Shena Yang didn't start well Tuesday at the girls Class 2A state golf tournament, but she sure did finish strong. And with a solid 1-over-par 73 on a windy and chilly day at Ridgewood Lakes Golf & Country Club in Davenport, the Wharton senior will enter today's final round alone in second place in the individual competition.
"Shena played her heart out," Wharton coach Maxine Stark said.
In the team competition, Durant, which entered with championship aspirations, is tied for third with a 348 total, 26 shots back of leader Winter Park Lake Howell. Behind Yang, Wharton is fifth (350).
Yang tied for sixth last year at state and was fifth as a sophomore. She trails Boca Raton Spanish River standout Madison Pressel, younger sister of LPGA star Morgan Pressel.
"She definitely has a chance, but Pressel is going to be a tough person to beat," Stark said.
That Yang is even in contention is a story itself. At one point, she was 4-over on the front side but kicked her round into gear with eagle. On the back nine, she shot even par.
Durant, which shot 311 at regionals and 302 at districts, had only one player, freshman Madison Opfer, break 80. She shot 75 and is tied for fourth overall. Amy West, the team's top player throughout the season, was next with 85.
After Yang, Wharton's top score was posted by Brittany Bradshaw, who recovered from a 12 on one hole to shoot 89.
Sickles sophomore Alex Milan, who won regionals with 8-under 64, is tied for 11th after 79.
2A boys: At Providence Golf & Country Club in Davenport, Riverview's Ian McConnell shot 79 and is tied for 23rd. He's seven shots back.
A girls: At the Club at Eaglebrooke in Lakeland, Berkeley Prep was led by the 85 of Kim Carpenter and is in 14th with a 373 total. Kyleen Carpenter shot 87.