State golf: Opfer, Allen lead Hillsborough County's contenders on Day 1



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Tue. November 1, 2011 | Joey Knight | Email

From suffocating fairways to altitudinal greens to powerful central Florida gusts, a gale-force challenge greeted competitors on Day 1 of the state golf tournaments Tuesday.

And at day’s end, Newsome junior Brian Allen and Durant senior Madison Opfer were among the few locals whose scores hadn’t been windswept far down the leaderboard.

In her fourth and final state appearance, Opfer shot 4-over-par 76 — five off the lead — to finish in a four-way tie for fourth at the Class 2A tourney at Howey-in-the-Hills’ Mission Inn Resort.

Allen, coming off a dreadful effort at the Region 4 tournament in Tarpon Springs, also found himself tied for fourth on the boys side with 3-over 75.

Elsewhere, Plant senior Laura Hendee was a stroke behind Opfer. At the Class A girls tournament at nearby Lady Lake, Academy of the Holy Names sophomore Emmy Martin remained in contention after a 6-over 78 that left her in a three-way tie for 14th.

Others weren’t as fortunate on a day more suited for kites than clubs.

“It was brutal, it really was,” said Holy Names coach Chris Kumka, whose squad ended the day in eighth place with a four-player total of 352.

“There were several uphill holes out here that you were hitting directly into the wind,” Newsome boys coach Jim Govreau added. “It was very tough, but fair.”

Competing on Mission Inn’s Las Colinas course, Opfer, expected to sign next week with Tulane, struggled with her putting but put herself in position for her third consecutive top-five finish.

“My ball striking wasn’t that great and I couldn’t make any putts,” she said. “I mean, I’d get the speed and miss the line or get the line and miss the speed, so I couldn’t put it together.”

Allen, coming off an 86 at regionals at Wentworth Golf Club, found himself seven shots off the lead after Day 1. His team enters today’s final round tied for third with a four-player 322.

“Brian Allen had the worst round he’s had in several years at regionals,” Govreau said. “He won’t admit he was sick but he was sick, but this is how Brian Allen shoots. (Regionals) was just a blip.”

Gaither junior Jimmy Stanger, competing as an individual, shot 6 over on his final eight holes en route to 79. On the girls side, Region 3 champ Plant was in fifth with 339, 13 strokes ahead of seventh-place Plant City.

Hendee, starting on the back nine, was at even-par halfway through her round and watched at least a half-dozen putts lip out. Freshman teammate Kayla Poff shot 80, one stroke better than senior Kelsey Eisch. Belinda George’s 85 led Plant City.

In Class A boys action at Tavares’ Deer Island, Jesuit struggled to a 15th-place finish with a 329. Senior Brian Lanoue’s 77 — tied for 33rd — led the Tigers.

Class 2A Boys
(at Mission Inn Resort, Howey-in-the-Hills)
Individuals: Jimmy Stanger, Gaither 79 (T-18th), Chase Levesque, Durant 82 (T-42nd)
Team: Newsome (322, T-3rd) Brian Allen 75, Colin Julian 80, Tyler Bakich 82, Dylan Foster 85

Class 2A Girls
(at Mission Inn Resort, Howey-in-the-Hills)
Individuals: Madison Opfer, Durant 76 (T-4th)
Team: Plant (339, 5th) Laura Hendee 77, Kayla Poff 80, Kelsey Eisch 81, Caroline Bado 101; 7. Plant City (352, 7th) Belinda George 85, Kellyanne Hurst 86, Kelsey Jensen 87, Shelby Johnson 94

Class A Girls
(at Harbor Hills Country Club, Lady Lake)
Team: Academy of the Holy Names (352, 8th) Emmy Martin 78, Casey Pluchino 89, Christina Gerecke 91, Mariah Diaz 94

Class A Boys
(at Deer Island Golf and Lake Club, Tavares)
Team: Jesuit (329, 15th) Brian Lanoue 77, Joseph Trim 81, JC Cirella 85, Chet Ghioto 86


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