Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Region golf: Plant boys, St. Petersburg girls win

EAST LAKE — Plant had a pretty simple team strategy for Monday's Class 3A, Region 4 tournament at Lansbrook Golf Club: Keep the driver in the bag and the ball in the fairway. That strategy worked on a day when scores were high.

Plant won the boys' nine-team tournament with a score of 308. Freedom was second with 313. The top two teams advance to the Class 3A state tournament, Oct. 25-26 at the Mission Inn and Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills.

Plant had four golfers shoot in the 70s. Jackson Suber led the way with 2-over 74. Robbie Eisch was second with 77, Mac Suber shot 78 and Chris Kern 79. This is the fourth straight year Plant has made the state tournament.

"It's a tight golf course," Eisch said. "We didn't hit as many fairways as we probably should have. We started off thinking we could hit driver but then we realized that wasn't going to work."

Freedom also counted some low scores. Cy Storlien was the Patriots' top golfer with 1-over 73. Cooper Smith shot 77, Nick Mitchell 81 and Tyler Bray 82.

The top two individuals not on a team already advancing also earn a tee time at the state tournament. Gaither's Tyler Wilkes shot the low round of the day, par 72. He had three birdies and three bogeys in his round. Countryside's Demetri Kotsovolos earned the second spot with 74.

"You've got to hit it in the fairway here if you're going to have any chance at birdie," Wilkes said. "After the first couple of holes I knew that's the way I had to play, hit 3-woods and play for the middle of the fairway. I struggled a little bit on the front, but my putter came through for me on the back nine."

Lamoureux rounding into top form

EAST LAKE — Last season, Seminole's Alyssa Lamoureux narrowly qualified for the Class 3A state tournament after finishing as the second individual at the region tournament. This season, she made sure that did not happen.

Lamoureux, a junior, shot 2-over 74 at Lansbrook Golf Club and won medalist honors by six strokes. She will return to the Mission Inn and Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills on Tuesday to defend her state championship.

"I played a lot better than I've been playing," Lamoureux said. "I haven't really been doing that well in the districts or in some of the nine-hole matches I had coming in. But today I made a lot of pars and only had one bad hole, a double bogey."

The second individual to qualify out of the Region 4 event was Nikki Bommakanti of Sickles, who shot 80.

The top team in the nine-team region was St. Petersburg at 352. The second team to qualify was Steinbrenner, which shot 373.

Meredith Kiernan and Kayla Shelton each shot 81 to lead St. Petersburg, followed by Ana Elise Cunneen (86) and Christine Wilbur (104).

Steinbrenner was led by Anna Jansen, who shot 83. The other three scores were Lindsey Kolano (90), Sophie Miliziano (100) and Alexis Castillo (100).

The 3A tournament will be Tuesday and Wednesday on Mission Inn's Las Colinas Course, where Lamoureux won her state championship last season.