OLDSMAR — For much of the regular season, Mitchell has had a hard time getting everybody to play well on the same day. But over the past few weeks, the Mustangs started to see signs of improvement.
That momentum carried over to the Class 2A-11 district tournament Tuesday at East Lake Woodlands Country Club. Led by a tournament-best 75 from Dylan Strout and 76 from Donnie Gabrelcik, the Mustangs shot 307 to win the tournament on the par-72 South Course. East Lake was second with 314 and Palm Harbor University third with 316.
All three teams advance to the region tournament Monday at Cypress Run Golf Club in Tarpon Springs.
“We shot a 307 at the Vinoy Invitational last week, so at least we’re consistent,” Mitchell coach Rick Hyatt said. “We also had a 303 at the CCC Invitational (two weeks ago), so you could see we were getting better.”
The Mustangs counted four scores in the 70s. Aside from Strout and Gabrelcik, James Pittman and Anthony Swinford chipped in with 78s. Michael Spinger shot a respectable 80 but had his score thrown out.
Even though Strout already qualified for regionals, he was still in a three-way playoff for medalist honors. He won the first playoff hole to claim first-place medalist honors.
“I was feeling pretty good out there,” Strout said. “I was finally making some putts. I didn’t think 75 would be good enough to win, but it was pretty tough out there. I think our whole team is feeling pretty good right now. We’re peaking at the right time.”
Aside from the three teams that advance to regionals, three individuals also move on. Mike Stewart of River Ridge and Donald Wasoff of Countryside shot 75s. Jay Dixon of Countryside and Matt Prenderville of Wiregrass Ranch each shot 76 and had a playoff. Dixon won the playoff with a par on the first hole to earn the final individual spot.
“My goal was to get a 76 or better,” Wasoff said. “The wind was pretty strong out there so it was tough to score. What helped me was that I made a lot of long par putts.”
Second-place East Lake was led by Sebastian Hilpl, who shot 76. Parker Fox and Tyler Dierwechter shot 79s. Palm Harbor University was aided by Brent Hajian’s 77, Eric Amend’s 78 and Sean Fromme’s 79.
Excluding Mitchell, the highest finishing Pasco school was River Ridge, which finished fifth with 338. Sunlake was sixth with 341.
2A-11: Mitchell, Wiregrass advance
TRINITY — Lauren Coe shot 1-under-par 70 as the individual medalist, leading Palm Harbor University to the Class 2A, District 11 tournament title at Heritage Springs.
Coe, a University of North Florida commit, had five birdies including three on the back nine.
“Phenomenal,” is how Hurricanes coach John Baker described Coe’s play. “She’s got it going on. She’s just an all-around great player.”
PHU finished with 322, well ahead of runnerup and defending champion Mitchell, which tallied 373. Wiregrass Ranch (384) rounded out the top three.
Also advancing to regionals are the top three individuals not from the top three teams. That trio includes Sunlake’s Kelly Harris (76), along with Countryside teammates Erin Williamson (77) and Sarah Oliver (91).
Consistency marked the Hurricanes’ play as three players — Ryan Pierce, Charley Majeski and Perrianne D’Amico — finishing with rounds of 84.
“They’re strong. They were consistent throughout,” Baker said of his golfers who prepared for districts by playing in an 18-hole tournament last week at Sebring.
Consistency also marked the play of the host Mustangs, who were led by Lindsey Ritchey’s 90. Ashley Richardson was not far behind at 93 while Shyanne Dove and Alexa Oglesby tied at 95.
Leading the third-place Bulls was Heather Muse, who came in with 82.
A-8: Nature Coast sneaks past Hernando
WEEKI WACHEE — The Class A, District 8 tournament wrapped up at The Dunes Golf & Country Club after three teams finished Monday tied for the two remaining spots in the region tournament.
Nature Coast and Dunnellon edged Hernando to break the tie in a one-hole playoff. All three teams finished Monday with scores of 347 behind Crystal River (311).
“The course was very difficult,” Nature Coast coach Tom Brown said. “I am happy with how the team did considering how it all played out.”
Sharks sophomore Jake Arnett was individual champion after shooting 71 (1 under), the lone golfer under par. The next three in the standings were the Pirates’ Matt Allen (74), Kyle Kidd (75) and Michael Kidd (75).
Arnett will be joined by Nature Coast teammates Mike DeMaria (84), Joe Powanda (90), Dan Wempe (102), and Brandon Lamondra (117) next week at Saddlebrook Golf Club in Wesley Chapel.
Hernando’s Cody Montgomery was the first competitor to qualify for regionals as an individual. The junior took third by carding a 3-over 75.
He joined at-large qualifiers with Weeki Wachee’s Mike Rampino (79) and Pasco’s Austin Riddaugh (82). Riddaugh’s teammate, Clint Tedder, narrowly missed the cut (83).
Times correspondents Steve Lee and Derek J. LaRiviere contributed to this report.