Prep golf | District tournament primer

jdill@bradenton.comOctober 13, 2013 


Bradenton Christian School's Philip Knowles looks down the fairway after teeing off during the 20th annual Donald Ross Memorial Invitational golf tournament Monday at the Sara Bay Country Club.GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald


While Lakewood Ranch's boys team and Saint Stephen's girls team are prohibitive favorites to advance out of their respective district golf tournaments Monday, the rest of the berths are up for grabs for area programs.

Only three teams advance from each district, while three individuals not on advancing teams qualify for next week's region tournaments.

So here's a look at how each district breaks down (all Monday):

Class 3A-District 14

Area teams: Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee.

The boys tournament field should get quite comfortable at the Venetian Golf and River Club.

Why? Because the region tourney is held there, too.

That gives an edge to Lakewood Ranch, which steamrolled its way to a third straight Donald Ross Memorial Invitational championship last Monday. The Mustangs won't need additional practice rounds following district play, where it would be a huge shock if they didn't advance.

Riverview, with Mason Fox and Jeremy Perna, are expected to finish second. And based on what happened at the Ross, that leaves Braden River and Venice jockeying for the final berth. Both those teams tied for seventh at the event at Sara Bay Country Club, the next-lowest team score from members of this district.

On the girls side, the Indians, Rams and Hurricanes should get through at Waterlefe Golf and River Club should things play out the same as they did at the Ross.

Manatee's Gianna Tomeo, coming off a personal-best 71 on Monday, is firing on all cylinders as postseason arrives.

Tee times begin at 8 a.m. for the boys event, while the girls start at 11:40 a.m.

Class 2A-District 19

Area teams: Bayshore, Palmetto, Southeast.

The Sarasota Military Academy boys have surged in the last week competing in nine-hole matches. Should that translate into an 18-hole team score, then SMA looks like a favorite to win this district.

The competition is weaker compared to some other districts. It's a guess whether the Bruins, Tigers and Seminoles can best Booker, Arcadia DeSoto and Wauchula Hardee to get into the next round.

The same can be said for the girls.

Tee times start at 9:30 a.m. with the boys going off the back nine, while the girls start on the front nine at the Bluffs in Hardee County.

Class 1A-District 17

Area teams: Bradenton Christian (boys only), Cardinal Mooney, Out-of-Door Academy, Saint Stephen's.

This is the largest district represented by area teams, and it's also the most competitive. Based on what occurred at the Ross, Saint Stephen's and Sarasota Christian are looking like favorites to fight for the district title at Bradenton Country Club.

That leaves ODA and Port Charlotte Community Christian vying for the final berth.

The Thunder bested Community Christian by seven shots at Sara Bay.

Meanwhile, BCS junior Philip Knowles should earn his ticket to the region tourney as an individual because Bradenton Country Club is his team's home course. If the Thunder don't make it, Gary Deng (73 at the Ross) has a good chance of moving on in the individual portion.

On the girls side, which is held at Tatum Ridge Golf Links in Sarasota, the Falcons are a dominating force entering with a splendid 29-shot victory in the Ross over Class 3A Venice.

It was just the third event with the complete Saint Stephen's lineup consisting of Michelle Yan, Vanessa Yan, Phoebe Zhao and Nicole Pleyrova.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Mooney's Stephanie See, who posted an 80 at Sara Bay, stands a good chance of progressing on the individual side should the Cougars not make it as a team.

Tee times start at 9 a.m. for the boys tourney, while the girls begin at 11 a.m. in Sarasota.

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