Horsfield Finishes 9th at State Tourney
Thu. November 03, 2011 at 3:58 a.m. | By B.J. Pitzen
RIDGE COMMUNITY'S SAM HORSFIELD watches his tee shot from 8C during the Class 2A District 8 Boys Golf Tournament. (Photo by RICK RUNION | THE LEDGER)
By B.J. PITZEN
Ridge Community freshman Sam Horsfield shot 75 during the second round to finish ninth Wednesday in the 2011 FHSAA Class 2A Boys Golf Finals at El Campeon course within the Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills.
Horsfield, who was 10th after the first day, improved one spot after firing a 9-over-par 153 for the two rounds in the windy, gusty conditions. His three birdies in the final round helped him inch his way into a top-10 finish, nine-shots behind the winner, Richard Donegan. The Okeechobee senior shot 69 Wednesday and finished the tournament at even-par 144.
"I need to work on my irons and sharpen everything by making my misses a little better," Horsfield said. "I did not hit the ball that well overall, but I gained confidence in my driver. Usually my irons are the best part of my game, but apparently not this week."
Horsfield's birdie on the 354-yard par-4, No. 9 gave him a 2-over-par 37. He responded to a three-putt bogey on No. 13 and a double bogey on No. 16 with birdies, which impressed Bolts' coach Bob McKnight.
"I was real pleased with that (the birdies in response to the bad holes)," McKnight said. "He doesn't give up. He stays with it. He doesn't let the bad shots get to him. He has a lot of tournament golf under his belt and he knows one bad hole won't set the tone for the whole round."
Bradenton Lakewood Ranch won the Class 2A team title by six-shots over Port Orange Spruce Creek with a two-day total of 621.
After sitting in a tie for 47th Tuesday afternoon in the Class 1A girls tournament, Kayla Connors dropped six shots from the first round by shooting a 97 at Harbor Hills Country Club in Lady Lake.
Connors, the Tenoroc junior who was in the first group during the second round Wednesday, made par on No. 1 but struggled thereafter with 36 putts on the round.
"Today wasn't her (Connors') putting day," Titans' coach Bryan Tarr said. "She hit a lot of shots that would land on the green and the ball would take the slopes and run off the sides. There were a lot of tough angles from the fairways and the greens were tricky."
Tarr is hopeful Connors, who drives the ball around 210 yards, will keep improving her game.
"Kayla is only a junior this year and she has gotten better every season," Tarr said. "It was a learning experience because she had never been there (at states) before. She's usually used to being the most dominant player. Maybe it was a rude awakening that there are a lot of good players in Florida."
Tarr said Connors plans to work on her swing and game with a "real" swing coach during the offseason.
Connors, who was the lone girls qualifier from Polk County, had a two-day total of 42-over-par 186 to slide down to 62nd place out of 95 girls. She made three pars in a row on No. 6 through No. 8 as well as No. 12. She also made five bogeys, five double-bogeys, a triple-bogey and a quadruple-bogey in the final round of her first state championship experience.
"I had some shots that were good but in general a lot were bad," Connors said. "There's always next year."