Region golf: Tampa Prep girls rely on youth, teamwork

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Mon. October 21, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

OLDSMAR — When the scoring official wrote Tampa Prep’s final score on a poster, Olivia Kresic heard a parent shriek.

“Oh my gosh,” Kresic said. “Does that mean we made it?”

A few minutes later, the senior held out her phone to record the announcement she feared would never come: Her Terrapins made it. They were Class A, Region 5 champions and headed to next week’s state tournament.

“It’s definitely one to remember,” Kresic said.

Especially considering the Terps didn’t expect it. Two girls broke down on the course, and scores were higher than the team anticipated. But Tampa Prep clinched its first trip to state since 2006 with depth.

Sixth-grader Lilly Berry led the Terps with 86 — six strokes ahead of Kresic. Morgan Peterson (94) wasn’t far behind, and Katie Hochhausler carded 113. The result was a four-girl score of 385, which was good enough to beat runnerup Berkeley Prep by nine strokes.

“I guess I’m kind of speechless,” said Berry, who won’t celebrate her 12th birthday until July.

Elaine Donigan (92) and Samantha Lee (94) were the top performers for Berkeley Prep, which beat Cambridge Christian by 13 strokes to claim the other team trip to state.

Saddlebrook Prep dominated the boys tournament, finishing at 286 and beating runnerup Tampa Catholic by 18 strokes. The Spartans had three of the top six players: Michael Feng (72), runnerup Ryoto Furuya (3-under 69) and champion Won Jun Lee (69), who had a round he’ll never forget.

In addition to earning the blue ribbon, he recorded the first hole-in-one of his life, with a pitching wedge on a windy 14th hole. He struck the ball hard and got enough backspin for it to kick back 5 yards and into the cup.

“After people started screaming … after that I knew,” he said.

Nilo Sanchez led the Crusaders with 1-under 71, four strokes ahead of teammate A.J. Pascua. Lucas Mylet and Joseph Testerman each shot 79 for Tampa Catholic.

Shorecrest Prep’s Karim Oliver and Greyson Porter each shot 1-under 71 to qualify individually.

Clearwater Central Catholic’s Emma Paschal earned the girls individual medalist honors with 4-over 76. Cambridge Christian’s Alison Armstrong claimed the other trip to state. After tying Northside Christian’s Ryanne Jackson with 81, Armstrong birdied the first playoff hole to finish second.

2A-6: AHN's Martin shoots lowest round of season
Academy of the Holy Names’ Emmy Martin was content with her win in last week’s Class 2A, District 17 tournament. But moments after walking off the course at Sandpiper Golf Club, the senior had her eye on winning the next round.

Monday at Highlands Ridge Golf Club in Avon Park, Martin did, taking her third consecutive region title with 5-under 67 — her lowest round of the season.

Her game — especially putting, an area on which Martin said she was focusing — is peaking at just the right time, coach Chris Kumka said.

“If she gets enough quality shots, it’s whether or not she makes the putts that determines what sort of round she’s going to post,” Kumka said. “She made some putts today and the result, 67, is a very good score around here.”

Holy Names finished first in the eight-team field (320) and will move on to state next week. Sebring was second (346). Robinson’s Caroline Gilhool shot 9-over 81 to finish seventh overall.

In the boys tournament at Sun and Lake Golf Club in Sebring, Sebring and Lake Wales finished first and second, respectively. Robinson’s Andrew Skora matched his district score, shooting 7-over 79, good enough for second-place medalist honors and a trip to state.

Next week marks the highest level of high school competition for Martin and the only playoff title she has yet to win at Holy Names.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” Kumka said. “She’s playing well going into next week so hopefully it’ll get her over and she’ll post a couple low rounds (at states).”

Staff writer Kelly Parsons contributed to this report.

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