Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Ranch Wins District

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Ranch Wins District

Article excerpt


CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 14: Mustangs finish first; Braden River's Andrew Hammett wins medalist honors

The wind was kicking up, the fairways were tight, the greens were fast, but none of the unforgiving elements that created excuses at Misty Creek Country Club Monday could stop Lakewood Ranch from capturing its fifth straight district boys golf championship.

The Mustangs (316) defeated runner-up Riverview (323) by seven strokes in the FHSAA Class 3A-District 14 Tournament.

Both teams will advance, along with third-place Venice (324), to next week's 3A-Region 5 Tournament at Plantation Country Club in Fort Myers.

Braden River's Andrew Hammett took medalist honors, with a 1- over par 73, by one stroke over Spence Schultz of Lakewood Ranch, who shot a 74.

Hammett, his younger brother, Chandler Hammett, and Manatee's Richard Bennett qualified for the Regional as individuals with the lowest scores from non-qualifying teams.

Chandler Hammett, a sophomore, advanced after winning a three- hole playoff over Sarasota sophomore Logan Finlay after both finished with 85.

The three-time state champion Mustangs, whose record improved to 70-15-1, know they are not going to have much chance of repeating with two scores in the 80s, as they had to settle for Monday, from Barry McDonnell (81) and Kelly Sun (83).

They may not even win the regional championship.

"We all could have shot better, said Charlie Sun, who shot a (39- 39) 78. "We didn't really deal with it (wind and fast greens), that's why the scores are so high. We just need to learn how to play in tough conditions. Because at states it's going to be windy, it's going to be cold."

"I think they grinded well today," said Lakewood Ranch assistant coach Tommy Villani, filling in for head coach Dave Frantz, who had to be at school for classroom obligations. "For them to pull through, maybe they were struggling a little bit, I was proud of them."

Charlie Sun said the Mustangs, who played in the Honda Classic on Friday and Saturday in Palm Beach Gardens, following the Qdoba Tournament in Orlando the week before, are fatigued.

"We just have been playing tournament after tournament and haven't really taken a break, where we regroup and gather our thoughts and practice a bit," Charlie Sun said. …

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