DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


With most of the Xavier scores under par and a record-breaking team total, it’s a wonder there was any red ink left in the markers used by Division I state tournament officials.
Led by medalist Madison Kerley’s six-under-par 66 in Friday’s (Nov. 7) final round, the Gators had four individual rounds below par, a pair of two-day totals under par and a record-low team total of 567 to win their fourth straight title and 32nd overall under co-coach and athletic director Sr. Lynn Winsor and co-coach Tui Selvaratnam.
A beautiful clear fall day at Laveen’s Aguila Golf Course framed the historical setting for Xavier, which shot a 277 on the final day to outdistance second-place Phoenix Pinnacle by an incredible 35 shots over the two days. Xavier’s team total was three better than the previous tournament record held by Xavier in 2006.

Xavier's 2014 state champion golf team. Top row, left to right, Mikayla Fitzpatrick, Emily Mahar, Madison Kerley, Elizabeth Caldarelli and Alisa Snyder. Bottom row, left to right, Madelyn Brown, Rebecca Redhorse, Lily Worden and Jessika Zanotti.
 Mikayla Fitzpatrick (67) and Emily Mahar (71) were under par in the final round, while Kerley (138) and first-round leader Alisa Snyder (143) were under par for the tournament.
“Getting the record was a great surprise,’’ Winsor said. “I think this was one of the best finishes we’ve ever had.
“Coach Tui and I always talk team, and that’s what this was, a team effort. Someone said it was like a flock of geese flying. When the leader gets tired and goes to the back, another one takes over. We had a lot of moments like that this year.’’
Winsor called Kerley, who finished second as a junior in 2013, “the spirit of the team. She was out there leading some cheers, and it was really great to see.’’

Individual winner Madison Kerley, left, and No. 2 finisher Kelly Su of Scottsdale Chaparral.
 Kerley recalled her freshman season, when she came down to the final hole shaking because she was so nervous.
This time, the experience of previous state tournaments helped carry her in the final round.
She said she birdied the fourth hole, and that gave her the confidence and momentum for the rest of the round.
“That’s when I started to feel I had the chance to win it,’’ said Kerley, who will join Arizona State’s golf program next year.
“Ever since I came to Xavier, I had a goal of winning the individual title and the team title my senior year, and to do it while being part of a record is a nice accomplishment.’’
Xavier scores:
Madison Kerley 72-66-138 (first), Alisa Snyder 68-75-143 (third), Emily Mahar 73-71-144 (tie for fourth), Mikayla Fitzpatrick 77-67-144 (tie for fourth), Elizabeth Caldarelli 78-73-151 (11th).

The scoreboard says it all.

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