HUDSON — Even though she has played hundreds of rounds in her life, Mitchell sophomore Rebecca Van Etten admittedly still gets butterflies before big matches. Because of this, she puts a high priority on starting well.
Monday morning, Van Etten couldn't have asked for a better beginning.
On her first hole of play in the Class 2A, District 12 tournament at Meadow Oaks Golf and Country Club, she placed a drive down the middle, pitched to within 5 feet of the flag and sank the putt for birdie. Seventeen holes later, Van Etten finished 1-under-par 69 for second overall to help lead Mitchell to the team championship.
"I played pretty well today," Van Etten said.
So did her teammates.
Megan Van Etten, Rebecca's older sister, recorded 72, while Emma Fivecoat (78), Victoria Kinny (78) and Kristen Pitts (80) also were solid as the Mustangs shot 297 to win easily. East Lake (330) and Palm Harbor University (350) also advanced to regionals.
Dunedin's Justine Knox won the individual title with 66.
For Mitchell, the Van Ettens' play didn't surprise.
But the performance of the team's other players exceeded expectations.
"Our (Nos.) 3, 4 and 5 did a really good job today," Mitchell coach Scott Schmitz said. "If we're going to get through regionals, we're going to need them. This is the type of golf we have to play."
Team: Mitchell 297, East Lake 330, Palm Harbor U. 350, Countryside 355, Ridgewood 415, River Ridge 424, Clearwater 550, Dunedin NTS, Hudson NTS
Individual: Knox (Dun) 66, R. Van Etten (Mit) 69, Wade (PHU) 71, M. Van Etten (Mit) 72, Patton (EL) 74, Henning (PHU) 76, Fivecoat (Mit) 78, Kinny (Mit) 78, Espy (EL) 81, Williamson (Cou) 86, Gail (EL) 87, Shouppe (Cou) 87, Haight (EL) 88, Gomez (PHU) 88, Roper (PHU) 115