Class 2A Golf: Horsfield, Yang Advance To State Tournament
Mon. October 22, 2012 at 8:22 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
Ridge Community's Sam Horsfield, left, and Winter Haven's Althea Yang, right, are headed to the state tournament. (Photo by Ledger Media Group)
By DEL MILLIGAN
Sam Horsfield and Athena Yang qualified for the FHSAA Golf Finals as individuals on Monday, both with birdies on the last hole in their respective tournaments.
Horsfield, a sophomore at Ridge Community High School in Davenport, shot even-par 72 to advance to the Florida boys state high school golf tournament for the second year in a row on Monday at Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club near Tampa.
Yang, a freshman at Winter Haven High School, carded an even-par 72 at Windermere Country Club in Orlando to earn a berth in the girls state golf tournament.
The Class 2A state tournaments are Oct. 30-31. The boys' state tournament is at Deer Island Golf and Lake Club in Tavares. The girls' tournament is at Harbor Hills Country Club in Lady Lake.
None of the six Polk County boys and girls teams in the two regionals made the Class 2A state tournament.
Horsfield overcame a horrible start, making double bogeys on No. 1 and No. 5 with a bogey on No. 4.
"I was just a little bit amped up," he said.
But Horsfield followed a 4-over 40 on the front nine with a 4-under 32 on the back.
"I was 5-over after five," Horsfield said. "I wasn't hitting the ball very solid on the front nine. But I kind of figured it out on the back nine and slowed it down. And making a couple of putts helped."
Horsfield, who like Yang is the Polk County and district champion, turned it around with a birdie on No. 7, then birdied 10 and 12 before closing his round with birdies on No. 17 and No. 18.
Horsfield's 5-foot putt for birdie on the par-5 18th hole clinched second place.
The top two teams and top two individuals in regionals advance to state.
Yang, a 14-year-old ninth-grader, finished her round by hitting her second shot to within 2 inches for a tap-in birdie on her 18th hole, No. 9.
But Courtney Zeng from Freedom High School, playing with Yang, poured in a 17-footer for birdie to tie. That forced a scorecard tiebreaker, and it went in Yang's favor.
"I was so nervous. I had so many emotions going on," Yang said.
Sophia Benetti of Orlando Dr. Phillips shot 71, but her team finished second behind Orlando Olympia High, so Yang and Zeng both qualified for state as individuals.
District champion Bartow, runner-up Sebring and third-place George Jenkins didn't qualify for the girls' state tournament. Bartow shot 360, led by Markie McCann (80) and Jackie Caron (82). Sebring posted a 382, while Jenkins shot 410.
Amanda Gartrell of Lake Gibson shot 78 and Shelby Brauckmuller of Auburndale posted an 86 while trying to qualify as individuals along with Yang.
"Amanda and Shelby stayed behind to cheer me on," Yang said. So did the Jenkins team.
In the boys regional at Temple Terrace, Lakeland was the lowest Polk team with a 319, led by Grant Marsh with a 76. Jenkins shot 323, while Lake Gibson shot 344. West Orange won the regional, followed by Tampa Plant.
Jack Brown and Andrew Penn of Bartow also competed as individuals. Brown shot 76, while Penn carded a 78.