The Jackson senior cut through the wind and beat the threatening rain clouds to shoot a 2-over-par 74 at Hangman Valley Golf Course, giving him a one-stroke lead after the first round of the 4A state golf tournament.
"He had a very good, consistent round," said Jackson head coach Jim Anderson of Cornett, who shot a 37 on both the front and back nines.
For full tournament results after Day 1, click here.
Cornett, who shot a 73 in the first round of state last year, was the best score on a tough day for golfers. Curtis' Aaron Clare and Eastlake's Spencer Weiss both shot 75s to sit a shot behind Cornett in second and defending champ Dom Francks, of Olympia, shot a 78 and is tied for 12th. Only 24 golfers finished the par-72 course under 80.
"It was really windy out there today," Anderson said. "They're calling for more wind and possible showers tomorrow, so hopefully all that play on the west side will give us an advantage."
Cornett will tee off with the final foursome today at 9:27 a.m.
For today's tee times, click here.
Kamiak's Chris Hatch and Stanwood's Halen Davis both shot 78s to finish the first round tied for 12th and Kamiak freshman Joe Fryer shot a 79 to end tied for 20th. Other local golfers who made the cut include: Kamiak's Matt Kornegay (81), Arlington's Jack Lindley (82) and Snohomish's Zach Martinson (82). Snohomish's Sean Brill shot an 83 to just miss the cut.
For Cornett the turning point may have been on the sixth hole. After bogeying the 620-yard, par-5 fifth hole, Cornett birdied the 354-yard, par-4 sixth to get back on track.
"He bogeyed the fifth hole, but that birdie on six really gave him confidence," said Anderson, who took Cornett and teammate David Won on a tour of Gonzaga's McCarthy Center after their round to clear their head.
"Kyle is such a competitive kid I think it helped him have a solid finish."
Cornett shot a 75 in the second round a year ago to finish seven strokes behind Francks. This year, though, Anderson believes that experience will be beneficial to Cornett.
"We talked about last year and I think that can help him in the second day," Anderson said. "Tomorrow will be fun. I told him 'This is what you hit all of those balls throughout the summer for."
Shorewood's Chris Babcock shot a 3-under-par 69 to finish the first round tied with O'Dea's David Fonua for first place at the 3A State Golf Tournament at Indian Canyon G.C. in Spokane. Lynnwood's Rudy Caparas and Glacier Peak's Ben Richards both shot 74s to finish tied for seventh and Everett's Jared Heman and Mike Simpson both shot 78s to finish tied for 21st.
South Whidbey's Harrison Price shot a first-round 78 to finish tied for fifth and Archbishop Murphy's Sevryn Modahl shot an 84 and is 21st at the 2A State Golf Tournament at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway.
Jackson's Laura Gay shot a first-round 81 and is tied for 16th at the 4A State Golf Tournament at MeadowWood G.C. in Spokane. Snohomish's Bailey Wells shot an 88 to finish tied for 40th.
Shorewood's Cassie McKinley shot a 76 to finish the first round tied for eighth at the 3A State Golf Tournament. Everett's Jody Barhanovich shot an 81 and is 16th and Marysville Getchell's Stephanie English shot a 90 to finish in a seven-way tie for 40th.
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