WESLEY CHAPEL — Everyone advanced.
That was known before a single player teed off at Tuesday's Class A, District 9 tournament at Saddlebrook Resort. Saddlebrook, Wesley Chapel and Academy at the Lakes advanced to next week's region tournament as the top three teams. Carrollwood Day — the only other participant — had just three players, who all earned at-large bids.
So with advancement concerns out of the way, the focus turned to district titles.
And on its home course, Saddlebrook roared to the team title with 307 points. Wesley Chapel was second (342) and Academy at the Lakes third (419).
Spartans junior Alex Bensahel fired 3-over 73 and took top medalist honors. Spartans junior Adam Chowdhari was second with 74, and Saddlebrook's other top scorers, each with 80, were sophomore Arthur Edelman and senior Seokil Kim.
Bensahel grabbed the team trophy and gathered teammates for a picture, but he wasn't satisfied.
"We didn't play well today," Bensahel said. "We had two good low rounds. Three of them were not what we expected."
Saddlebrook coach Mark Hirschey, who guided Saddlebrook to state titles in 2002 and 2003, believes this team, with just one senior, has greater potential. The Spartans also host both the boys and girls region tournaments next week.
"The last two years we haven't gone (to state), which has been disappointing to us," Hirschey said. "… We just haven't had the depth and commitment out of the kids. … This is a good group that likes to have fun, but they get serious when they play golf."
Wesley Chapel had a pair of top-five finishers in Jacob Fleck and Brandon Mumaw. Fleck, who missed last week's Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament, shot a team-best 76. Mumaw, who had struggled at the SAC tournament, finished fourth Tuesday with 78.
"It was what I expected from them," coach Alan Black said. "At conference, it didn't happen. Not a bad round today."
Academy at the Lakes advanced as the third-place team. It was led by Jason Giglio, who shot 102. Charles Lewandowski shot 103, Austin Carlson 106 and Kevin Dobish 108.
Izzy Gould can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 421-3886.