St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Smooth greens, smooth sailing?

Wharton's boys team is full of talented putters who are eager for a state title and hoping for smooth, fast greens.

By SCOTT PURKS

© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 1, 2001


TAMPA -- Wharton coach John Benson stood at Lakeland's Lone Palm Golf Course on Monday and talked about his team's birdies the way most high school golf coaches talk about bogeys.

"We were getting them all over the place," Benson said. "They just kept coming and coming, one after the other."

No kidding. After six holes of play at the Class 2A, Region 5 tournament, Wharton was 9 under par with an eagle on a par-5 and another on a holed shot from the fairway.

"We were knocking down those pins," said Brian Wertz, the team's only senior.

"We felt like we had something to prove."

By day's end, the Wildcats had cooled off a bit, but still won with 3-over 291, or 11 shots ahead of second-place Lakeland.

"We're going to the state tournament," said Wertz, who shot 1-under 71 on Monday. "And we're going in there with a lot of confidence. We're going down there thinking that we have a chance to win."

The first round begins Tuesday and the second is Wednesday at Fort Pierce's Fairwinds Golf Club, a course the Wildcats hope has smooth, fast greens.

"So we can make more of those birdies," Benson said. "We love smooth greens. I mean, these guys can putt, man, can they ever putt.

"If the greens are smooth like they were at Lone Palm then I really believe that will be to our advantage."

The best putter among the Wildcats is probably Mike Giammaresi, who shot 2-under 70 at Lone Palm. But you also could make a strong argument for Wertz, David Tiffenberg, Barrett White or Patrick Gibson, all of whom are averaging better than 80 a round.

The only distraction in their title quest, and it appears to be a slight one, could come from Gibson, who Monday needed a court injunction before he could play in the regional.

The injunction stemmed from Gibson's disqualification a week earlier in the district tournament for tossing a ball in the water after carding a bogey on a hole. Officials said it was an outlandish display and cause for disqualification in the next two tournaments -- regionals and state.

Gibson, however, won the right to play with a court injunction, which he will have to get again on Monday before he will be eligible for Tuesday's opening round.

Benson said the court injunction has been a distraction for Gibson, whose 82 at regionals didn't count in his team's 291 total.

"(Gibson) will have to drive down behind the rest of the team on Monday because he has to go to court again," Benson said. "Hopefully he'll be there with us by Monday afternoon when we're into the practice round."

If Gibson can't play, Wharton will be able to substitute another player without penalty. Wharton's chances for an official team title will not be compromised by Monday's ruling, Benson said.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

John Romano
  • Martinez rescues Yankees

  • Lightning
  • Lecavalier, team deny trade rumors

  • Bucs
  • Abraham demotion a wakeup call for all
  • Alstott is NFL's Player of the Week

  • World Series
  • Thinking outside the lines
  • Jeter the first Mr. November
  • World Series chatter
  • World Series notebook

  • College football
  • Oops! Florida hopes not to do them again
  • Extra points
  • Ex-official dismisses Spurrier's allegations
  • Practice reports
  • Selmon Jr. faces civil complaint

  • Motorsports
  • Fittipaldi will race in Busch qualifier

  • Et cetera
  • Sports in brief
  • Win in N.J. delivers Wiseman top payday
  • Calm waters wrap up championships

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Golf
  • 30th win caps Annika's year
  • Lots of cash, little fanfare

  • Preps
  • Saturday's volleyball tournaments
  • Bucs-Terps rivalry as intense as ever
  • Bowl game extends seasons for teams
  • Top runners ready for tuneup
  • Volleyball regionals
  • Smooth greens, smooth sailing?


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts