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 5, 2020

Gator golfers second by only 3 shots in Antigua

If the Labor Day weekend’s Antigua High School Golf Invitational can be used as a measuring stick, then Xavier Prep would appear to have a good chance to make a run at the school’s 37th Division I state championship in November.

Xavier nearly matched defending state champion Phoenix Pinnacle stride for stride in Saturday’s (Sept. 5) final round at the Whirlwind Golf Club’s Devil’s Claw Course in Chandler. Xavier began the day five shots back and finished the tournament just three behind. Cave Creek Cactus Shadows also made a run, finishing one shot behind Xavier.

“They are motivated, yes, for the rest of the season,’’ said XCP co-head coach Tui Selvaratnam. “They have a ton of potential and they believe in themselves.’’

Of Xavier’s six players in the tournament, only one, Lauren Garcia, is a senior. There is a junior (Ivy Song), a sophomore (Annie Dawson), and three freshmen (Jayden Jevnick, Kyla Layman and Kate Hauptman).

“The younger girls already have some experience in AJGA (Arizona Junior Golf Association) events, and the more high school competition they play, the better they will be,’’ Selvaratnam said.

Selvaratnam said Friday’s first round was hot, and Saturday’s was even hotter.

Song was the Gators’ top finisher with a two-day total of 147, 3 over par. Garcia was at 148, Dawson was at 150, Jevnick was at 152 and Layman and Hauptman were at 156. Garcia had Saturday’s top Xavier round with an even-par 72, and Dawson had a 73.

In addition to its Arizona state title, Pinnacle entered this tournament carrying momentum from its victory in August in the High School National Invitational in Pinehurst, N.C. Senior Katie Stinchcomb was medalist in the Antigua after back-to-back 69s. She tied for second in the National Invitational and was seventh as a junior in the Arizona state tournament.

Xavier, unbeaten in three regular-season events thus far, returns to action on Wednesday (Sept. 9) against Mesa Desert Ridge and host Phoenix Desert Vista at the Foothills West Golf Course in Ahwatukee.

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