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TAMPA — A strong field of Pinellas County golfers headlined by Palm Harbor University’s Jasmine Wade, Dunedin’s Justine Knox and East Lake’s Jordan Patton had their sights set on qualifying for the state tournament at Tuesday’s Class 2A, Region 4 tournament.
But it was a relative unknown, Countryside freshman Madison Glennie, who will be making the trip next week to Ocala. Glennie fired a career best 2-over 74 at Emerald Greens to grab the second individual qualifying spot for state, beating out Wade and Knox by a stroke.
“I literally did not expect this,” Glennie said. “It just turned out that my best round got me into state, which is pretty cool.”
Glennie shot 82 a week ago at districts and carried a 42.5 nine-hole average through the regular season. At regionals, however, she put together all phases of her game to advance.
“I hit my drives really straight and consistent,” she said. “I hit my irons really well, and I putted really well. I didn’t putt so well at districts.”
During the summer, Glennie had to deal with eight bulging discs in her back and didn’t play for two months. She picked up her clubs again for the first time a week before the start of the regular season.
“I practiced all the time this year,” she said. “I really wanted to come back from my injury and play well.”
As a team, Countryside finished in seventh with 352.
Behind Wade’s 2-over 75 and Lauren Coe’s 81, Palm Harbor University was fourth at 345 but was still 14 strokes from advancing. Plant was the region champion after firing 325. Panthers junior Laura Hendee shot 2-under 70 to win medalist honors.
Plant City, led by a pair of 80s from Kelsey Jensen and Belinda George, was second at 331 to advance.
Durant’s Madison Opfer, last year’s region champion, came into the clubhouse one stroke off the lead at 1-under 71 and will return to the state tournament as the top golfer not on the first- or second-place teams.