastian River is 11 in the clear.
Reyna, fresh off a 77 at districts and a 79 at regionals, is tied for 20th individually after an 8-over-par 80 and sits eight strokes back of Naples’ Addison Klonows.
The senior began her round even through four holes on the back nine before a bogey-double-bogey stretch led to a 41. She recorded her third birdie of the day on No. 1 but had five straight bogeys from Nos. 4-8 for a front-side 39.
It was the four-time qualifier’s best start at state, Reyna shooting an 81-86 as a freshman, an 89-88 as a sophomore and an 85-87 as a junior.
Teammate Riley Conroy followed with an 88 to tie for 50th, Trinity Hixson-Wells shot a 97 to tie for 69th, and Vannessa Salinas carded a 101 and is tied for 76th. Aaliyah Miille’s 103 was discarded for the Vikings.