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Palm Harbor U. builds powerhouse

By RODNEY PAGE

© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 9, 2001


This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. After losing four players to graduation and transfer, Palm Harbor University, which qualified for the state tournament last season, was supposed to struggle while trying to find depth.

Some rebuilding year.

Through Monday, the Hurricanes were 14-2-2 and have emerged as one of the most dangerous teams in the county. Despite losing Jason Overton and James Boothe to graduation, and having Tyler Clippard (Mitchell High School) and Joe Paolini (East Lake) transfer, PHU hasn't skipped a beat.

Senior Tim Sullivan has been a key player. In his last four rounds, Sullivan has shot a combined 1 under par. And it hasn't been on cow pastures. He's shot even par on Seminole Lakes Country Club, Countryside Country Club and East Bay. He shot 1-under at St. Petersburg Country Club (formerly Lakewood Country Club).

"He's been carrying us," PHU coach Ken Clawson said. "He's done really well. We've been playing just well enough to win matches."

Sophomore Jason Elliott has also hovered in the high 30s all season. Bryan Wagner, Cameron Eubanks and Zack Elder round out the top five. Those three also have shot in the upper 30s and low 40s this season.

Clawson expected his team to improve, and with conference and district tournaments just ahead, he's optimistic about this season.

"I thought we'd get a lot better as the year went on, but I also thought we'd have a few more losses along the way," Clawson said. "We've done surprisingly well. Our three and four guys have given us some good rounds."

REGIONAL SITES SET: The Class 2A, Region 4 boys tournament remains at the Waterlefe Golf and River Club in Bradenton on Oct. 29. The girls will play at Sarasota's Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club on the same day.

The Class A, Region 5 tournament will be at the Lake Wales Golf Club for boys on Oct. 29. The girls will play at the Country Club of Sebring on the same day.

The Class A, Region 6 match doesn't have a home yet. It is between Bradenton Country Club and Tara Country Club, also in Bradenton. The girls will play at Lemon Bay Golf and Country Club in Englewood.

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