Fatigue began to sneak up on Estero junior Luke Farmer during the tail end of the Region 2A-7 golf championships at Palmetto Pine Country Club on Monday in Cape Coral.
Having completed some of his best golf over the weekend, when he finished second in a Florida Junior Tour 16-to-18-year-old event at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Farmer felt tired legs as he went par-bogey-bogey on his last three holes to finish 1-over 73.
It ultimately placed him in a three-way tie for first place with Port Charlotte freshman Marc Kaneko-Fujii and Barron Collier junior Sam Nunner, who eventually won the three-hole playoff with a par on hole 3.
Nunner went par-par-par to win the region title.
Estero coach Bruce Buchla wasn’t worried. Farmer, who finished second in a scorecard playoff last week at the District 2A-21 tournament, guaranteed himself his second straight state bid with the score.
He earned one of two qualifiers given to the top two individuals outside team qualifiers.
“He’s finding his stroke,” Buchla said of Farmer, who shot back-to-back 1-under 71s on Saturday and Sunday at the event in Orlando. “He’s coming around. He’s hitting the ball really well. He’s a steadfast kid, you can always count on him. Everyone knows, being consistent will get you wins.”
Only two teams qualified for the state tournament. Naples finished in first-place by carding a 313, while Barron Collier was second with 319. Estero and Port Charlotte finished tied for third with 320s.
Ida Baker, which had hoped to reach the state tournament, struggled much of the day and finished sixth with a 342. Cypress Lake carded a 347 and Mariner finished with 414.
“I made states last year, so it felt good to get there again,” Farmer said. “I want to get there now and try to place top five. The way I’m playing, I should be able to compete for it.”
Farmer was strong on the front 9 Monday, shooting a 1-under 35 that included three birdies and two bogeys. Eight times over the round he used his irons on long holes, opting for accuracy instead of power.
For the most part, it yielded good returns.
“Sometimes I get into trouble with my drivers,” Farmer said. “So I was comfortable using my irons on those holes. I used them over the weekend too about eight times.”
Farmer’s teammate, Jonah Manning, carded a 4-over 76 and finished sixth overall on the day. Despite relatively good conditions, only three players finished under 75.
“It was a tight tournament,” said Buchla, who’s in his first year leading the Wildcats. Estero missed the state tournament as a team a year ago by one stroke as well.
Region 2A-7 Boys Golf
at Palmetto Pines Country Club
1. Sam Nunner (BC) 73; 2. Marc Kaneko-Fujii 73; 3. Luke Farmer (Est) 73; 4. Jack O’Hara (SMA) 75; 5. Sam Hershoff (BC) 75; 6. Jonah Manning (Est) 76; 7. Zach Perron (SMA) 77; 8. Blake Donnelly (IB) 82; 9. Adam Beatty (BC) 82; 10. Jacob Kalisik (CL) 83; 10. Aaron
1. Naples 313; 2. Barron Collier 319; 3. Estero 320; 4. Port Charlotte 320; 5. Sarasota Military Academy 327; 6. Ida Baker 342; 7. Cypress Lake 347; 9. Hardee 360; 10. Mariner 414
Ida Baker: Alec DiLallo 85, Blake Donnelly 82, Ben Hunt 88, Adrian Strey 87, David Trawick 92.
Barron Collier: Sam Hershoff 75, Sam Nunner 73, Adam Beatty 82, Brendan Fieger 89.
Cypress Lake: Tyler Humphrey 85, Trevor Humphrey 88, Jacob Kalisik 83, Cole Mattheis 98, Michael Junkin 91.
Estero: Luke Farmer 73, Jonah Manning 76, Landon Fiore 87, Aaron Puckett 84.
Hardee: Zach Dueberry 86, Dylan Crawford 92, Hunter Scranton 98, Will Redding 85.
Mariner: Joey Sagi 86, Jordan Dence 110, Wade Williamson 108, Austin Westling 110.
Naples: James Tureskis 77, Chad Tracy 82, John Wolner 77, Jacob Akins 80, Conner Jaffe 79.
Port Charlotte: Yui Fujii 81, Marc Kaneko-Fujii 73, Jacob Goldman 84, David Derocher 87, Logan Sorah 82.
Sarasota Military Academy: Jack O’Hara 75, Ben Burg 89, Zach Snode 86, Zach Perron 77, Chance Ross 117.