Winning a district championship has become quite routine over the years for the Columbus boys’ golf team, and Monday afternoon’s District 23-2A tournament at Miami Springs Country Club was no exception.
Although the Explorers scored a little higher than they are used to, the final total of 310 was more than enough to once again win the title easily, 16 shots ahead of runner-up Miami Springs.
The Golden Hawks, led by medalist Pat Perez’s 2-over 73, finished at 326, and Coral Gables came in third at 357. All three teams advance to next week’s regional tournament at Hillcrest Country Club in Hollywood.
“We weren’t at our sharpest [Monday], but it was good enough to get the job done,” said Columbus coach Mike Marinelli. “We’ll need to put up a better score at regionals next week if we want to make it to state.”
And making it to state, something Columbus used to do routinely, has not happened since 2009.
“I’ve been on the team the last two years, and we’ve come up short at regionals, so we definitely want to change that,” said Columbus’ Eddie Martinez who fired a 7-over 78. “We played Hillcrest in a tournament last week and scored well, so we’ll be confident going in.”
Martinez’s teammates, Juan Yumar (77), Francisco De la Torre (77) and Julio Betancourt (78) rounded out Columbus’ team score. The top three individual scores outside of the three team qualifiers went to Tyler Sloman of Krop (76), Beau Clavijo of Miami Beach (79) and Miami High’s Jonathan Rodriguez, who tied with Marcos Montesano of Reagan with an 80 and won on the first playoff hole.
“The crazy part about my round [Monday] is that as good as it was, I left at least five or six shots out there,” Perez said. “I came in feeling if I broke 75 I’d be happy, but when you take 33 putts in a round, it means you didn’t putt well and you feel a little frustrated. Obviously, my ball-striking was on (Perez hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation) so that was the upside.”
On the girls’ side, none of the teams met the minimum requirement of four players, so as a result, there were only three individual qualifiers. Ester Tothova of Coral Gables took medalist honors with an 88 and was followed by Jiana Biaha of Miami Beach (107) and Yanfang Ao of Miami High (108) for second and third place.
• BOYS’ RESULTS – Columbus 310, Miami Springs 326, Coral Gables 357, Miami Beach 370, Reagan 373, Hialeah Gardens 376, Coral Park 459, Mourning 524 (at Miami Springs CC par 71): Pat Perez (MS) 73, Tyler Sloman (KR) 76, Juan Yumar (COL) 77, Francisco De la Torre (COL) 77, Eddie Martinez (COL) 78, Julio Betancourt (COL) 78, Beau Clavijo (MB) 79, Christian Melendez (COL) 80, Jonathan Rodriguez (MH) 80, Marcos Montesano (RR) 80.
• GIRLS’ RESULTS – Individuals: Ester Tothova (CG) 88, Jiana Biaha (MB) 107, Yanfang Ao (MH) 108, Tyler Robinson (AM) 115, Shaylah Culler (MS) 118, Mariana Rohrcheib (RR) 123.
• Mourning d. Edison 25-10, 25-12, 25-10: Savannah Duffy 9 kills. Stella Azerot 7 kills, 7 aces. Molly Yao 4 aces, 16 assists. ATM 14-3.
• Palmer Trinity d. Mater Academy 25-15, 25-15, 25-20: Barbara Lopez 14 kills, 6 aces, 35 assists. Danielle Littke 8 kills, 2 blocks, 32 assists. Ellie Nosich 5 kills, 5 blocks, 11 digs. PT 16-4.