ZEPHYRHILLS — For one overcast weekday afternoon, Chaz Heinz became a staunch conservationist.
Which is to say, the Mitchell junior felt like hugging a tree.
Teeing off at the par-5 18th hole with an even-par scorecard at the Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament Tuesday, Heinz duck-hooked his Titleist hybrid off the tee box into what appeared to be an arboreal oblivion at Silverado Golf & Country Club.
"I never saw it (land)," Heinz said. "I just hit another one."
That shot wasn't much better — not that it had to be. As he made the walk to his provisional, Heinz noticed his original shot had hit one of Silverado's stately, moss-draped oaks and landed straight down inbounds.
Two shots later, he nailed a 7-iron roughly 150 yards within 2 feet, setting up a birdie putt to clinch the first golf tournament victory of his life.
"I was just relieved (it hit a tree)," Heinz said. "My provisional wasn't in the best shape either. I was thinking double (bogey) and it turned into a birdie."
Heinz's 1-under 70 was the prominent highlight in a day chock full of them for the Mustangs, whose four-player total of 291 edged undefeated Ridgewood by 10 strokes and Land O'Lakes by 32 for the team title.
As a result of a points allocation system for regular-season conference wins and tournament finish, Mitchell shares the overall SAC crown with Ridgewood, undefeated in 10 SAC dual matches. Rams sophomore Jonathan Kopsell finished third with 1-over 72.
"I'm really proud of the guys," said Mitchell coach Rick Hyatt, whose team finished third in SAC regular-season play with an 8-2 mark. "This is what I've been looking for all year."
Mustangs senior Kenny Cavender, 2 under after 13 holes, missed some short putts down the stretch and finished second with 71. Mustangs sophomore Isaac Schaefer had 75, tying teammate Sterling Bash and Ridgewood's Jeff Koos for fourth overall.
Bash essentially clinched the tournament for Mitchell. He shot 2-over 38 on the front nine and 2-over 37 on the back. His best nine-hole score of the season entering the tournament: 39.
"Sterling is amazing," Hyatt said. "Sterling shot 39 last week at Land O'Lakes in our last match. We won that match by two strokes and Sterling was the difference."
Sharks win 7th in row
The Nature Coast volleyball team defeated Sunlake 25-17, 25-14, 25-18 for its seventh straight victory. The Sharks (15-1) were led by junior outside hitter Alex Livengood (25 kills), freshman setter Courtney Liddle (five aces) and senior outside hitter Lindsey Carper (seven aces).