VENICE — Monday’s Class 3A-Region 5 tournament boasted three of the top teams in the state — three teams very familiar with each other as Newsome, Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota Riverview are just two weeks removed from facing off in the Vinoy Classic.
That day Lakewood Ranch topped the Wolves by seven strokes, as Newsome held off Riverview by two strokes. Monday the three teams repeated the exact teams scores from Vinoy as Lakewood Ranch, led by individual medalist Ramsey Touchberry’s 7-under 65, shot a team score of 284, topping Newsome at 291 and Riverview at 293.
Falling short of Lakewood Ranch, last season’s Class 2A state champions, at Vinoy was a learning experience for the Wolves. However, this time around the runner-up finish was enough to earn Newsome a berth in the state tournament for the fourth straight season and one more shot at the Mustangs in two weeks.
“Making states was all that counted today,” said Newsome junior Tyler Bakich, who led the Wolves with a second-place 4-under 68. “That’s our main focus now.”
Wolves senior John Michael Coultas again stepped up for the Wolves, turning in a fourth-place finish with a 2-under 70, while Mark Nauert (75) and Kyle West (78) both broke 80.
Durant’s Jacob Penny earned a spot at the 3A state tournament on Nov. 5-6, as the putter was doing its job for the freshman.
Penny, who said he picked up the game watching the Golf Channel as a youngster, had six birdies and three bogeys in his round.
“I was able to make a lot of putts today, with some great approach shots putting me in position to make those putts,” Penny said.
3A-4: Plant, Freedom advance
CLEARWATER — Freedom’s Liam Doherty didn’t quite know the magnitude of his final shot at the Class 3A-Region 4 tournament at Feather Sound Country Club. But after a roar he didn’t expect, it finally hit him.
Doherty, a junior, nailed an uphill 25-foot putt on the 18th to give Freedom second place overall and a trip to the Class 3A state tournament.
“It was going to be a little fist pump for just the birdie, but I had no idea (the putt) was to get into states,” Doherty said. “… When I heard the boys roar, I knew something good happened. … It’s hard to express.”
Freedom (305) edged Countryside (306) for second place.
Plant also advanced to states. The Panthers, led by Chris Kern, totaled a team score of 296 to take first.
Doherty and Kern each shot a 2-under 70, with Doherty beating out Kern in a playoff to take first place in the individual round.
Countryside’s Jay Dixon (72) and Palm Harbor’s Sean Fromme (72) qualified for states as individuals.
2A-6: Robinson finishes fourth
SEBRING — Experts say that golf doesn’t have a true home course advantage. But don’t tell that to the Blue Streaks.
Thanks to its wealth of knowledge of the Deer Run course at Sun ‘n Lake Golf Club, Sebring breezed into first place in the Class 2A-Region 6 tournament. The Streaks finished with a stellar 326, besting second-place Lake Wales by 13 strokes.
Osceloa was third with 342, followed by Robinson in fourth with 353, while Lake Gibson finished fifth with 354. Largo came in sixth at 359 and Dixie Hollins was seventh with 406, while Jefferson and Lennard rounded out the bottom two spots with a 447 and 466, respectively.
Jeremy Camino led the way for the Blue Streaks, finishing with a 78 to edge teammate Nick Staffieri and Robinson’s Andrew Skora, who both shot 79.
1A-5: Saddlebrook, TC qualify
OLDSMAR — Posting four scores in the 70s, including a 1-under 71 from Nilo Sanchez, Tampa Catholic shot 304 at East Lake Woodlands Country Club to finish second at the Class 1A-Region 5 tournament and earn a trip to the state tournament.
“I was just happy to help us get there,” said Sanchez, who finished with four birdies and three bogeys. “I played pretty well today.”
Right behind Sanchez were Crusaders A.J. Pascua (75) and Joseph Testerman and Lucas Mylet, who each shot 79.
Saddlebrook Prep won the title with a 286 total, led by Ryoto Furuya and Won Jon Lee, who both shot 3-under par 69s.
For Sanchez, it was a welcome relief to see his team’s score get circled as a qualifier in the scoring room.
“I knew it was close throughout the day, but I never really knew where it was exactly,” Sanchez said.