The Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy girls’ golf team felt ecstatic Saturday after winning the Class 2A state championship. There was no mistaking that as the players mobbed each other on the green after the victory.
Meanwhile, Ty Strafaci showed mixed emotions, capturing the individual boys’ championship while lamenting that his team, Plantation American Heritage, was not able to repeat as state champs.
At day’s end, once all the results were in, there was one thing certain — Broward County was the focal point of this event.
Providing Broward County with a team title were the McCarthy girls, rallying from 10 strokes back on the second and final day of play and then winning the title in a one-hole playoff with American Heritage, the defending state champion.
McCarthy coach Carl Phillips told his team afterward, “This whole year you have been working for what happened today. … I’m so proud of you.”
In the playoff, played on the first hole, five players teed off for both schools and the top four scores counted, with McCarthy winning by three strokes.
“American Heritage is our biggest rival,” Phillips said. “The two schools are only five minutes apart. We go at it like Duke and North Carolina.”
Before the playoff, Phillips talked to his team. “I told them that we had the momentum because we had already made up 10 strokes just to get to the playoff,” he said.
Phillips, a 13-year coach at McCarthy who once played golf professionally, called the result, “The best thing that has ever happened to me in golf. It all came together. This is the ultimate goal.”
Heritage coach Linda Sibio was dejected but said, “They [McCarthy] played awesome, but I am proud of my girls.”
The Heritage boys and girls went into the state tournament hoping to sweep the titles as they did a year ago. They won neither, McCarthy taking the girls’ title and Ponte Vedra edging out the boys by four strokes.
Providing some consolation was Strafaci’s individual title. Strafaci, a senior who has already signed to play at Georgia Tech, birdied four of the final five holes to record 72-71—143 for the two days, winning by six shots and being the only individual to finish under par.
Although he had the individual championship and trophy in hand, Strafaci did not walk away with what he really wanted — a team championship.
“It was a devastating day,” Strafaci said of not repeating as team champs. “We all realize we wasted a couple of shots here and there.”
Most of those wasted shots occurred on the first day of the tournament, when Ponte Vedra jumped to a 13-stroke lead. Heritage closed on Ponte Vedra the final day, but ran out of fairways and holes, losing by four strokes.
“We gave up too many strokes that first day,” Heritage coach Brandt Moser said. “Ty put on a great effort. He’s a remarkable kid who has been in my program since the sixth grade.
“I will miss him on multiple, multiple levels.”
Boys’ team results: 1. Ponte Vedra, 616; 2. Plantation American Heritage, 620; 3. Fort Walton Beach, 626; 4. Sebring, 641; 5. Orlando Bishop Moore, 646.
Boys’ individual results: 1. Ty Strafaci, Plantation American Heritage, 72-71—143; 2. (tie) Logan Membrino, Ponte Vedra, 72-77—149; Matt Ruel, Tampa Jesuit, 76-73—149; 4. Chase Hurt, Fort Walton Beach, 74-76 –150; 5. Nic Staffieri, Sebring, 77-74—151. Other Broward (no Dade players competing): 14. (tie) Daniel Gonzalez-Quevedo, Plantation American Heritage, 79-79—158; 22. (tie) Jonathon Cachon, Plantation American Heritage, 85-75—160; 24. (tie) Turner Grass, Plantation American Heritage, 82-79-82—161; Isak Nilsson, Cardinal Gibbons, 80-81—161; 29. (tie) Julius Boros, Cardinal Gibbons, 83-80—163; 38. 38. Mason Tilbrook, Cardinal Gibbons, 84-82—166; 47. (tie) Carson Yates, Cardinal Gibbons, 85-83—168;
51. Timothy Simpson, Cardinal Gibbons, 87-83—170.
Girls’ team results: 1. (won in playoff) Archbishop McCarthy, 616; 2. Plantation American Heritage, 616; 3. Seminole Osceola, 662; 4. 4. Naples Barron Collier, 663; 5. Ponte Vedra, 675.
Girls’ individual results: 1. Brittany Shin, Ida Baker, 71-70—141; 2. (tie) Amanda Gartrell, Lakeland Lake Gibson, 74-71—145; Kendall Griffin, Sebring, 75-70—145; 4. Shelby Brauckmiller, Auburndale, 72-75—147; 5. (tie) Casey Weidenfeld, Plantation American Heritage, 72-76—148; Haydyn Gibson, Seminole Osceola, 75-73—148. Other Broward (no Dade players competing): 7. Jillian Bourdage, Plantation American Heritage (Plantation), 74-75—149; 9. (tie) Julia Matzat, Archbishop McCarthy, 76-75—151; 11. (tie) Christen Simons, Archbishop McCarthy, 76-76—152; 16. Brooke Benedetto, Archbishop McCarthy, 80-76—156; 17. (tie) Sunny Li, Plantation American Heritage, 79-78—157; Georgette Garcia, Archbishop McCarthy, 79-78—157; 23. Michelle Rodriguez, Archbishop McCarthy, 82-79—161; 24. (tie) Alejandra Merchan, Plantation American Heritage, 76-86—162; 39. Lorena DeAntonio, Plantation American Heritage, 90-86—176.