PREP GOLF NOTEBOOK | Manatee's Gianna Tomeo finishes eighth in Class 3A girls tournament

jdill@bradenton.comNovember 7, 2013 

Staff Photographer

Manatee High School's Gianna Tomeo prepares to putt on the 12th green at Waterlefe Golf & River Club during Monday's girls Class 3A-District 14 golf tournament. PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald

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After getting some tough lies in the first round of the Class 3A girls golf state tournament at Howey-in-the-Hills, Manatee junior Gianna Tomeo toyed with the idea of using a 3-wood off the par-4 tees to give herself flatter lies.

Instead, she kept with the driver and altered her swing to produce a more knockdown approach into the greens at Mission Inn's Las Colinas course.

The result was a 4-over par 76 to end the state tournament with a 155 total for eighth place in the individual standings. Sarasota Riverview's Kadi Pallastrone won a three-way playoff after carding a 146 total.

"I was trying to go a little lower, but I am happy with it," Tomeo said.

Tomeo said she struck the ball well again, but just didn't score.

Nonetheless, she lowered her first round tally by three shots to crack the top 10.

After the first round, Tomeo was in share of 13th place.

However, Tomeo will be a senior next fall with another chance at capturing a state championship.

Losing Four -- Prior to this fall, it was known that Dave Frantz was going to retire at the end of the prep goal season and his two star seniors at Lakewood Ranch were graduating with Ramsey Touchberry and Danny Walker heading into the collegiate game.

But the program's No. 3 player, Luke Miller, is also leaving.

Miller relocated from his native Pittsburgh ahead of the 2012 campaign and leaves with two state championships as he'll return to the Keystone State for his senior year of high school.

"A majority of my friends are up north, because I went to school up there until high school," Miller said. "So I want to go back for my senior to be with everyone before I go off for college."

Calm conditions -- As opposed to the first day, the conditions were much calmer for the field in Wednesday's final round.

Gusting, swirling one-to-two club winds forced players into some difficult decisions in Tuesday's round at Mission Inn.

But Wednesday featured easier playing conditions as there wasn't as much noticeable winds, while the temperatures weren't scorching or chilly with some lower humidity.

Dastardly 17th -- The hardest hole on Mission Inn's El Campeon course, according to handicap, is the par-5 17th hole.

And it plagued Touchberry, who missed out on his chance to win an individual state championship by three strokes.

In the first round, he bogeyed the hole coming in to settle with a 4-under par 68.

On Wednesday, it was a double bogey after his fourth shot found the lake short of the green. He responded with a stellar shot to within eight inches and a tap-in for double bogey, but the damage was done.

Lucky NO.7 -- Lakewood Ranch's boys golf team defeated runner-up Lithia Newsome again on Wednesday. But the scary thing is the margin. At the regional and Vinoy tournaments, the Mustangs won by seven shots apiece. They averaged a seven shot margin in besting Newsome at the two-day Qdoba Tournament of Champions and roughly did that again at the Class 3A state finals. Conclusion? Ranch was about seven shots better than Newsome every round the two teed it up this fall.

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