Trending in the right direction and playing well, the Douglas boys’ golf team headed out for Jacaranda Golf Club in Plantation on Tuesday morning for the Region 7-3A golf tournament, hoping history would not repeat itself.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, it did.
Having just won the Maverick Invitational two weeks ago on that very course and followed that up with a district championship last week, Douglas needed a second-place finish or better out of the nine teams from Broward and Palm Beach county to make their first-ever team trip to state.
But, with rainy and wet conditions not helping matters, the Eagles turned in a disappointing team score of 320 to finish a distant fifth, 23 shots behind winner Lake Worth Park Vista (297) and 15 back from second-place qualifier Boca Raton which turned in a 305. Park Vista’s Josh August, for the second year in a row, captured medalist honors with a 2-under 69.
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It was a year ago that Douglas entered regionals red hot off a district championship with the same high hopes and finished third, three shots behind Boca.
The Eagles weren’t even the low Broward team as St. Thomas Aquinas, led by a 75 from Matthew Galluzzo and 76 out of Zachary Volts finished fourth with a 313.
The only good news for Douglas coach Darren Levine was that, just like last year, history did repeat itself for senior Daniel Whelan.
Whelan managed to grind out a 3-over 74 on the 6,871-ard, par-71 layout and, like last year when he shot 71, the score proved to be the best individual score outside of the two teams qualifying for state, thus allowing him to punch his ticket to state as an individual. The state tournament will be held at Deer Island near Tavares on Nov. 4-5.
“Yeah, I guess it kind of did turn out just like last year,” said Whelan.
“And yeah, while I’m pleased I’m going back to state, I wanted to bring my teammates up there with me and it just didn’t happen — again.
“We were really playing well as a team coming in and really felt it could happen today. I really didn’t even play that well myself as I really struggled with my putter [38 putts] but fortunately my ball-striking was spot on and that saved me.”
Whelan’s teammate Ryan Torres did his part shooting 75, but the other three Eagle golfers, Drew Bengston, Blake Leon and Chris DeMartino, all struggled shooting 85, 87 and 88, respectively.
1. Park Vista 297; 2. Boca Raton 305; 3. Spanish River 307; 4. St. Thomas Aquinas 313; 5. Douglas 320; 6. Palm Beach Central 33; 7. Wellington 342; 8. Taravella 355; 9. Coral Glades 396
1. Josh August (PV) 69; 2. Jordan Reeves (PV) 71; 3. Ryan Mason (PV) 73; 4. Brian Leikert (BR) 74; Daniel Whelan (D) 74; C.J. Fisher (ATL) 74; 7. Ryan Torres (D) 75; Matthew Galluzo (STA) 75; Eduardo Blochtein (SR) 75.