Buchholz, Columbia share boys golf title

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.

For the first time in the 22-year history of the John and Ann Ives Golf Classic, formerly known as the Alachua County Tournament, there was a tie atop the team standings.

While Gainesville High's Pureun Kim cruised to his second straight individual tournament title, Buchholz and Columbia were deadlocked at 330 after 18 holes of play at the Gainesville Country Club on Thursday. A one-hole playoff followed with each of the team's top four players battling it out for area bragging rights. However, the Bobcats and Tigers each totaled a 17 after replaying the par-4 No.1 hole.

With the lack of daylight a factor, both Buchholz coach Brian Tribby and Columbia coach Steve Smithy agreed on the tie.

So the Bobcats, who came in winners of 14 tournament titles and eight in the last nine years, will share the championship trophy with the first-time winning Tigers.

“When you are talking about 330 shots and ending on the same number, it is kind of odd. But that is the way golf is,” said Smithy, whose club lost in a one-hole playoff to Buchholz earlier in the week. “Anyone will tell you in this area, Buchholz has kind of been the mainstay as far as golf is concerned. They have owned this tournament, so anytime we can be mentioned in the same breath as Buchholz is an honor for us.”

Columbia was led by Nick Jones, who was fourth with a seven-over-par 79, followed by Tim Bagley (83) and Dillan VanVleck (83), who were tied for ninth. Dean Soucinek rounded out the Tigers top four with an 85.

The Bobcats, who actually held a two-stroke lead midway through the playoff hole, were fueled by Chandler Blanchet, who was the tournament runner-up with a 77. Brad Hines finished tied for ninth with an 83, with Trace Rucarean and Tyler Allen adding a 84 and and 86 respectively.

This also marked the second time a playoff was needed for the top two teams, with Buchholz edging GHS in 2001.

“They had a hard day, and we had a hard day,” Tribby said. “I am proud of the effort absolutely, the kids came out there and put it on the line.

“In one way you can say, well we didn't get beat, but we didn't win it outright anyway.”

The best score of the day belonged to Kim, The Sun's 2011 boys golfer of the year. The junior shot a 37 over the first nine holes and fired a 35 of the back nine. Kim shot an even-par 72 last year as well. He became the first golfer to win this event two straight years since Countryside Christian's Brian Melvin turned in the trick in 1999 and 2000.

“I am very excited, it is big day for me,” Kim said. “My short game and my putting were really strong today. I really wanted to win this tournament.”

Collin Cousins was third with a 79 and led the Wolves (338) to a third-place team finish as well. Matt Powell of GHS carded an 80 to place fifth.

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