Golf team advances to regionals

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Robbie Vinson shot a round of 78 that helped Admiral Farragut finish third with a team score of 345 at Monday’s Class A, District 14 tournament as the BlueJackets advanced to the regionals for the first time since the early 1990s.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Robbie ‘18, who began attending Farragut this school year after spending the first two years of high school at Northside Christian. “To be able to get the team to this level and back to regionals is a testament to the hard work we’ve put in this year.”

Farragut finished behind Clearwater Central Catholic, which shot 305 at the Bayou Club in Largo to take first, and Calvary Christian, which finished 25 shots behind the Marauders to claim second place. The top three teams advance to the region tournament, which is scheduled to take place on October 17 at Carrollwood Country Club.

The BlueJackets entered the tournament on quite a roll, having taken first in six out of seven matches. Besides the Mustang Invitational in which the BlueJackets placed seventh, each match was a nine-hole event.

At Monday’s district affair, the BlueJackets competed in blustery conditions over 18 holes on a course known by area golfers for its lengthy and undulating terrain. In addition, many of Farragut’s golfers were playing for a chance to advance in the postseason for the first time in their careers.

“Everyone struggled due to the wind, which made it difficult judging distance,” said coach Destry Fudge, who referred to the strong breeze as a two-shot wind. “Not only that, the course is a difficult one to walk due to its layout and the space from hole to tee. I kept reminding them, though, to focus on each shot because in the end, each shot would matter.”

And the shots did matter as Max Lewis ‘17, who averages a little under 80, put up a season-high 90 on a course his coach considers as his home club.

“A lot of times, players competing on their home course will just overthink things because they know the course so well,” Fudge said. “Max just tried to be too perfect.”

Kyle Smith ‘19 admitted to have struggled, as well, finishing with a score of 91.

“I know I can shoot better, which is a good thing,” said Kyle, who averages in the low 80s. “At least I got a bad round out of the way.”

Stephen Xie ‘21 shot 86 and Thomas Ratliff shot 98 to round out Farragut’s scores, although in tournament play the top four scores are used to tabulate team results.

Fortunately, Fudge believes the team will be able to use this experience to springboard them into success at next week’s region tournament.

“They’ll be able to use this type of competition, especially in that type of weather, as a barometer for Monday’s regional event,” Fudge said.