After fighting off two early bogeys with three straight birdies, Manatee High School’s Gabrielle Tomeo was in position to win the Class 3A girls golf individual state championship Wednesday at Mission Inn and Resort’s Las Colinas course in Howey-in-the-Hills.
In fact, she was tied for first place through seven holes.
Then she reached the 342-yard, par-4 eighth. A double bogey left her making the turn in 1-over par before she finished with a 75 to finish five shots behind Lake Nona’s Erika Smith.
“My second shot leaked into the water and then I chipped it and missed the putt,” Tomeo said. “I was pulling everything.”
Tomeo tied for seventh place with her 148 two-day total. But just finishing as high up the leaderboard as she did was a accomplishment for Tomeo. She said she must have caught a 24-hour bug because she had trouble sleeping and keeping any food or drink down.
“I was really, really sick (Tuesday) night,” Tomeo said. “And then I threw up in the morning, and then I went and played. ... The last couple holes, I didn’t have anything in me.”
Tomeo, a junior, said she plans on returning to Manatee to play her final high school golf season and improving on her state tournament performance.
Lakewood Ranch’s Drew Angelo had the highest area finish in the 3A boys tournament.
Angelo carded a second consecutive 74 to tie for sixth place with Tampa Gaither’s Tyler Wilkes. Jacksonville Mandarin’s Brandon Mancheno went wire-to-wire to pick up the state title with a 3-under-par 141.
On the team side, four of five Lakewood Ranch girls golfers improved their scores in Wednesday’s final round. Consequently, the Mustangs jumped a spot to finish in eighth place with a 686 team total. They were 72 shots behind Lake Mary’s winning mark.
Natalie Robson (85-80-165), Maya Isom (89-81-170), Darby Laurvick (88-86-174), Ashlyn Einwachter (86-91-177) and Ashley Ringo (96-92-188) competed for Ranch.
On the boys side, the Mustangs tied for 11th after a 322 on Wednesday at Mission Inn’s El Campeon course. Lakewood Ranch finished two shots better than Tuesday’s first round and produced a 646 two-day total, which was 40 shots behind Tampa Plant’s state title winning score.
Aside from Angelo’s score, Louis DelFabro (79-81-160), Billy Herten (82-80-162), Dylan Gabbert (89-87-176) and Mike Wijas (93-94-187) rounded out the Mustangs.
When: Class 1A, Friday-Saturday
Class 2A, Tuesday-Wednesday
Where: Mission Inn and Resort, Howey-in-the-Hills