The Xavier Prep golf team makes the job much too easy for the headline writers at the local newspaper. This morning’s headline in The Arizona Republic read: “Xavier repeats as champion”
They’ve been pulling that same line, or something very similar to it, out of the files almost every fall about this time for the last 16 years. The only year since 1998 that it didn’t apply was in 2010 when Hamilton High School stunned the high school golf community by beating the Gators to break through after a frustrating couple of years in which the Huskies finished runner-up to Xavier.
And they did it in dominating fashion, beating Xavier by 22 strokes. Hamilton not only won its only girls’ golf state title in history, but became one of just three teams in 34 years to beat the small Catholic school in central Phoenix.
It was another dominating performance that won this year’s title, too. But it was Xavier dishing out the punishment as the Gators ran away from the Division I field in a 35-stroke victory that set a new state record. The 9-under-par team score of 567 erased the old mark of 570, set eight years ago by… you guessed it, Xavier.
Xavier’s Madison Kerley, an Arizona State commit, earned the individual medalist honor this year as the team placed four in the top five spots. Only runner-up Kelly Su from Chaparral High School blocked a complete sweep. Third place went to Xavier’s Alisa Snyder, while teammates Mikayla Fitzpatrick and Emily Mahar tied for fourth.
It was a similar story on the boys’ side in Division I, where Hamilton eliminated the need for any drama or suspense. The Huskie ran away with this year’s title, carding a 2-under 586 total to beat runner-up Desert Mountain High School by nine strokes.
With a senior-laden squad this year, Hamilton was able to place four among the top 10 finishers.
But it was a Highland High sophomore that took the medal honors and became the first from the school to win an individual golf state title.
Brock Goyen rolled over the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen, taking the lead after the first day of competition and finishing 8 under par for a 136 total. Taking a three-shot lead into the final hole on the second day, Goyen sunk a par putt that secured the win.
In Division II…
Thunderbird High School in Phoenix laid claim to this year’s D-II team title, as all five team members placed in the top 12, and the Chiefs scored 594 to outpace runner-up Canyon del Oro High School from Tucson by 16 strokes.
Chris Meyers, a senior from Canyon del Oro, finished 8-under as his 136 total was good enough for medalist honors.
And the girls’ team title went to Scottsdale’s Notre Dame Prep this year, as the Saints coasted to a 14-stroke win over runner-up Sahuaro High from Tucson. Notre Dame, which won back-to-back titles in 2008-2009, carded a 629 total.
The girls’ medalist was Kaylee Benton from Verrado High in Buckeye. The senior, who has been knocking on the door since her sophomore year with third-place finishes the last couple of years, finished 4-under to post a 140 total to beat runner-up Haylin Harris from Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic by four strokes.