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.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Golfers need to be "ready to play every time out''

 Xavier Prep’s Gators will lace up their golf spikes and hit the ground at a full sprint to begin the 2022 season.

XCP will play in two tournaments and one two-team match during the first week as it tries to put itself in position to capture the 38th state championship in school history. The team finished second behind Peoria Liberty in 2021, by a scant three shots.

The team’s first challenge will be in the Brophy Invitational, on Monday (Aug. 22) and Tuesday (Aug. 23) at XCP’s Phoenix Country Club home.

On Wednesday (Aug. 24), the team will be back at PCC to face Chandler High.

And on Friday (Aug. 26), Xavier will travel to Tucson to play in the Nighthawk Invitational at the Tucson National Resort’s Catalina Course, one of two resort courses used for state tournament competition the last several years.

Xavier lost four players to graduation, and one (Ivy Song) participated in the state tournament. The rest of its lineup is intact, according to Tui Selvaratnam, the team’s co-head coach along with Sr. Lynn Winsor. Jane Ladensack is an assistant coach.

“We will have 20 players, including a freshman class with a lot of talent,’’ said Selvaratnam. “We will let the younger players see how Xavier golf shapes up.’’

It was another busy day for Xavier's Gators on the Phoenix Country Club putting green and co-head coach Tui Selvaratnam (blue shirt) tells her players how she wants them to make things happen. (Photo by Don Ketchum).


The top returnees will include senior Annie Dawson, who finished the individual battle in a tie for fifth place last season. Others who figure to make a significant improvement are junior Kate Hauptman (tied for14th), junior Jayden Jevnick (tied for 26th) and junior Lena Durette (tied for 28th).

“The girls will have to be focused and ready to play,’’ Selvaratnam said. “And that means being ready every time out.’’

Jevnick said the team’s close finish against Liberty is a motivating factor for coming back stronger this time around.

“I didn’t contribute the way I wanted, and now I need to come back and play the best that I can,’’ she said.

Hauptman shot a first-round 82 and came charging back with a final-round 69. She said she needs to be more consistent.

Sophie Stamatis, who joins Dawson as one of two seniors this season, said the support of the teammates, particularly at tournament time, can go a long way.

“It helps each other out,’’ she said.

She hopes to make a bigger contribution this year after improved play over the summer with her irons, her driver and her chipping.

Selvaratnam pointed to another player who has raised the level of play, junior Grace Rubelsky.

“She has improved a ton and is doing well with all parts of her game,’’ the coach said.

GOLF

Mon. Aug. 22 & Tues. Aug. 23 – Brophy Invitational @ Phoenix CC, Times TBA

Wed. Aug. 24 – Chandler High @ Phoenix CC

Fri. Aug. 26 – Nighthawk Invitational @ Tucson National Catalina, 1 p.m.

Mon. Aug. 29 – Gilbert Perry @ Lone Tree GC, Gilbert, 3 p.m.

Thur. Sept. 1 – Brophy Rodeo @ Grayhawk GC, Scottsdale, Time TBA

Wed. Seot. 7 – Chandler Hamilton @ Phoenix CC, 2:45 p.m.

Mon. Sept. 12 – Glendale Mountain Ridge @ Legend Golf Resort/Arrowhead, Glendale, 3 p.m.

Wed. Sept. 14 –  Chandler Basha @ Phoenix CC, 2:45 p.m.

Mon. Sept. 19 -- @ Phoenix Desert Vista, Foothills Club West GC, Ahwatukee, 3 p.m.

Wed. Sept. 21 – Tempe Corona del Sol @ Phoenix CC, 2:45 p.m.

Tue.  Sept. 27 – Goodyer Millennium @ Phoenix CC, 2:45 p.m.

Wed. Sept. 28 – Peoria Liberty @ Phoenix CC, 2:45 p.m.

Mon. Oct. 3 – Phoenix Horizon @ Kierland GC, Scottsdale, 3 p.m.

XAVIER VARSITY ROSTER

Co-head coaches – Tui Selvaratnam & Sr. Lynn Winsor. Assistant – Jane Ladensack.

Seniors – Annie Dawson, Sophie Stamatis.

Juniors – Reimi Bleyl, Lauren Campbell, Kalyn Doss, Lena Durette, Kate Hauptman, Jayden Jevnick, Kyla Layman, Karter Nannen, Grace Rubelsky.

Sophomores – Carrie Doss, Aanvi Goel.

Freshmen – Giulianna Bulkley, Madalyn Gubernick, Alanna Karuru, Natalie Lamadrid, Sophie PeBenito-Brooks, Isabella Piazza, Ellie Von Kolen.

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