ZEPHYRHILLS — Zephyrhills golf coach Ken Burgess told his girls before Wednesday’s match against undefeated Mitchell that he hoped they could give the Mustangs their toughest outing of the year.
The Bulldogs accomplished Burgess’ goal.
The Mustangs, though, proved again why they’re considered the most talented team on the North Suncoast, rolling to a 16-stroke, 170-186 victory on Zephyrhills’ home course at Silverado Golf and Country Club — even as the Bulldogs shot their best team score of the season by eight strokes.
“We played really well,” Burgess said. “Mitchell is a really good team. I was just hoping we could stay close.”
The 16-stroke margin of victory was the closest any team has come to Mitchell (10-0) . Before Wednesday, no team had finished within 42 strokes of the Mustangs.
“This was definitely our toughest match of the season,” Mitchell coach Scott Schmitz said. “There was a time today when we were behind. It was good for our girls to have to rally, to have a match like this with the conference tournament next week and districts the week after.”
Mitchell’s top golfer against Zephyrhills was Rebecca Van Etten. The junior recorded two bogeys and birdie to finish 1-over-par at 37. She could have broken par but missed two birdie putts on Nos. 7 and 8 immediately after sinking her birdie opportunity from 4 feet on the par 5 No. 6.
“I just missed them,” Van Etten said. “But my short game was pretty good overall today.”
Nina Argento came into the clubhouse at 6-over 42 for Mitchell. Emma Finecoat shot 44 and Ashley Richardson fired 47 to round out the Mustangs’ scoring.
Zephyrhills (8-1) was led by junior Megan Huppert’s 7-over 43. Fellow junior Tiffany Bahr was two strokes behind Huppert at 45. The Bulldogs also got solid scoring from Sydney Owens (47) and Karisten Deem (51).