New tournament starts off strong

East Lake Invitational fields a strong field, highlighted by Crusaders.

Published August 25, 2006

PALM HARBOR - Michael Myregaard didn't work Tarpon Woods Country Club over the summer for the pay, but for the perks.

"Those couple of free rounds really helped," said junior Myregaard, Clearwater Central Catholic's No. 1 and the only golfer to shoot under par Thursday.

His round of 70 highlighted the first-ever East Lake Invitational at Tarpon Woods, directed by East Lake coach Terry O'Reilly in response to opponent limitations the FHSAA handed down in the offseason.

Among the many other highlights were surprises. Calvary Christian rewrote its record book in one day, scoring a 303 team total for the team title. Seminole's Meghan Chapman, the only girl in the tournament, shot 2-over 74 from the boys' blue tees. And in the end, Shorecrest eighth-grader M.J. Maguire came through with par, par, birdie to win a three-hole playoff for second place with a round of 72 as the sun set.

"This was a very good sign for us," Calvary second-year coach Josh Gilmore said. "This is a good core who I always knew could put up good scores, and today they did it. I have to say overall, the scores across the board from all schools have been impressive for this being the first tournament."

The FHSAA put restrictions on what public schools private schools can play and vice versa, unless as O'Reilly found out, they host an invitational.

"We wanted to get a nice look at what kind of golf the county was going to be able to produce this year," said O'Reilly, whose Eagles finished second overall (311).

Calvary Christian freshman Aaron Watson provided a round of 76 to complement the Crusaders' core of juniors Michael Baskovich (74), Gregory McClimans (76) and Trey Howard (77). Seminole finished third as a team, one point behind the Eagles. A day after taking down Palm Harbor University for the first time in recent history, Dunedin's Preston Knox and Justin Foster shot 74 and 76, respectively.