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.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Gators just 2 shots behind leader Liberty in state golf

 The first round of the Division I state golf tournament is in the books, and it appears the championship could be decided by only a few strokes.

Defending champion Xavier Prep found itself right in the middle of all the action on Monday (Nov. 1) at the Omni Tucson National Resort’s Sonoran Course.

The Gators were in second place with a score of 303, two shots behind leader Peoria Liberty (301), with Chandler Hamilton (305) in third. Phoenix Pinnacle was in fourth, and the 2019 champ and 2020 runner-up has a strong enough lineup to make up its seven-stroke deficit in the final round on Tuesday (Nov. 2).

Xavier’s top finisher was senior Ivy Song, with an even-par 71. The three golfers contributing to the team total were junior Annie Dawson (1-over 72), sophomore Jayden Jevnick (8-over 79) and sophomore Lena Durette (10-over 81).

Sophomore Kate Hauptman (11-over 82) did not figure in the team scoring, but will try to turn things around on Tuesday. She finished third overall last year.

Liberty’s Mattie Frick shot a 1-under 70, and has a good chance to repeat as the individual state champion.

Xavier tee times on Tuesday: Dawson at 10:50 a.m., Jevnick at 10:40, Durette at 10:30, Hauptman at 10:20, Song at 11:00. Song will be in a group with Frick and Hamilton’s Jennifer Seo.

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