Colanta & Stone Back In The Winner's Circle
The 16-18 age division headed up to the Ocala area to face off in the final regular 36-hole event of the season at the scenic Juliette Falls. The 84 players found the course in great condition and very fast and undulating putting greens.
The weather for the first round was very calm and sunny and players took advantage by posting low scores. In the boys division, twelve players posted even par or better scores. Travis Trace held the lead with a 68 on the par 72 course. Timothy Colanta was one stroke back at 69 while Andrew Arft and William Wrigley were just two strokes back after posting 70's.
In the girls division Latanna Stone took the first round lead with a 71 (-1). Teresa Romeo, Mao Young and Erica Stoner were two strokes back after posting 73's.
On Sunday, the players awoke to a cold morning with winds sustained near 15 mph and gusts up to 25 mph. The course was playing more difficult, but most players adapted to the tough conditions.
Travis Trace struggled a little on the front nine after making a birdie on the 2nd hole; he made bogies on 3, 4, and 6. Trace then birdied the 11th and 15th, but a costly bogie on the final hole would leave him in a tie for second.
Yidong Zhang started the day four strokes back and made five birdies on the day (2, 9, 12, 15, 16) to shot 70 and post 142 (-2) for the tournament. Andrew Arft made three birdies and three bogies on the day to shoot 72 and also post 142.
Timothy Colanta was playing in the final group along with Travis Trace and William Wrigley so he had a good idea of how stood all day. Colanta started off great and quickly took the lead on the front nine by making birdies on 1, 2, and 9. Birdies on the 11th and 13th increased his lead. Colanta would then bogie the 17th and 18th for a 71 (-1) in the final round. His rounds of 69-71--140 (-4) gave him a two stroke victory over Zhang, Arft and Trace.
The weather seemed to affect the girls on Sunday as their scores were a bit higher than the first round. Emma Albrecht made two birdies, four bogies, and a double bogey to route to a 76 to go with her 74 in the first round. Albrecht posted 74-76--150 and had to wait for the leaders in the groups behind her.
Terese Romeo started off well and made up the two stroke deficit between her and Latanna Stone. Romeo shot a 35 on her first nine (the back nine) while Stone struggled with a 41. Romeo then found trouble on her final nine while Stone settled down. Romeo held the lead with only two holes remaining, but costly bogies on the final two holes lost her the title. Stone made pars on the final two holes to give her a one stroke victory.
Romeo and Albrecht finished one stroke back to Latanna Stone who shot 71-78--149.