CRESWELL — Marist senior John Pollock is pretty unmistakable on the golf course.
The free-swinging, mostly self-taught lefty drew plenty of attention to himself on Monday, making birdies on the first three holes at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort and shooting a 2-under round of 70 to seize the first-day lead at the Class 5A boys golf state tournament.
"I made some big putts down the stretch and it paid off," said Pollock, who got up and down for tough par saves on holes 15 and 17, then tapped in for birdie on No. 18 after narrowly missing an eagle putt.
That eagle opportunity came after Pollock bombed a drive around 320 yards, then parked his 230-yard approach shot on the left side of the green.
"I kind of just grew up with a homemade swing and found my own way," Pollock said after the round. "I got some lessons later on to fine-tune some things, but it's just a natural big turn and a natural quick rotation. I love hitting the ball a long ways."
Pollock wasn't the only local golfer to post a low number on Monday. Thurston junior Tyler Garner, who took up the sport two years ago after an injury-plagued basketball career, shot a 1-under 71 to slot into second place. Thurston teammate Andrew Watts is in a tie for seventh at 5-over 77.
Marist has a huge lead in the team standings thanks to a balanced scoring effort. Sophomore Arnav Reddy is in fourth place individually after shooting a 2-over 74, freshman Nick Watts is tied for seventh (77) and senior Justin Potwora is tied for 10th (78).
The Spartans lead with 299 points, followed by Summit in second (318), Thurston in third (334), Crescent Valley in fourth (338) and Churchill in fifth (342).
The Lancers were led by senior Dylan Adams, who shot an 8-over 80, tied for 13th place. Teammate Cole Jensen was tied for 17th with an 83.
Pollock is ready for a challenge from the rest of the field, but said he is prepared to finish what he started on Monday.
"It's a two-day tournament so ... I've got to go home and get some good rest and be ready to come out tomorrow blazing," he said.
Local golfers weren't quite as fortunate in the Class 6A tournament, which teed off in the afternoon as temperatures climbed into the mid-80s.
Lincoln junior Nate Stember and Jesuit sophomore Andrew Reinhardt were tied for the lead at 1-under 71 after Monday's round. Jesuit landed four golfers in the top six individually and the Crusaders had a 30-shot lead in the team standings going into the final round.
Sheldon sits in sixth at 332, but the Irish are only 10 strokes back of second-place Mountainside. South Eugene will have a bigger hill to climb on Tuesday after the Axe fell to 10th place in the team standings at 341.
Sheldon senior Cade Stubbs turned in the top performance by a local golfer, firing a 7-over 79 to move into a tie for 15th. Carter Helikson (82), Grant Erving (85) and Kyle Rubin (86) rounded out Sheldon's team scorers.
South Eugene seniors Joey Brunden and Tanner Hermanson shot matching rounds of 82 to tie for 33rd place after the first round. Connor Siebert (85) and Jackson Naugle (92) were the other scorers for the Axe.
Churchill tees off at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, and Thurston and Marist will go off starting at 8:15. Sheldon will kick off the afternoon session at 12:15 p.m., with South Eugene starting at 1:36.