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, September 24, 2016

Co-host Xavier rolls in inaugural golf event

Great weather and a great golf course added up to a great victory for Xavier Prep’s Gators in the inaugural Brophy-Xavier Invitational on Friday (Sept. 23) and Saturday (Sept. 24) at the newly renovated Grand Canyon University course in west Phoenix.
Xavier outdistanced its four opponents by a substantial margin. The Gators posted 595 strokes at the former Phoenix-owned Maryvale Golf Course. Tucson Salpointe Catholic was second with 718, followed by Scottsdale Desert Mountain with 720, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep with 750 and Chandler Seton Catholic with 874.
Xavier freshman Ashley Menne and senior Emily Mahar shared the top individual score with 143, but Menne was tabbed as the tournament’s medalist in a “scorecard playoff’’ – her final-round score was lower, a two-under par 69 to Mahar’s 72.
Other Xavier scores in the match were sophomore Eve Worden at 155, senior Elizabeth Caldarelli at 156 and senior Lily Worden at 158.

Xavier's Gators won the inaugural Brophy-Xavier Invitational by a whopping 123 strokes. (Photo courtesy of Sr. Lynn Winsor).
 Coaches Sr. Lynn Winsor and Tui Selvaratnam had four rising young players participate. They were junior Madeline Brown at 165, sophomore Holly Otlewski at 166, sophomore Emily Cons at 172 and sophomore Laura Lu at 183. That group was 20 shots better than its first-day showing on Friday.
“This was our first one (invitational) and we are really excited about how it went,’’ Winsor said. “We are really happy and I know the kids liked it (course).’’
Xavier and Brophy are hoping for more participants next year. Brophy was the top finisher among eight boys teams.
The City of Phoenix still owns the course and Grand Canyon University will manage the layout over 30 years after pumping $10 million into it. There are numerous upgrades, including a new clubhouse and work on all of the holes, designed by Scottsdale architect John Fought.
“Grand Canyon did a marvelous job with the course,’’ Winsor said. “The fairways were good, the water holes were beautiful, the bunkers were well-groomed and the greens were immaculate.’’
The Gators now will get a break of nearly two weeks before its final two matches of the regular season. They will not be played at the team’s primary venue, Phoenix Country Club, but staged at the team’s “second’’ home at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale. Opponents are Goodyear Millennium on Oct. 5 and Tempe Corona del Sol and Scottsdale Chaparral on Oct. 12.
Brophy finished with 591 points on Saturday, followed by Notre Dame (593), Seton (599), Chaparral (611), Salpointe (614), Phoenix Desert Vista (620), Desert Mountain (639) and Phoenix Thunderbird (643).
Seton’s Alejandro de Zavala was the boys medalist with a 137. Both of his rounds were under par at 70 and 67.

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