Who won the first-ever Donald Ross Memorial Invitational boys individual title?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Prep golf: Donald Ross Memorial Invitational Notes

A couple tidbits from Monday's Donald Ross Memorial Invitational:

  • Record-breaker? Wow, the Lakewood Ranch boys team looks unstoppable. After posting a program-record 283 last Saturday at the prestigious Qdoba Tournament of Champions, the Mustangs went four shots better in Monday's 18th edition of the Ross to run their record to 65-0 this season.
  • Rules are rules: Despite that incredible total, Lakewood Ranch senior Hunter Sagar might want to review his scorecard a bit more carefully in the Manatee County Championships on Oct. 14 when the Mustangs tee it up next. Sagar signed for a score higher than he actually made. In the Ross event, players are only responsible for individual holes. Sagar made a three on Sara Bay Country Club's sixth hole, but he signed for a four. If it had been the reverse, signing for a score lower than one made, Sagar would have been disqualified. The most famous scorecard blunder in golf history came in 1968 when Roberto De Vicenzo lost the Masters for an incorrect scorecard. Sagar should note that painful history lesson, so to avoid any off-course slip ups that could derail the Lakewood Ranch boys team's pursuit of perfection and a state title.
  • Where are the girls teams? Sure it's an invitational, but only two county girls teams competed Monday. Those two schools were Lakewood Ranch and Manatee. There was no Saint Stephen's, even though Yvonne Zheng had a stellar 2010 campaign resulting in a high finish at the Class 1A state tournament. Nor was Braden River, which is in a rebuilding phase following last fall's Herald Girls Golfer of the Year Kristin Swindell graduated. Southeast wasn't there either, though the Seminoles did have a boys team participating along with Saint Stephen's, ODA and Cardinal Mooney's boys.
  • The mystique is still there: For an old course, Sara Bay still stands the test of time. Donald Ross certainly knew what he was doing in the early 20th century when he built Sara Bay. The course definitely has an Augusta National feel to it with the trademark undulating greens. It was so bad that Lakewood Ranch's Connor Baldwin remarked how he witnessed a six-footer from a playing competitor turn into about a 20-footer due to the lightning-quick greens. With such fast greens, the old jewel near Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport can still hold its own. And then some.

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