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TRINITY — If one shot epitomized Hillsborough County’s dominant day at the Class 2A, Region 4 tournament Monday, it was Newsome senior Ian Seavey’s drive over — or more specifically, across — water on No. 18.
A screaming liner, Seavey’s tee shot literally skipped once across an expansive pond, landing safely on the other side of the par-4 hole en route to bogey.
“That was pretty nerve-wracking,” he said.
Such was the key for the Wolves, Wharton and the rest of the county on a windy day at Fox Hollow Golf Club. A steady round here, a superb one there, and a lucky bounce or two resulted in state team berths for Wharton and Newsome, and an individual one for Durant’s Connor Hasson.
The Wolves, a stroke behind Wharton at last week’s District 11 tournament, finished Monday with a four-player, 18-hole total of 317, three shots behind the Wildcats. Gaither (320) and Plant (325) were third and fourth, respectively, in the Pinellas-Hillsborough field.
The top two teams, and top two individual finishers not on those teams, qualified for next week’s 2A state tournament at Dunnellon’s Juliette Falls.
“We were aiming for 320,” said Newsome coach Jim Govreau, who watched three players eclipse 80. “We knew that a 320 was going to give you a chance because it’s a pretty tough course. Three in the 70s and coming in under 320 was all I could ask for.”
Wharton, again paced by sophomore Spaniard Jorge Junquera (2-over 73), will try to give fourth-year coach Marcie Scholl her second state title in seven months next week. Scholl led the boys tennis team to its third consecutive state crown last spring.
“It’s well deserved,” Scholl said. “Four seniors and a sophomore, and they have worked hard all year.”
Navigating wind and water on Fox Hollow’s 6,801-yard course, Junquera continued his postseason surge — he shot a team-best 76 at districts — after failing to eclipse 40 in eight of 15 nine-hole matches in the regular season. Wildcats senior Paul Demick, the 2009 region champ, finished with 5-over 76.
Newsome was led by sophomores Colian Julian (77) and Brian Allen (78), with Julian shooting 1-over par on the front nine after starting his day on No. 10 and shooting 5 over on the back. “He was our key,” Govreau said.
Hasson, admittedly a bundle of nerves at districts, was bereft of jitters Monday en route to 73, one shot behind individual champ Travis Huston of Dunedin. His even-par 35 on the front included a 15-foot uphill chip for birdie on No. 8.
“This time I came out completely relaxed,” Hasson said. “It was really important for me to get off to a really good start. I started out par-bogey, which was okay, but then for the rest of the nine I shot 1 under which was really key for me.”