LAND O’ LAKES — Kelly Harris had home-field advantage.
“I’ve been playing here since I was 10 years old,” the Sunlake High sophomore said. “This has been my home course, and I live five minutes from here, so I know it pretty well.”
Harris knew Plantation Palms Golf Club well enough Tuesday at the Sunshine Athletic Conference girls golf tournament to shoot a 13-over 85 and take home her first medalist honor, as well as the first for the program.
While Sunlake finished sixth, Mitchell continued its dominance by winning its 13th straight SAC title with a 356 team score that was led by Shyanne Dove’s 87.
“The girls know our team’s winning tradition and history,” Mustangs coach Tom Stratman said. “It motivates them to keep that tradition going and to always be competitive.”
Harris, who was the SAC runner-up in 2012, powered through the 5,313-yard, par-72 course that caused trouble for the players and ran up high scores across the board.
Harris, who was paired with Dove, managed 13 pars, but she admitted the course’s length and damp conditions affected scores.
“This course is full of water, which we may not be used to,” Harris said. “Districts next week will be a lot different (on a shorter course).”
Land O’ Lakes came in second thanks to a 96 by Estefania Guizar, while Zephyrhills was third led by Sydney Owens’ 107. Mitchell’s five golfers all placed in the top 10, including the team’s No. 1, Lindsey Ritchey, who shot a 93.
Ashley Richardson, Mackenzie Bennet and Michaela MacDougall shot 88, 90 and 91, respectively, but Stratman knows those scores will need to come down if the Mustangs hope to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2009.
“That’s our No. 1 goal this year,” Stratman said. “And we don’t want to be short of it again.”