Prep golf | Bradenton Christian's Knowles wins 1A-17 title; ODA advances

BCC member Knowles goes extra holes for crown; ODA advances

jlembo@bradenton.comOctober 15, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Philip Knowles knows sudden-death playoffs.

So when the Bradenton Christian junior and Sarasota Christian's Tony Jiang were deadlocked following 18 holes of Monday's Class 1A-District 17 meet at Bradenton Country Club, Knowles was not the least bit fazed.

Not only is Knowles a member at BCC, which doubles as the Panthers' home course, but he had been through this many times before.

There was the five-hole playoff for the club championship a few years back. Then there was that four-hole playoff at last year's Donald Ross Invitational. And Knowles endured a six-hole playoff at last year's region championships.

"I get it a lot," he said. "It's crazy."

The extra work paid off Monday, when Knowles defeated Jiang to claim medalist honors with a 72. He also qualified for next Monday's Class 1A-Region 6 meet at The Hideout in Naples.

"You've still got adrenaline running through you, and it's a different atmosphere than the rest of the round," Knowles said of playoff holes. "But I've become more used to it."

Those extra four holes were a redemption of sorts for Knowles, who wasn't happy with his round.

"This is my home course. I'm a member here, so a 72 is not too terribly impressive," he said. "I really struggled, quite honestly. I had a lot of good putts and really couldn't make anything. ... (Monday) could have been a whole lot better. You can ask my dad or whatever, but I was pretty mad walking off the 18th green. But that's golf."

The top three teams and top three golfers on non-qualifying teams advanced to the region. And while the Panthers didn't make the cut -- they finished fourth with a 331 -- Knowles will be joined by teammate Landry Miller, who carded a 74.

"It's kind of sad. Last year we went as a team," Knowles said. "But it's good to have a fellow teammate along. Hopefully we can make it through that, too."

Saint Stephen's Jack Cen also advanced as an individual after shooting a 77.

The lone area team to qualify was Out-of-Door Academy, which placed third with a 322. Sarasota Christian was first (297), followed by Port Charlotte Community Christian (313).

The Thunder used the power of balance to qualify. Max Coutsolioustsos (78) was the only ODA player to break 80, but no one on the team shot higher than an 84.

"Realistically, we have four that should be in the 70s all the time," said Thunder coach Shelley Stone, "so we were off our normal game (Monday). But it was enough to put us through, so that's all that really matters."

Cardinal Mooney was sixth with a 348. Jake Lamore shot a 79 for the Cougars.

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