HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS — Brittany Shin didn’t repeat as a state champion, but she handled defeat like a seasoned veteran.
The Canterbury sophomore carded a two-day, 7-over-par 151 and finished tied for 16th place at the FHSAA Class A girls golf state finals, after a round of 78 Saturday at Mission Inn and Resort. She finished Friday’s opening round with a 1-over-73.
“It’s not what I wanted, but it is golf and anything can happen. It was definitely not how I planned,” said Shin, who double-bogeyed the seventh and 14th holes. “I just had two bad holes that I screwed up (Saturday). I just wasn’t paying attention. I had one on the front and one on the back.”
Shin won the Class 2A state championship a year ago while playing for Ida Baker, when she carded a 3-under-141 (71,70) on the same 5,505-yard, par-72 Las Colinas Course.
“I wasn’t trying to repeat. I was just trying to play my game. I wasn’t trying to get it into my head, though I knew I had a chance to repeat. But obviously, I didn’t perform as well as I wanted,” Shin said.
Despite the rough outing on Saturday, Shin, who won both regional and district individual championships this month, made no excuses and instead talked about using the experience to return and play even better next season.
“I performed differently from last year and it’s a different ball game. I am just going to take this as a learning experience. Champions have to lose once in a while. No champion can win consistently every single time. Everyone makes mistakes and I am just going to go home and practice the stuff that didn’t work out and come back next year and win it,” Shin said.
Though golf legend Jack Nicklaus was in attendance this year, Shin said her icon is Arnold Palmer, who died Sept. 25, and she is handling the defeat the way he did.
“Arnold Palmer was like a legend. Every loss that he had, he would try to learn from it and he took it like a champion. Sometimes he would come up on the Golf Channel before he passed away, and just seeing him play was really cool,” Shin said.
Bishop Verot’s Gabby Vetter fired at two day 95-90—185 to take 68th place.
Verot junior Nolan Jerriey finished tied for 10th place in the boys tournament played on the 6,674-yard El Campeon Course at Mission Inn. He finished with a 153 after shooting an even-par 72 on Friday.
Lake Mary Prep won the girls state championship (285, 290 – 575) for the third straight season and Lake Mary Prep sophomore Mimi Chen won the individual state championship with a 136 (70,66).
“I very happy but I think I am more happy about us wining as a team than an individual, l because high school is about team,” Chen said.
Windermere Prep won the boys state championship (309-307-616) and Circle Christian junior Eugene Hong won the state title, carding a two-day 1-under 143. He was also the state runner-up in 2014.
“I made a lot of incredible pars. I was just trying to survive. I didn’t make any double-bogeys and that really helped,” Hong said.
Canterbury shot 769 as a team for the tournament to take 14th place. Hannah Bailey carded a 94-101—195 to finish 75th.