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story.lead_photo.caption Lilly Thomas of Bentonville hits from a bunker on No. 18 Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, during the class 6A girls golf state championship at Shadow Valley Country Club in Rogers. - Photo by Ben Goff

Former Bentonville High golfer Lilly Thomas is just one stroke off the lead following Tuesday's opening round of the girls Junior PGA Tournament at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford, Conn.

Thomas, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's girls golfer of the year, shot a first-round 4-under par 66 and is currently in fourth place out of 144 participants. Three girls -- Phoebe Brinker of Wilmington, Del.; Sara Im of Duluth, Ga.; and Yuka Saso of the Philippines -- share the lead at 5-under 65.

Thomas bounced back from a bogey on the par-3 No. 11 with four birdies over the next six holes to finish with a 32 for the back nine, where she started her round. She then went to 4-under with a birdie on No. 1 before she had a double bogey two holes later.

Thomas, however, made up for that with a birdie on No. 4, then she picked up a birdie on No. 8. She just missed a birdie putt on No. 9 that would have given her a share of the lead and finished with a par.

Thomas, who signed a national letter of intent to play at Tulsa, will tee off at 12:20 p.m. local time. The field will be cut to the lowest 70 scores plus tie after the second round is completed.

-- Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

NW News on 07/10/2019

Print Headline: GIRLS GOLF: Bentonville's Thomas is fourth after first round

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