Prep golf | Saint Stephen's girls, BCS' Philip Knowles start slowly at state tournament

HERALD STAFF REPORTOctober 30, 2013 

Walters Waltershilip Knowles, center, claimed the inaugural Manatee County Amateur Championship title, beat runners-up Davis Miller, left, and Phil Walters, right, by 12 strokes. JASON DILL/

Bradenton-area players have some work to do to get back into contention after the first day at the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 1A golf tournament.

The Saint Stephen's girls are in fifth place, 21 strokes out of first place, after shooting a 309 team score at Harbor Hills Country Club in Lady Lake.

Bradenton Christian junior Philip Knowles, the lone area individual to qualify for the boys tournament, shot a 4-over-par 76 and is tied for 25th place heading into the final round at

Deer Island Country Club in Tavares.

Michelle Yan led the Falcons with a 74 and stands tied for eight place in the individual standings. Vanessa Yan added a 75, and Natalie Pleyrova had a 76.

"They all would like to have putted better," Saint Stephen's coach Craig Tarbeck said of his players. "We're only 10 shots out of second place. We're going to come out firing at the pins tomorrow and see what happens."

Winter Park Circle Christian leads the girls team standings by 11 strokes after firing a 288. Lake Mary Prep is second at 299. Circle Christian's Abbey Carslon leads in the individual standings by one shot after a 69.

Though first place may be out of reach for Saint Stephen's, the Falcons are only four strokes out of fourth place and six out of third place. Saint Stephen's finished fourth last year at state.

Knowles, who finished seventh at last year's state meet with a pair of 77s, trails leader Kerry Sweeney of Melbourne Holy Trinity by nine shots. Lake Mary Prep holds a six-shot lead over Community School of Naples and Hobe Sound Pine School in the boys team standings. Sarasota Christian stands nine shots out of the lead in fifth place.

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