Age was just a state of mind at Monday’s Lee County Athletic Conference girls golf championship.
Three freshmen dominated the field, finishing in the top 4 at Forest Country Club. Playing in their first LCAC tournament, Ida Baker’s Brittany Shin birdied three of the last five holes to shoot a 2-under 70 and hold off a charging Kim Egozi of Estero for the county crown.
Egozi, who carded a 1-under 71, combined with freshman Kelli Kragh, who tied for third, to lead the Wildcats (389) to the team championship.
Shin said no one should be surprised this crop of freshmen came to compete.
“In golf, anybody can do anything,” Shin said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are or how tall you are.”
The one handicap Shin suffered Monday was teeing off from the red tees, nearly 70 yards closer to the pin than she is used to. It took the reigning Nolan Henke-Patty Berg Junior Masters champion nine holes to adjust to hitting her approach shot with a wedge instead of a 3-wood or a hybrid.
She trailed Egozi by a stroke until the Estero freshman started the back nine with a drive into the rough and had to punch out. Egozi double-bogeyed the hole, but stayed on Shin’s heels the rest of the way.
“When you’re playing Brittany, you’re just more focused on every single shot trying to dig deep,” Egozi said. “It makes you a better player.”
Shin tapped in for a birdie after nearly dropping an eagle putt on the par-5 14th and followed with two more birdies, including a 15-footer on No. 16. Egozi notched birdies on No. 15 and 16 as well and the pair shot par on the final two holes.
On the 18th, Shin’s drive ended up in the middle of the fairway and Egozi’s hooked into the trees, ending her comeback bid.
“She’s a great player,” Shin said of Egozi. “She was right there the whole way. It feels great to win and represent my school.”
Fort Myers (396) took second behind all-conference performers Kellie Weisse (86) and Anna Chazal (89) while senior Brooke Ciccone (82), who tied for third as an individual, led Cape Coral (411) to a third-place finish. Riverdale (427) and Baker (437) rounded out the top 5 teams.
Lee County Athletic Conference girls golf championship
At Forest Country Club, Par 72
Team scores: Estero 389, Fort Myers 396, Cape Coral 411, Riverdale 427, Ida Baker 437, Mariner 489, North Fort Myers 497, Cypress Lake 523, East Lee County 603, South Fort Myers NTS, Lehigh NTS, Dunbar NTS, Island Coast NTS
Estero: Kim Egozi 71, Kelli Kragh 82, Richlynn Radcliff 116, Jordan Hanlon 120, Claire Herman 147
Fort Myers: Kellie Weisse 86, Anna Chazai 89, Annie Thorp 106, Madison Artman-Breitung, Kennan Beck 115
Cape Coral: Brooke Ciccone 82, Mial Nelson 93, Chloe Ermmarino 114, Britany Schall 122, Shreeya Desai 134
Riverdale: Autumn Nance 90, Kaily Natella 120, Macey Callans 107, Julia Dareau 111, Sarah Hand 119
Ida Baker: Brittany Shin 70, Maggie Coffman 91, Kelsey Wilenius 136, Elissa Ware 140
Mariner: Samantha Wolfe 116, Cathy Rossman 123, Dana Carroll 125, Katie Rossman 125, Haley Johnston 137
North Fort Myers: Kendyl Kelly 102, Keyana Corbett 126, Laney Trammell 127, Ashlyn Dwenger 142, Alexis Hannah 159
Cypress Lake: A’layhna Checo 107, Lily Martinez 144, Parris Fulbright 130, Maddie Pezzi 142
East Lee County: Sierra Lamontagne 148, Celande LaFrance 158, Tiffany Wasner 143, Keyana LaFrance 154
South Fort Myers: Nicole Stephan 155
Lehigh: Jasmine Shupp 153, Cassandra Goss 143
Dunbar: Lesi Toncray 158, Thelma Sanchez 155, Andrea Carmoega 159
Island Coast: Katie Bruno 103, Valeria Zavala 151, Kayla Bonnaig 162