Alachua County golf tournaments start today
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 9:57 p.m.
Both the Buchholz boys and girls golf teams enter today's Alachua County Tournaments, starting at noon, as defending champions.
While both Bobcats teams would like to walk away with championship hardware again, a few other area teams will have their say as far as area bragging rights are concerned.
On the boys' side, the Bobcats have dominated the John and Ann Ives Golf Classic, formerly known as the Alachua County Tournament. Last fall, Buchholz won the 21st annual 18-hole event held at the Gainesville Country Club for the 14th overall time and for the eighth time in the last nine years.
“It (the tournament) is important, it reflects the depth of the team,” Buchholz boys golf coach Brian Tribby said. “We can go six deep without losing a step and that is what saves us.
“It is a championship and that is exciting. It is also for bragging rights and we like having that.”
Tyler Allen (38.8 nine-hole average), Trace Rucarean (39.3), Brad Hines (39.5), Manny Diaz (39.58), Chandler Blanchet (39.69) and Alex Thomas (39.8) make up this year's Bobcats. Allen shot a 77 to finish third last year, while Blanchet, Hines and Diaz tied for fifth with a 79. Rucarean missed last year's tournament with a wrist injury.
Columbia, third last year, could challenge Buchholz for the title. The Tigers, led by Dean Soucinek, who was the runner up last year with a 75, played Buchholz tough on Tuesday, losing in a one-hole playoff.
Defending champion, Pureun Kim of Gainesville High, The Sun's 2011 boys golfer of the year, won last year's event with a 72 and will have his eye on repeating. Other boys golfers to watch include Oak Hall's David Hicks, fourth last year with a 77, Nick Jones and Luke Soucinek of Columbia and Lucas Muzzey and Brian Stockman of St. Francis.
On the girls' side at Haile Plantation, it looks to be a two-team race with Buchholz and Oak Hall. Taylor Tomlinson, a recent Florida commitment, will be gunning for her third consecutive individual county title. She won with a 68 a year ago and will try and lead the Eagles to their fifth title in six years.
“They are excited, there is no question about that,” Oak Hall girls coach John Ives said. “They are a competitive bunch and really want to win it.”
Tomlinson (37), Caroline Holloway (42), Chandler Whitefield (44), Elizabeth Kim (44) and Stephanie Kim (49) power the Eagles, while the Bobcats will counter with Kathryn Gagnon (40), Gaby Amos (40.5), Jessica Thomas (41.4), Chelsea Stilwell (43.3) and Alyson Hollingsworth (45.6). Oak Hall has edged Buchholz in two meetings this fall.
“We are playing real good right now. Everyone's game is coming around,” Buchholz coach Marc Ellard said. “I think we have a real good opportunity to go back-to-back.”
Kirsten Dana of P.K. Yonge, 10th a year ago, and Columbia's Gillian Norris are also expected to be in the mix of individual contenders.