Both the Columbus and Palmetto golf teams took a step closer in their quest to reach the state tournament with GMAC team championships Thursday at Redland Golf and Country Club.
Columbus junior Juan Yumar made a 12-foot par putt to win in a playoff on the first hole for the individual boys’ title. He and Miami High’s Jonathan Rodriguez shot 73s. Four Columbus golfers finished in the top eight and posted a team score of 302.
“I double bogeyed the last hole of the round, so I was kind of mad when I came to the clubhouse,” Yumar said. “When I saw the scoreboard, I realized I had to begin another round, and it was good.”
The Explorers will compete in the Maverick Tournament next week before district and region play begin. Columbus, which has won the GMAC team title in consecutive seasons, hasn’t made the state tournament for the past three years.
“These guys are really motivated,” coach Mike Marinelli said. “Our goal is to get there this year. Columbus used to be in the state tournament every year. It’s really our goal to get back there and compete again.”
Palmetto’s top-three girl golfers — all seniors — concluded their high school careers as four-time GMAC champions with a team score of 371. Molly Barlow and Gabby Montes placed second and third, respectively.
The Panthers have reached the state tournament eight years in a row. While their seniors have four years of high school experience, their fourth and fifth golfers have been playing for just one year.
“We’re hoping that this will help,” coach Rosanna Karpiak said. “Our four and five did their best yet, so we’re just hoping that the momentum will stay and win our district and hopefully win our region and go to state again. “The GMAC is a great tournament to gauge where you’re at and see where you really need to work so that districts and region become a positive experience and hopefully get you into the state finals.”
TERRA senior Franchesca De La Torre captured her second GMAC individual title by shooting a 77. She also won her sophomore year and placed third last season. She earned a runner-up finish at the Youth Fair Invitational two weeks ago.
“It felt really good,” De La Torre said. “I came in here and I knew I wanted to win, but I wasn’t overconfident. I just came in here, took one stroke at a time and came out with a win. It was good to finish with a win.”
CHRISTINA DE NICOLA
• Boys’ team scores: Columbus 302, Miami Springs 319, Palmetto 323, Coral Reef 333, Coral Gables 358, TERRA 360, Miami Beach 378. Individual scores: 1. Juan Yumar, COL, 73; 2. Jonathan Rodriguez, MIA, 73; 3. Julio Betancourt, COL, 74; 4. Marcos Montesano, REA, 75; 5. C. Melendez, COL, 77; 6. Kyle Safreed, MS, 77; 7. Pat Perez, MS, 77; 8. Francisco De La Torre, COL, 78; 9. Beau Clavijo, MB, 79; 10. Mike Carter, PAL, 80; 11. Russ Mercer, PAL, 81; 11. Daniel Ledbetter, PAL, 81; 11. Matt Martinez, PAL, 81; 11. Kevin Fertel, TERRA, 81; 15. Zach Granoff, CR, 82; 15. John Gehr, CR, 82; 15. Pat Bolton, MS, 82; 15. David Castano, PAL, 82; 15. Chris Dupont, SM, 82.
• Girls’ team scores: Palmetto 371, Coral Reef 390, TERRA 434. Girls’ individual scores: 1. Franchesca De La Torre, TERRA, 77; 2. Molly Barlow, PAL, 84; 3. Gabby Montes, PAL, 87; 4. Ximena Corona, CR, 87; 5. Lauren Eustace, CR, 94; 6. Ester Tothova, CG, 94; 7. Jasleen Chin-Sang, PAL, 96; 8. Krystal Farinas, CR, 103; 9. Erica Schumacher, PAL, 104; 10. Monique Enriquez, BRA, 105; 10. Alyssa Rabade, TERRA, 105; 10. V. Valsco, CR, 105; 13. Leia Schwartz, CR, 110; 13. Daniele Buchard, PAL, 110; 15. Diane Sanchez, FER, 114; 16. Samantha De La Torre, TERRA, 117; 17. Samantha Varela, TERRA, 135.