Sam Hershoff saved his best shot for last Tuesday at the District 2A-21 boys golf tournament.
A four-year varsity player for Barron Collier, the senior chipped in from 15 feet out on No. 18 at The Golf Lodge at The Quarry. The shot gave him a birdie, a final score of 2-under-par 70, and eventually led to medalist honors.
The chip-in felt good – Hershoff tossed his ball in the water in celebration afterward – but the Cougars didn’t need it. Barron Collier shot a team score of 300 to win the 2A-21 title by 14 strokes over Naples High.
“I looked over at my dad and said, ‘I’m going to hit a big drive and make birdie on 18,’” Hershoff said. “I had to throw my ball in the water. It did its job.”
Estero High finished third with a score of 320 and also advanced to regional Monday in Cape Coral.
Hershoff battled back and forth with Estero junior Luke Farmer throughout the day. Hershoff trailed his playing partner by a stroke after back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16. He needed the birdie on No. 18 to win.
Farmer also shot a 70, but Hershoff won a scorecard playoff. Both golfers birdied the par-5 No. 3, the hardest hole on the course, so the tiebreaker was the second-toughest hole. Hershoff birdied the 492-yard 14th hole, while Farmer parred.
Last year’s district medalist, Farmer had four birdies and a double-bogey.
“It was a solid round,” said Farmer, who advanced to state last year. “It feels good (to advance to regional), but we could play better.”
Golden Gate’s Raymond Couch shot an 85 to advance individually for the second straight year. Last year Couch was one of two Titans golfers who become the first in school history to qualify for regionals.
Palmetto Ridge had two golfers advance individually. Joseph Manuel shot an 89 to move on for the Bears, while Max Palmer had a 91.
Barron Collier’s Adam Beatty and Sam Nunner shot 73s to tie for third individually, giving the Cougars three players in the top four. Brendan Fieger completed the team scoring with an 84.
Naples was led by freshman James Tureskis, who shot a 76. The Golden Eagles also finished runner-up to Barron Collier at district last year before missing the state tournament by six strokes.
All four Naples scores finished in the top 10. Tureskis was fifth, John Wolner (77) was sixth, Conner Jaffe (80) tied for seventh and Chad Tracy (81) was ninth.
“The team played well,” Tureskis said. “We just need to make a few more putts (at regional) and play with more confidence.”
Class 2A-District 12 boys tournament
At The Golf Lodge at The Quarry
(Top 3 advance)
Barron Collier 300, Naples 314, Estero 320, Palmetto Ridge 432, Lely 504, Golden Gate NTS, East Lee NTS
1. Sam Hershoff (BC) 70*, 2. Luke Farmer (Est) 70, 3. Adam Beatty (BC) 73, 3. Sam Nunner (BC) 73, 5. James Tureskis (N) 76, 6. John Wolner (N) 77, 7. Landen Fiore (Est) 80, 7. Conner Jaffe (N) 80, 9. Chad Tracy (N) 81, 10. Brendan Fieger (BC) 84
* — Won on scorecard playoff
Individuals advancing to regional
(Top 3 not on qualifying team)
Raymond Couch (GG) 85, Joseph Manuel (PR) 89, Max Palmer (PR) 91
Barron Collier: Hershoff 70, Beatty 73, Nunner 73, Fieger 84, Beau Butler 91
East Lee: Jarreh Smith 95, Javier Vasquez 100, Brett Smith 132
Estero: Farmer 70, Fiore 80, Jonah Manning 85, Arron Puckett 85, Christian Gorski 101
Golden Gate: Couch 85, Anthony Valdivra 144, Ralph Thermidor 158
Lely: Cody Webb 108, Alex Carter 124, Stephen Goviea 124, Christopher Kimble 148
Naples: Tureskis 76, Wolner 77, Jaffe 80, Chad Tracy 81, Jacob Atkins 85
Palmetto Ridge: Manuel 89, Palmer 91, Eric Saggio 124, Jimmy Opyt 128, Tristin Garcia 158