SARASOTA -- After Spence Schultz rolled in his birdie putt, the sophomore let out a Tiger Woods-like fist pump to celebrate.
It was enough to secure the Class 2A-Region 5 boys golf title for Lakewood Ranch.
But it came in a playoff after the Mustangs fired a 307 on a windy Monday at Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club to earn one of two berths into next week's state tournament at Deer Island in Tavares.
Ranch needed one hole to dispose of Naples Gulf Coast after the Sharks matched the mighty Mustangs in regulation.
That served as a wake-up call for Ranch, who won last year's 2A title to cap a perfect 103-0 season.
"I have to wait until the shock wears off," Mustangs head coach Dave Frantz said. "We're still in decompression mode from that. The score, I mean, it's the highest score since ... the second week of September. We decided, we all talked about it, that it's basically an aberration. We're not going to dwell on that."
Ramsey Touchberry, a junior verbally committed to play at the University of Florida, posted a 1-over par 72 to win medalist honors.
Sarasota Riverview's Jeremy Perna and Fort Myers' Landon Weber posted 74s to grab the two individual berths awarded.
In fact, the Riverview Rams posted a 310 and were close to causing a huge upset in Monday's region tournament.
Ranch's dominance from last season is in the rearview, but the Mustangs possess tons of talented golfers that made them a favorite to win a third straight region crown.
But on Monday, the Mustangs were 11 shots higher as a team than their average score of 296 this fall and earned one of the two state berths by three shots over the Rams.
"That's a blessing, but it can be a curse," Frantz said. "You hear all the time, I think, of coaches that don't really get the guys prepared. And I'm showing these numbers, and we're shooting 285 and all these guys coming in here are shooting 310. You're a teenage guy, and you know we're 25 shots better than everyone else. And that plays a little bit of a part. And it's my job to make that not happen again."
Even Gulf Coast coach Kim Benedict was surprised to find her Sharks battling the Mustangs in a playoff for the region title.
"The whole day was a little bit crazy," Benedict said. "We had gone from potentially going to states to losing to sending an individual to a playoff with Riverview to then being in a playoff with Lakewood Ranch and going. So it was a whole bag of emotions, but I'm really proud of the guys."
Nonetheless, Ranch is heading back to the state tourney for a chance to defend its championship.
For guys like Schultz, its a new experience after he watched Touchberry, Walker and last year's trio of seniors in Hunter Sagar, Connor Baldwin and Kyle Benson polish off the first public school boys golf team title in Manatee County history.
"Last year, I didn't get to play, but I went out and watched them," Schultz said. "And it was a lot of fun watching them win, but it'll be cool to be a part of that now."
The 2A state tournament is next Tuesday and Wednesday, but the Deer Island course is one the Mustangs are familiar with.
"We played it Labor Day," Frantz said. "It's a pretty normal course. There's nothing really tricky about it. It is the easier of all four of the courses."
The Mustangs region title came with a 2-under par total as Schultz and Luke Miller converted birdies, while Gulf Coast's five golfers each parred the first hole at Heritage Oaks.
And despite not registering a blistering team score like last season, the Mustangs are still progressing to states with the ability to become the first Manatee County program to defend its crown since the former Bradenton Prep accomplished the feat in 2005-06.
"We don't know any other way," Touchberry said. "It seems weird, the guys that were on the team that graduated before us ... the one year we were watching at districts and they just had to playoff for third to get into (regions). And its so different now. Our goal is first, and back then it was make it through. And now our goal is to win it."