With 18 holes remaining in the Grand Canyon Region golf tournament, the Longhorns are 13 strokes from defending their 2003 championship and earning a berth in the state tournament.
The final round is set for a 10:30 a.m. Friday, with a shotgun start at Continental Country Club near Flagstaff.
Flagstaff Sinagua -- the team PHS coach Bret Morse picked at midseason to be the championship favorite -- is in the lead after the first round. The Mustangs posted a tally of 345. Page is second, with a 356.
Individually, Payson's Brad Meyocks, a junior, is alone in third place with a card of 84 that is three strokes behind the day's best golfer, Mason Marsh of Sinagua. Page's Chez Curley is the runner-up with an 83.
The Mustangs' ascension to first place could be credited to their top three golfers shooting in the 80s.
The opening round was originally to be played Oct. 22 but adverse weather conditions in Flagstaff forced the postponement of the tournament until Monday.
Conditions that day continued to be windy and cold.
When Morse said the Mustangs were a regional championship favorite in late September, he reasoned the Flagstaff crew had an advantage over his Longhorns because the tournament would be played at Continental Golf Club, Sinagua's home course. Because of a scheduling quirk, Payson did not play at Continental this season.
"Home teams playing on their own course have a big advantage," Morse said. "And, it's tough to play (well) on a course you haven't seen before."
Only the winner of today's 4A GC team competition receives a berth into the state tournament.