Lakewood Ranch’s Drew Angelo peeled off his third straight birdie and was eyeing an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.
It lipped out, giving him a fourth consecutive birdie to close out a stellar 3-under-par 69 in Tuesday’s Donald Ross Memorial Invitational at Sara Bay Country Club.
In most years, that score is good enough to win the coveted individual boys title at the Ross.
This year, though, Angelo settled for second place against none other than his teammate, Matt Bruton.
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Bruton, a Sara Bay member, shredded the course for a 68 and the individual boys title.
“It feels pretty good,” Bruton said. “Not going to lie, dinner’s going to taste better tonight.”
Lakewood Ranch’s boys team, despite those two stellar scores, saw its streak of five consecutive team titles vanquished.
Saint Stephen’s, with four players returning from last year’s state tournament qualifying team, upended the Mustangs by three shots for the program’s first boys team title victory at the Ross since 2001.
“We knew it would be close,” Saint Stephen’s head coach Matt Primrose said.
Massimo Mbetse led the Falcons with a 70. Alan Klenor, who was absent from the Falcons’ lineup in Saturday’s Manatee County Championship that Lakewood Ranch won, carded a 71.
“We really kind of stayed below the hole,” Mbetse said. “That was part of the game plan and really keeping it in the fairway.”
The Falcons fired a 291 with David Hu (74), Ryan Kinkead (77) and Song Bai (78) rounding out the lineup.
Meanwhile, Lakewood Ranch won the girls team title for a second straight time with a 239 total. That was good for a 16-shot victory over runner-up Venice.
The tournament, which began in 1994, featured a different format for the girls division. Instead of using the best four scores out of five golfers per each nine holes, only three of four were used.
That was originally the plan for the 2016 edition, Sara Bay head pro Daren King said, but inclement weather leading up to the event canceled the tournament. o Tuesday was the first time players and coaches dealt with the new format, and Lakewood Ranch girls golf head coach David Lamm said it hinders his team a little.
“If we get to play the fifth girl, our fifth girl is as good as the rest of them,” Lamm said. “The fact is we can only count three scores, which helps the other teams a little bit. ... I think the big difference is they played like they normally play.”
The Mustangs received solid scores from Natalie Robson (77) and Ashleigh Angelo (80).
Robson, who is a Sara Bay member, produced a career-best high school tournament round. She finished runner-up to Venice’s Isabella Stepanek, who fired a 76 for the girls individual title.
“I knew where not to hit it on the greens,” Robson said. “I knew where to hit it in the fairways and on the greens.”
Lakewood Ranch’s consistency, where the team was just three shots different between nines, also aided Tuesday’s victory and improves the Mustangs record to 35-3 for the season.
Darby Laurvick (82) and Ashlyn Einwachter (90) rounded out Lakewood Ranch’s lineup.
Other area girls scores: Brittany Walters and Samantha Walters posted 88s to lead Braden River’s 275 total.
Gabrielle Tomeo (82) led Manatee’s 293 total. Maria Huang (84) led Saint Stephen’s 272 total.
On the boys side, Jack Knowles (77) led Bradenton Christian’s boys team to a 386 total. Calvin Hedgepeth (81) posted Braden River’s low round en route to a 337 team total.
Robbie Higgins fired a 71 to lead Cardinal Mooney to a 300 total.
Michael Wood (82) paced Manatee’s 397 total. John Vickery (80) led Out-of-Door Academy’s 325 total.