Bio

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 AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Snyder set to tap in on last hole for Xavier



For Alisa Snyder, it doesn’t get any better than this.
After winning the state Division I individual golf championship and helping Xavier Prep win the 33rd team title in school history, Snyder will be honored as the state Girls Golfer of the Year on Sunday (June 5) at the azcentral.com Arizona Sports Awards ceremony. The event will be held at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix.
“Golf is my favorite season,’’ said Snyder, a recent XCP graduate who will be studying and playing golf at the University of Michigan. “Xavier has been a great atmosphere for that. You’re always competing and you want to play well. All of us on the team are good friends and we push each other and support each other.’’
Snyder received plenty of support from them in the last few holes of the decisive second day of the state tournament last fall.
She remembers being on the fairway of the 17th hole of the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen when play was stopped for nearly 30 minutes because of weather conditions.
“When we were ready to go back out, I was thinking about whether I should try for a birdie,’’ the left-handed-hitting Snyder said. “I talked to the coaches and they said if I tried it and missed, it could penalize me (score), where if I could make par on the last two holes, it might be good. So that’s what I did. I played it safe. It was a great feeling to play well like that and help us win as a team.’’

Alisa Snyder won the Division I golf championship and helped Xavier win the 33rd state title in school history.

Snyder played all four years at Xavier, along with Mikayla Fitzpatrick. The two became good friends and finished off their representation of XCP by playing as teammates at the recent United States Golf Association Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in Florida.
“It was a great experience. It was nice to play one last time with Mikayla,’’ Snyder said. “The course was amazing. It was very long, but it was in wonderful shape. The weather was more humid than Arizona.’’
Snyder will have orientation and register for classes at Michigan in July and begin school in August.
She said golf will be both in the fall and spring, but that actual NCAA competition is in the spring.
Relying on the things she learned at Xavier will help her make the adjustment to college.
“Xavier is a great school for young women,’’ she said. “You learn so much and the community is part of one big family. The academics and athletics are really strong.’’
And Snyder will continue to maintain contact with Fitzpatrick, who will be studying and playing golf at Xavier in Cincinnati.
“The two schools are not too far apart,’’ Snyder said. “I think we figured out that we could drive about 2 ½ hours each and meet halfway.’’
She looks back on what she accomplished at Xavier with a sense of pride.
She thought of all the good golfers who preceded her, “who have done it before, and I wanted to be like them. I started the season in the No. 4 spot on the team and I think there were some people who might have said, “Oh, she’s No. 4. She probably won’t go too far.’ That only motivated me, made me work harder.’’

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