State golf: Sixth place a personal best for Fivay's Padova



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Wed. November 2, 2011 | Matt Baker | Email

State golf: Sixth place a personal best for Fivay's Padova

TAVARES — Fivay senior Austin Padova didn’t come away with a top-three finish as he hoped.

He’ll have to settle for a medal and his best finish in three trips to the state golf tournament.

Padova finished the Class A tournament tied for sixth at even par — five shots behind American Heritage’s Michael Perez — after Wednesday’s 2-over 74 at Deer Island Country Club.

“That’s tough to do, three years in a row,” Falcons coach Eric Kruck said.

Padova was in contention for the state title after ending the first round tied for second but struggled with his putts on the second day. He made a short downhill putt to birdie No. 2 but had to two-putt on the next three holes.

“One of those days where they don’t go in,” Padova said.

His second shot on the seventh hole hit the fringe but rolled back into the water, setting up two bogeys in the next three holes. He recovered to birdie No. 10 on what he called a weird round.

“I felt like my swing was better than (Tuesday), but I didn’t hit it as well,” Padova said. “I felt like my stroke was better, but I didn’t stroke it as well.”

Padova had a chance to make a late charge on No. 16. His tee shot drifted right near the woods on the par five. Knowing he needed birdie to keep his top-three goal alive, he nailed his approach shot to within five feet of the hole — but misread the putt to settle for par.

“That’s how my day was going,” Padova said.

Padova, the two-time St. Petersburg Times’ North Suncoast player of the year, improved his performance at state in each appearance.

He finished 48th as a sophomore at Ridgewood and tied for 15th last year. After his last high school tournament, he said he was pleased with his career, even if he wasn’t happy with Wednesday’s round.

“It’s better than being in school,” Padova said.

Class 2A boys: Mitchell junior Dylan Strout shot 10-over 82 Wednesday at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills. He finished 19 over for the tournament and tied for 43rd place.

Class A girls: Saddlebrook Prep senior Lauren Riehle rebounded from a tough opening round to tie for 19th at Harbor Hills Country Club in Lady Lake.

Her 3-over 75 Wednesday was one of the top 10 rounds of the day. The Miami commit finished with a 13-over 157 in her third trip to the state tournament.


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