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Golf: Outback Invitational shortened by weather


Published:   |   Updated: September 16, 2013 at 11:20 PM

OLDSMAR — The day’s event didn’t turn out the way the competitors expected — but at least they got a steak dinner.

Clear skies quickly darkened and lightning put an early end to the Outback Invitational on Monday at East Lake Woodlands Country Club.

With a shotgun start just after noon, the players from 16 state teams had just made the turn at the par-72 course as the weather also took a turn.

Tournament officials collected scorecards and narrowed the day to 11 holes as defending Class 2A state champion Lakewood Ranch won the abbreviated tourney with a 3-over par led by Kelly Sun’s individual 2 under.

Tampa Catholic’s Nilo Sanchez, who had a pair of birdies and three bogeys on the day, led the local participants by placing fifth overall and winning a tiebreaker with a 1-over.

“I have five more holes left and I felt they were pretty easy, but you can’t do anything in this weather” Sanchez said. “I’m happy with the way I finished.”

Tampa Catholic has three 18-hole tournaments left on the schedule to prepare the Crusaders for the district tournament, something Sanchez knows is a big advantage to his team’s postseason play.

“I think practicing and getting more involved in 18-hole tournaments helps us,” Sanchez said. “It keeps on building us as we look to get back (to the state tournament).”

Mitchell’s Gold team finished in sixth with a 13-over par, ahead of Tampa Catholic in eighth (14 over), Jesuit in ninth (20 over) and Berkeley Prep in 16th (37 over).

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