Carl Kotala, Special to the Naples Daily News
Published 6:11 p.m. ET Nov. 7, 2018
Gulf Coast senior golfer Remi Chartier on the Sharks finishing second, and him placing third in the Class 3A state tourney on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.
Carl Kotala, Special to the Naples Daily NewsBuy PhotoThe Gulf Coast Sharks struggled on the front nine, but came back to finish second at this year’s Class 3A state tournament at the Mission Inn & Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.(Photo: Carl Kotala/Special to the Naples Daily News)Buy PhotoHOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS — It wasn’t quite the dramatic repeat the Gulf Coast High School boys golf team was hoping for, but that didn’t make Wednesday’s final round of the Class 3A state championship golf tournament any less special for the Sharks.Struggling on the front nine for the second day in a row, the defending state champions held it together on the final nine holes and wound up finishing in second place, five shots behind first-place Winter Park.Senior Remi Chartier finished third overall with a 2-under par total of 142 over the two-day tournament. His final-hole birdie lifted the Sharks into a solo second place.“We had a not very good start today and we had a not very good start (Tuesday),” Gulf Coast coach Kimberly Benedict said. “I’m really proud of how the boys put their heads down, grinded it out. I think we played the back nine really well the last two days and that’s what kept us in it.”More: High school golf: Gulf Coast boys start slow, but only two shots off lead at 3A stateMore: High school golf: Naples High boys third, Estero girls fourth at 2A state tournamentMore: High school golf: Canterbury’s Brittany Shin ties for second in 1A; CSN boys falterSophomore Jordan Barker had the second-best tournament for the Sharks, shooting 76 and 74 for a two-day total of 150. Junior Ryan Hart was next at 153. Juniors Jack Wehle had a 163 and Mason Messina came in at 181. Hart, who eagled No. 13, and Wehle were hurt Wednesday by double-bogeys on No. 17.Chartier, who shot 70 in the first round, finished with a 72 on Wednesday and was particularly strong on the back nine to help the Sharks (608) hold off Boca Raton and St. Thomas Aquinas (609) for second place.“Today (was) very much the same stuff as (Tuesday),” said Chartier, who had a couple of bogeys on the front. “Physically, I was feeling pretty similar. Mentally, I was just a little off, a little bit uncommitted and it did show in my score.“I would have liked to have had a couple of putts back, just mid-range putts that didn’t roll the way I wanted them to.”Buy PhotoGulf Coast senior Remi Chartier poses with his medals after helping the Sharks to a second-place finish at the Class 3A state golf tournament and also finishing third overall at the Mission Inn & Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. (Photo: Carl Kotala/Special to the Naples Daily News)The senior did, however, did make that last putt on No. 18.“That was nice,” he said. “Coming down, I hit a good drive – I don’t typically do that on that hole – and when I hit a good wedge shot, I told myself that it was going in.”While the Sharks, whose title last year was the first for a boys golf team in Collier County history, obviously came in hoping to repeat as state champions, Benedict and her players took pride in the way they were able to handle adversity early on during both days of the tournament.Although they started the day two shots off the lead, there was one point on Wednesday where the Sharks dropped to sixth place and 12 shots back before making a big push to close the gap.“It would be great if we could have a do-over to re-do some of those early holes,” Benedict said. “But you can’t. I’m really proud of how they hung in there.“To finish solo second and start the way we did is a testament to how hard this team works.”Chartier, who is heading to East Tennessee State, was the only senior on this year’s state tournament team.“He’s been such a leader for us,” Benedict said. “It will be hard to replace him. He’s an irreplaceable kid. His golf acumen is outstanding. He’s just a very positive kid to be around.“We will miss him. My juniors – I have four of them — they know they’re going to have to step up because there’s going to be a big void to fill.”