Rick Nolte, Sports Editor
ROTONDA WEST — Jake Haas had his sights set on being medalist in the boys Charlotte County Championship on Friday at The Palms Golf Club.
The senior reached his goal, and in the process, helped his Charlotte teammates earn a third straight team crown. Haas carded a closing par 72 for a 36-hole total of 150 and a two-stroke margin over Port Charlotte’s Yui Fujii, who finished with 75.
“I really wanted to go out and get this win,” said the bearded player, who entered the day a stroke behind Fujii. “I just tried to stay mentally strong and I was able to grind it out. I didn’t hit ball great, but I got up and down quite a bit. I made a lot of nice putts.”
Derek Yadanza backed his classmate with 77 while Billy Brumbaugh had 78 and Truman Bethel 82 to give the Tarpons a 306 round from its counting scores. Charlotte’s other players were Chris Cavic with 91 and Jacob Smith with 93.
That finish gave the two-time defending champions a 626 total for a 10-stroke victory over Port Charlotte, which closed with 316. Lemon Bay was third at 693 after 336 on Friday.
“It was a very solid day for us,” said Charlotte coach Scott Harvey, whose team entered the day with a three-stroke cushion on the Pirates. “I’m proud of the guys. We shot below our average all three days. This was a nice improvement on how we’ve been playing.”
Haas drew even with Fujii on the first hole when the Pirates player suffered a bogey. The two were never split by more than a shot until Fujii suffered a triple-bogey on the par-5 16th that handed Haas the lead for good.
“I didn’t play that great Monday or Wednesday,” said Haas, who had three birdies to offset a trio of bogeys during his day. “I knew there was a lot of golf left to play that I could get it done.”
The senior said his day was capped perfectly with another team championship.
“We have a good rivalry with (Port Charlotte). This is usually the only time we get to see them all year so you want to do your best to help the team. It was good for us to be able to win again.”
CHARLOTTE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
The Palms Golf Club at Rotonda West
Charlotte: 158-159-309_626: Jake Haas 39-39-72_150; Billy Brumbaugh 41-40-78_159; Derek Yadanza 46-36-77_159; Truman Bethel 38-50-82_170; Jacob Smith 40-45-93_178; Chris Cavic 44-44-91_179.
Port Charlotte: 154-166-316_636: Yui Fujii 37-40-75_152; Jacob Goldman 44-39-76_159; David Derocher 39-45-82_166; Logan Sorah 41-46-83_170; Anthony Hodges 44-47-90_181; Mark Kaneko Fujii 37-42_79; Zach Price 96.
Lemon Bay: 177-180-336_693: Jacob Cooper 39-41-77_157; Sean Hinkle 43-45-86_174; Reece Barber 45-47-88_180; Chace Neer 50-47-85_182; Colin Sweeney 50-51-95_196; Mike Reid 57-64-100_221.
Haas, Y. Fujii, Cooper, Brumbaugh, Goldman, Yadanza.