By Rick Pedone
The St. Cloud Lady Bulldogs (383) upended multi-year defending champion Harmony (419) for the Orange Belt Conference golf championship Tuesday at Royal St. Cloud Golf Club.
St. Cloud’s Taylar Ling shot 86 to win the medalist honors, and teammates Allison Hilton (95), Brandi Bigeau (100) and Kiersty Kelly (102) made the all-OBC (top seven) team.
Osceola’s Lady Kowboys (442) were third.
Harmony’s Caitlyn Greiner (99) placed fourth and Morgan Wolf (104) was sixth to earn all-conference honors.
Harmony’s boys (306) successfully defended their team championship over St. Cloud (337), Celebration (343) and Osceola (407). Those were the only schools registering team scores.
St. Cloud’s Noah Endicott (71) was the conference medalist, edging Harmony’s Kevin Carr (72) for honors in a thrilling finish that saw both golfers produce clutch birdies over the final three holes.
Endicott birdied No. 16 to take a 1-shot lead when Carr bogeyed. Endicott also birdied No. 17 with Carr leaving his birdie putt just 1-inch short. Carr put the pressure on by shooting birdie on No. 18, but Endicott shot par for the win.
St. Cloud Coach Jim Endicott, Noah’s father, said it was a good round of golf for the participants.
“Individual honors was hard fought,” he said. “Harmony’s boys played well to win the team portion. I think there is room for all the St. Cloud boys to lower their scores for districts.”
Harmony Coach Mark Bhabha said his team did a good job.
“The guys played well despite a few missed putts, which was a great sign,” he said.
Others on the boys all-conference team are Harmony’s Carson Sampl (74), Celebration’s Sam Cundiff (76) and three golfers who tied at 79: Celebration’s Nick Morgan, Harmony’s Conlan Micher and St. Cloud’s Jacob Johnson.
The teams return to action Monday and Tuesday for the district meets.
Harmony and St. Cloud return to Royal St. Cloud for the 3A-16 boys (Monday) and girls (Tuesday) district events.
They will compete against Viera, Melbourne and Vero Beach. The top three teams and the top two individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the regionals, also at Royal St. Cloud.
Celebration, Osceola and Gateway’s boys play at the 3A-8 boys tournament at Celebration Monday. Cypress Creek, East River, Freedom, Lake Nona and Oak Ridge also compete.
The 3A-8 girls tournament is Tuesday at Celebration.