The Class 1A-Region 6 tournament Monday at Bradenton Country Club was about more than just winning another trophy at Saint Stephen’s.
The Falcons hosted the tournament on their home course, but altered from the way they typically play during the season. The Class 1A tournament in Howey-in-the-Hills next week is played on a roughly 5,500-yard course, so Saint Stephen’s tried to prepare, stretching the Bradenton CC course out to 5,485.
“We probably bumped it at least 200 yards, 300 yards farther, so that was good. It puts us near where state’s going to be,” Falcons head coach Letitia Zilar said. “Everybody’s going to play great next week.”
On the altered course, Saint Stephen’s followed up its Class 1A-District 16 victory last week in Sarasota with a second straight Class 1A-Region 6 championship in Bradenton. Vanessa Yan shot a 72 for the second-best score of the day, and all four Falcons shot a 95 or better to edge Fort Myers Canterbury and two other teams with a score of 349.
Canterbury finished second with a 386 to claim the other team berth to the Class 1A championship at Mission Inn Resort and Club on Oct. 28-29. Fort Myers Bishop Verot’s Gabby Vetter and Community School of Naples’ Elizabeth Amendola claimed the two individual spots from the region, leaving Out-of-Door Academy’s three golfers short of qualification. Vivian Kuang led Out-of-Door with a 90 to finish two strokes out of qualification behind Amendola’s 88.
The Cougars were led to their second-place finish by Brittany Shin, who posted a 70 to win the individual region championship. Shin entered the final six holes at 4-under before dropping three strokes with a double bogey and bogey down the stretch.
“It could have been better,” Shin said. “I made a really silly mistake. I think I was getting a bit tired.”
Yan, who won the Class 1A-16 championship last week in Sarasota, fell just short against Shin. The length of the course was a difference for Yan, who didn’t get much time to practice with BCC stretched to this length during the season, so she leaned on her putting.
Yan sank several long birdie putts to finish with four birdies overall and enter the state championship with momentum. Her 72 on Monday stood up with the scoring average she typically manages at Bradenton CC, despite the course being longer.
“That really boosted morale and kept my game going,” Yan said of her putting success. “I thought I did well today considering the longer yardage. It’s OK. It’s good practice for state.”
CLASS 1A-REGION 6 TOURNAMENT
Team scores: Saint Stephen’s 349, Fort Myers Canterbury 386, Community School of Naples 407, Fort Myers Bishop Verot 410, Naples Neumann 467, Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian Academy 488
Saint Stephen’s: Vanessa Yan 72, Maria Huang 88, Kendall Miller 94, Catherine Huang 95
Canterbury: Brittany Shin 70, Hannah Bailey 96, Alice Bailey, Alyson Bozof 114, Ingrid Leigh 122
Community School: Elizabeth Amendola 88, Katy Wells 89, Mya Messina 119, Lily Dounchis 111
Bishop Verot: Gabby Vetter 80, Claire Sattler 84, Caroline Snell 118, Rory Freeman 123
Neumann: Sophie Schrader 90, Vernoica Benitez 115, Kaitlyn Timmons 124, Britany Leroy 138, Kara Hamilton 143
Southwest Florida Chrisitan: Amanda Higgenbottom 112, Emily Higgenbottom 103, Kaci Richardson 134, Kristin Noble 154, Erin Callahan 139
Out-of-Door Academy: Vivian King 90, Christina Wyatt 95, Lexi Murphy 94
Naples First Baptist Academy: Alexa Oats 89
Cape Coral Oasis: Melaney Lowe 127, Laney Taylor 128, Hope Wedge 124