TARPON SPRINGS — The Class 2A, Region 4 boys tournament, played on the difficult Wentworth Golf Club course, put severe demands on the putter.
For Mitchell’s Dylan Strout, that was the best part of his game.
Strout became the first Mustangs boys player to qualify for the state tournament by shooting 74 to finish tied with St. Petersburg for top individual honors.
“I think I just peaked at the right time,” Strout said. “My putter was on fire the whole round. Everything worked when I needed it, and I had a lot of clutch putts.”
Rarely did Strout have a ball lip out of the cup or skitter wide of the hole. He was able to birdie Nos. 3 and 5.
“Dylan has played very consistent golf all year,” Mitchell coach Rick Hyatt said. “That has been the biggest difference between this year and last year. He was able to putt really well and stayed away from bad holes.”
Strout did his part, but the Mustangs were not able to qualify as a team.
Newsome won the region title by shooting 325 overall. It is the first time the Wolves won a region in Jim Govreau’s four seasons as coach.
“It was tough and we were not shooting well at the beginning,” Govreau said. “The wind was kicking up, and I didn’t know if we would have a chance. But I guess we were able to hit it straighter than everyone else.”
St. Petersburg was second with 327. Maguire had the Green Devils’ best round with 74, followed by Blake Dyer with 80.
Strout had the best score among individuals who were not on a qualifying team. Durant’s Chase Levesque was the other individual who qualified for state with 76.
“It is an honor to be the first from my school to go states,” Strout said. “I’m speechless about it.”
A-3: Fivay’s Padova makes it three in row
OCALA — Saddlebrook’s Lauren Riehle put things together at the right time in the region A-3 tournament at Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club.
“I did very bad on the front nine, but kept my heart into and it paid off,” said Riehle, who earned medalist honors with 77. “I love (the fact) that I won and it feels great.”
Riehle, who earned her third trip to the state tournament, held off Bushnell South Sumter’s Micah Adams by three strokes to claim medalist honors.
Riehle and Adams earned the region’s automatic bids to state as golfers whose teams aren’t moving on to the next level.
Riehle’s teammate, Nina Hwang, missed a trip to state by two shots, as she placed third with 82.
For the boys, Fivay’s Austin Padova was the area’s only other qualifier, firing 78 to earn one of the region’s two spots for golfers whose teams failed to advance.
For Padova, a North Florida signee, it was his third consecutive trip to the state tournament.
He finished seven shots off the pace set by medalist Charlie Stubbs of Mount Dora Bible.
Padova helped Fivay finish fourth overall, but it was Saddlebrook that had the area’s highest finish.
Still, Saddlebrook came up one stroke short with a team score of 325, as Crystal River nudged it out.
Ocala Trinity Catholic won the boys championship with a team score of 314, 10 better than Crystal River.
For the girls, Pasco took fourth with 420, 11 shots off the pace set by the Villages, tournament runnerup behind Mount Dora Bible (366).
2A-2: Berube’s bid falls short for Eagles
PALM COAST — Springstead’s Megan Berube came up just short of a bid to state.
Playing in the Class 2A, Region 2 championships at Palm Harbor Golf Club, Berube carded 9-over 81, good enough for a fifth-place individual finish. That placed her just two spots from qualifying for state.
The sophomore standout was just off the pace set by the two who did make it through, Timber Creek’s Taylor Lyle (73) and Bartram Trail’s Ansley Bowman (78).
Lyle won the individual region title in a playoff with Matanzas’ Mary Rodgers. After each shot 73 over 18 holes, the two went to the first hole again. Lyle bogeyed the hole while Rodgers made double bogey.
Central’s Stephanie Rodney also placed in the top 10, shooting 17-over 89.
Springstead was the lone local program to compete, and the Eagles had a solid showing. Their 410 strokes put them in a fifth-place tie with Lake Brantley. Ponte Vedra (356) and Matanzas (376) advanced to state.
Times correspondents Richard Burton and Derek J. LaRiviere contributed to this report.