Punahou High School didn’t make the trip from Hawaii this year to play in the Antigua Golf Invitational, so Arizona stepped to the forefront of the elite national tournament held over the weekend at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale.
Brophy Prep captured the boys’ title and Xavier Prep, whose campus adjoins Brophy in central Phoenix, took first-place honors on the girls’ side. Last year, Honolulu’s Punahou swept both top awards.
Arizona schools took six of the top 10 spots in the boys’ competition this year and five of the girls’ top-10 finishes.
We covered the inaugural tournament here at Phxfan.com when it first hit the links back in 2010, when it was held at the Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, and figured it was time to see what kind of progress local schools have made since then. In that first year, Arizona was well-represented, with Hamilton High School winning the girls’ competition and Brophy finishing third on the boys’ side.
For the fourth edition of the tourney, Brophy pulled out a two-stroke win, finishing the two rounds shot over the weekend with a 583 total, followed by Desert Vista High School with 585, and last year’s Division I state champion Mountain View High (Mesa) in third at 589.
But Xavier took its its usually dominating approach to the event, finishing almost 20 strokes ahead of the field to win its first Antigua title. The Gators came in at 597 to run away from second-place Diamond Bar High from California which finished at 616. The next-closest local team in the girls’ competition was Pinnacle High School, which finished fourth with 650 strokes.
Xavier, which has claimed the last 14 big-school state titles, opened the tournament with what was expected to be one of the main showdowns of the event, being matched against Lexington High from South Carolina. The Lexington Wildcats have won eight of the state championships in the last nine years and returned all five starters from last year’s squad that won the Class 4A title by 43 strokes.
The opening match gave the Gators a chance to establish their superiority early as Xavier won the first round by 20 points, out-shooting Lexington 298-318.
Lexington was just one of many defending state champions among the teams from seven states and Canada that participated in this year’s tournament, which featured threesomes playing in a shotgun start. According to Hamilton High’s golf coach, Steve Kanner, this year’s field of 42 teams has accumulated 75 state championships over the years. Chandler’s Hamilton is the host high school for the event.
The boys’ list of out-of-state teams included Regis Jesuit, which has won three consecutive Colorado 5A state championships; Park City, which has won five consecutive Utah 3A state titles; Andrews High, the defending Texas state champions in 3A; and Maple Mountain High School, the defending 4A state champions from Utah.
Lexington headlined a girls’ line-up that also included Faith Lutheran, the defending 4A champs in Nevada, and Diamond Bar, the California state runner-up that held off the rest of the field in the Antigua to finish behind Xavier.
Emily Mahar led the Xavier squad, and also topped the entire field for individual honors this year, posting a 142 total to edge out Bethany Wu from Diamond Bar by one stroke. Salpointe Catholic‘s Krystal Quihuis finished third with a 145 total.
The Gators also placed three more in the top 10: Hannah O’Sullivan in fifth (150), Madison Kerley in seventh (152) and an eighth-place finish for Ariana Macioce (153).
Brophy’s Sam Triplett finished in a three-way tie for total score, but lost out on first place through a scorecard playoff. The top prize went to Matt Liringas from Desert Vista High. Will Zalotoris from Texas’ Trinity Christian also had a 140 total and was awarded third place.
One other from Brophy finished in the top 10, as Andrew McMillan carded a 144 total to secure seventh place.
(Photo: Antigua Golf Invitational)