Prep golf: Lakewood Ranch boys roll to district title

Boulch takes medalist honors

jlembo@bradenton.comOctober 16, 2012 

SARASOTA -- It's a given Lakewood Ranch's boys golf team is good.

During Monday's Class 2A-District 13 meet at The Founders Club, the Mustangs showed they're deep, too.

How deep?

The Mustangs' highest score Monday was carded by Luke Miller and Spence Shultz, who each shot a 73.

That would have been the lowest score on every team in the district but Riverview.

Consequently, Lakewood Ranch shot a 286 and cruised to the district title, beating the second-place Rams by 25 strokes.

The Mustangs, who won the Class 2A state title last season, advanced to next Monday's Region 5 meet at Heritage Oaks.

"All of our guys can play at a high level," said senior Ben Boulch. "We can play anyone and still come out pretty good."

No one Monday was at a higher level than Boulch, who took medalist honors by firing a 70 and defeating Riverview's Mason Fox in a three-hole playoff.

"I just played conservative, and took it one shot at a time," said Boulch, the Mustangs' lone senior. "I felt a little bit nervous (on the playoff) before taking my first shot, and then it felt better."

Five of the top six finishers were Mustangs - Boulch, Danny Walker (3rd, 71), Ramsey Touchberry (4th, 72), Schultz (5th, 73) and Miller (6th, 73).

"We don't want to sound greedy, but we knew if we played our game, we'd be OK," said longtime assistant coach Matt Gordon, who was deemed head coach for the day by Dave Frantz.

Gordon was really pleased with the emergence of Boulch, who has been with the Mustangs for three years after transferring from Manatee,

but never cracked the starting lineup until this year.

"We knew who our top four golfers were at the beginning of the year, but we didn't know who our fifth person was," Gordon said. "We saw him coming up and thought, 'This is great.' He's a senior…He's a great kid."

The Mustangs (104-8) were the lone team to earn a spot at regional Monday. The top three teams and the top three individuals on non-qualifying teams advanced.

Braden River placed fifth with a 336 and was paced by Andrew Hammett's 78. Manatee was sixth with a 338 and got its lowest score from Sai Gadam (79).

Players from Bayshore, Palmetto and North Port had their rounds delayed because of rain and lightning. When conditions improved, those teams chose not to finish.

The Mustangs, meanwhile, plan to have a couple of practice rounds at Heritage Oaks before resuming their quest for consecutive state titles.

"Obviously, our ultimate goal is to win a state championship," Gordon said. "If we keep playing like we are now, we're heading in the right direction."

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