CLEARWATER — Steinbrenner already has done some impressive things in girls golf. The Warriors, now in their fourth year, do not just win tournaments, they dominate them, going undefeated in the regular season and winning district team titles the past two seasons.
But after accumulating a roomful of trophies and medals, the girls knew their was still something left to accomplish: a region title.
That goal was fulfilled in Monday's Class 2A, Region 4 tournament at Countryside Country Club. Displaying a potent mix of overpowering golf, increased discipline and hard-earned experience, Steinbrenner took control of the tournament from the start, shooting 324 overall.
"This title was something the girls really set out to do," Warriors coach Mark Mann said. "They played well all season and weathered some tough conditions at times out on the course. But they were really prepared, too. They got in a couple of practice rounds this past week just to be ready."
The conditions were not tailor-made for scoring, especially with a consistent wind that left flags waving at times.
By the end, the leaderboard was crowded with familiar names. As expected, Steinbrenner dominated with a lineup so even anyone can emerge as the leader.
On Monday, it was Kayla Poff's turn. After shooting 88 at last week's district tournament, Poff won individual regional honors with 74. Teammates Kelsey Holbert (79) Brooke Deal (85) and Claire Decker (86) were among the top 10.
"We have a lot of good solid players," Mann said. "They've all been together the past two years and done some nice things. We were able to battle through some wind and the girls had some nice putts on the back end."
Palm Harbor University, which won a district team title last week, was runnerup at 367. The Hurricanes' Lauren Coe, a North Florida recruit, led her team with 84. Two other PHU golfers shot in the 90s, Perrianne D'Amico (90) and Jojo Baker (92).
Freedom's Terese Romeo (75) advanced as an individual by shooting in the mid 70s for the second time in the postseason. Osceola's Haydyn Gibson, who won last week's district tournament, shot 78 to also make state as an individual.
2A-3: At Windermere, no local player finished among the top 12 of the girls Class 2A, Region 3 tournament, denying Hillsborough County of a female region representative at state. Host school Olympia won the team title (320), with Orlando Dr. Phillips sophomore Sophie Bennetti (71) capturing medalist honors.
Joey Knight, Times staff writer