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Region golf: PHU's Wade prevails, advances to state

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Tue. October 25, 2011 | Joey Knight | Email

Region golf: PHU's Wade prevails, advances to state

PLANT CITY -- On her final crack at reaching the state tournament, Jasmine Wade wasn't going to be denied. Not by the wind, not by a water-laden course, and certainly not by a wayward putter.

Avoiding any three-putts for the second round in a row, the Palm Harbor University senior fired an even-par 72 at Walden Lake Golf & Country Club to win both the Class 2A, Region 4 tournament and 24 months' worth of atonement.

Wade, who fell one stroke short of the state tournament each of the previous two seasons, moves on to the 2A tournament starting Nov. 1 at Howey-in-the-Hills.

"This is one of the best feelings in the world," said Wade, an honors student who will sign with Florida International next month.

"I was able to put the ball on the green and putt very well. The course might not have been in great condition but the greens were. Once you got there, if you could just putt great, you were going to have a good day."

The top two teams, and top two finishers not on those teams, earned state berths. PHU, which finished second with a four-player team score of 357, will be joined at state by Countryside sophomore Madison Glennie.

Glennie shot 80 in regulation, then edged St. Petersburg senior Shane Crutchfield in a two-hole sudden-death playoff, sinking an 8-foot par putt on the second hole to clinch.

Waging an intense duel with Durant senior (and Tulane commitment) Madison Opfer throughout the day, Wade essentially clinched things with two birdies on her final four holes.

She was two shots ahead when Opfer sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th, but responded seconds later with a 6-foot birdie putt to maintain her cushion. Both finished with par on No. 18.

"I knew she was going to make that birdie putt and I knew I had to make mine," Wade said. "I wasn't nervous; I just kept my head down and put it in the hole."

No North Suncoast team or individual advanced. Mitchell finished fourth (384) behind Rebecca Van Etten's 84.

Class 2A, Region 4
(at Walden Lake)

First- and second-place teams
Plant City (349): Belinda George (85), Kellyanne Hurst (86), Kelsey Jensen (87), Shelby Johnson (91)

Palm Harbor University (357): Jasmine Wade (72), Lauren Coe (87), Ryan Pierce (91) Jessica Roper (107)

State-qualifying individuals: Madison Opfer, Durant 74; Madison Glennie, Countryside 80
 

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