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Bulls have more than big 2

When area coaches and players talk about Bloomingdale's golf team, the first thing that usually comes to mind is Beth Bauer.

Bauer: The two-time defending state individual champion, the national Junior Amateur champion, the country's No. 1-ranked junior, the 17-year-old who recently finished 16th at the LPGA's Dinah Shore tournament.

But now, after all three years of Bauer headlines, there is talk of another Bull, Jennifer Ayers, who many say could help lead Bloomingdale to its second state team title in three years.

"When you have Bauer and Ayers you really have something strong," Plant coach Art Psillis said. "Ayers has really raised her level of play. She's tough."

But Ayers, who shot even-par 36 to help lead her team to last week's Western Conference title, is quick to say she and Bauer aren't only the reasons the Bulls are state contenders.

"This a complete team effort," Ayers said. "Everybody has worked hard and everybody has improved to make us better. We are a team all the way."

Her point was never more clear after the Bulls shot 155 in the Western Conference tournament at River Hills Golf Club, beating Plant by 46 shots.

Bloomingdale's individual scores that day say plenty: Bauer 35, Ayers 36, Heather Shonyo 41 and Kim Welch 43. Angela Mann, a regular contributor, also shot 47, but only the top four scores were used.

And all on a windswept, rain-soaked day with a few delays.

"Considering the weather conditions and the toughness of the course, this was probably the best we've played this year," Bloomingdale coach Norman Guess said.

The Bulls' next step is Thursday's Class 6A, District 8 tournament at Plant City Golf Course. It's a tournament where the Bulls may be favored, but where they face some unknowns in Bradenton Manatee, Sarasota Riverview and Venice. The winners move on to the state tournament.

"We'll just have to play our game," Guess said. "We can't worry about everybody else. We have to stay focused."

The 6A-8 tournament ends a week of district play, beginning Tuesday at three different sites.

On the boys side, Jesuit (19-0) will try to win its third straight 4A-9 district title Tuesday against the likes of Saddlebrook, Berkeley Prep and Tampa Catholic. The site is Scotland Yard in Zephyrhills.

Bloomingdale's boys, who also won the Western Conference title, tee it up Tuesday at the River Club in Bradenton, where the toughest competition could come from Riverview and Manatee.

Chamberlain's boys and girls are also among the favorites in their 6A, District 7 competitions. The boys are at Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club on Tuesday and the girls will play at World Woods in Springstead on Wednesday.

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