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.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Gators' Song in tune with Aguila Golf Course

Ashley Menne has made quite a name for herself in her first two years playing golf for Xavier Prep. She already has won two individual state championships.

But almost before you know it, the junior will have graduated and moved on to play at Arizona State.

So which of Menne’s current teammates is in line to become the next big thing in Xavier golf?

If Saturday’s (Sept. 8) play in the second round of the Aguila Invitational at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen was any indication, the person fitting that description could be Ivy Song.

The freshman had the best round of her young career, making eight birdies on the way to the top Day 2 score with a 5-under-par 67, finishing second overall with a 2-under 142 to help the Gators win the tournament again.

Goodyear Millennium’s Madeline Laux had a 72 to go with her first-round 69 to earn medalist honors with a 3-under 141.

The Aguila was lengthened to 36 holes over two days this year, and Xavier was at two-over-par 578, winning by 43 shots over second-place Phoenix Pinnacle.

Menne rallied from an opening-round 76 on Friday (Sept. 7) to post a 4-under 68 on Saturday. Her second round was highlighted by six birdies, allowing her to finish in third place overall with an even-par 144.

Xavier athletic director and co-head coach Sr. Lynn Winsor said she and co-coach Tui Selvaratnam “are pleased with the way the kids played. The course played longer than it usually does, and it is a good practice for what we will face in the state tournament.’’

The state tournament was played at Aguila for several years and last year moved to the Omni Tucson National Golf Course, where it will be played again this fall.

“We are encouraged by the depth we have with our players,’’ Winsor said.

That means virtually anyone is capable of finishing among the leaders on any given day.

And then there is Song.

“She is a good addition to our team,’’ Winsor said. “She has come on very strong in the last couple of weeks. She is quiet, but she is a very efficient golfer.’’

After going through a busy first few weeks of the season, the Gators will get a break of a little more than a week. No matches are scheduled for this coming week, but they are scheduled for back-to-back matches at their Phoenix Country Club home on Sept. 18 against Phoenix Horizon and Sept. 19 against Glendale Mountain Ridge.

Aguila Invitational

Team scores

Xavier Prep 578, Phoenix Pinnacle 621, Cave Creek Cactus Shadows 624, Mesa Red Mountain 641, Chandler Hamilton 645, Goodyear Millennium 676, Phoenix Horizon 704, Mesa Desert Ridge 709, Gilbert Perry 733, Gilbert Highland 736, Phoenix Desert Vista 746, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep 767, Scottsdale Chaparral 783, Scottsdale Desert Mountain 826.

Xavier individual totals

Ivy Song 142 (2 under), Ashley Menne 144 (even), Breyana Matthews 147 (3 over), Lauren Garcia 147 (3 over), Bailee Tayles 153 (9 over), Mary Beth Doss 157 (13 over).

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