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Walters Claims 2020 Southern Amateur at Dove Mountain

Tucson-native Jonathan Walters (-3; 69-72) utilized his course experience to win the 2020 Southern Amateur at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain by two strokes over Bryan Hoops.

“I got to play this course a lot growing up,” Walters said. “It’s all about staying present and not allowing your mind to wander throughout the day.”

The tournament-low 69, including five birdies, gave Walters a comfortable three-stroke lead after day one. He sealed the deal on Sunday by shooting even par for a total gross score of 141.

While many players struggled to adapt to tricky tournament conditions, Walters’ familiarity with the course gave him an advantage over the rest of the field.

“You’re going to end up in places where you’re going to need to limit damage,” said Walters, “and I was able to do that time after time this weekend.”

Walters wasn’t only familiar with the course, but also with his fellow players in the final group. Reece Nilsen, the third-place finisher (E; 72-72), and Walters have been competing against one another since they were just eight years old in junior golf.

In the Legends Division, Rich Morrison and Jeff Zieky had to play two playoff holes to decide a winner, with Morrison (+7; 75-76) prevailing after a birdie on the par five second hole of the Saguaro Course.

Tom Sweigart (+5, 76-73) won the Senior Division by four strokes over Steve Geesling, while Eric Goldapske (+14; 83-75) won the Masters Division by four strokes over Andrew Atkinson and Kevin Gregory.

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Fitzpatrick Takes Women’s State Match Play Title

Mikayla Fitzpatrick raced to her first Women’s State Match Play title, defeating Madison Voisard 4&3 at Desert Mountain’s Outlaw Course.

“My plan today was really just go out there, play really good golf,” said Fitzpatrick, the 2019 Arizona Women’s Player of the Year. “I just wanted to make some good swings and see what I could put together.”

Fitzpatrick, a fifth-year student-athlete at Xavier University, defeated Belle Balkin 1-up to advance to the championship round.

Voisard, a Grand Canyon University junior and the No. 4 seed, landed herself a ticket in the championship match after besting Breyana Matthews on the 19th hole in the semifinals.

Fitzpatrick took the first lead against her fellow collegiate standout, winning the 3rd hole with a birdie. Voisard bounced back to for her only lead of the match after winning holes 6 and 8. On the ensuing 9th hole, Fitzpatrick responded with a par to tie the match, then reclaimed the lead on 10 and never looked back.

“Today I was swinging better than the previous few days so that gave me a lot of confidence throughout the round,” Fitzpatrick said.

She won holes 10 and 11 for a quick 2-up lead, then went dormie after a birdie on 14, meaning Voisard had to win the remaining holes for a chance at a playoff. With a birdie on 15, Fitzpatrick closed out the match for the  4&3 victory.

“I’m just really happy to win the match play,” the champion said. “I’ve always loved match play and I love these events so much, so I’m really happy to win this and I’m hoping I can come back for the stroke play in August.”

The match play title marks Fitzpatrick’s second major title, winning the Arizona Women’s Stroke Play Championship in 2019. With an extra year of eligibility granted to spring student athletes due to the coronavirus pandemic, she plans on returning to Xavier University this fall as a second-year graduate student.

For Full Results: Click Here

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Course-Record 61, Personal Best Leads Holmes to Falcon Amateur Victory

Course-Record 61, Personal Best Leads Holmes to Falcon Amateur Victory

A course-record and personal best 61 launched Mitchell Holmes to a Falcon Amateur win, his first ever AGA title. Holmes, 27, of Scottsdale, finished the 36-hole stroke play tournament at 12-under after posting 61-69 at Falcon Dunes Golf Cours in Waddell.

“I wanted to make as many birdies as I possibly could out here and I did that yesterday,”said Holmes, crediting extra practice on the greens for his remarkable first round. “A couple of weeks ago, I found out you can’t score low without making putts. I’ve spent a lot of time on the putting green and that paid off.”

Mike Wagner, Sean St. Clair and Brett Howard finished the tournament at 7-under 135 to tie for second.

Shattering the course record during the opening round on Friday, Holmes entered the final round four shots clear of Brett Howard and a packed leaderboard. He held off his chasers after a 20-footer from off the green for birdie on No. 8, building his lead to six, making the turn with a 2-under 33.

“I almost thought the ball had a magnet because it went straight in the hole,” Holmes said about his birdie on No. 8.

Holmes battled the back nine, answering bogeys on 12 and 15 with birdies on 13 and 16.

“I made a nice birdie putt on 16 that let me know I could get the job done,” the champion said. “It was pretty easy.

“Today’s goal was to keep the ball in play and stay with it and not let anything take control for the rest of the day. I have been trying for a long time. Mainly the last two years, I’ve been playing in a lot of events with a lot of second and third place finishes. Today, I got it done.”

For full results: Click Here

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Kendall Todd and Joseph Lloyd Win JGAA State Junior Golf Championships at TPC Scottsdale

PHOENIX – Kendall Todd, 17, of Goodyear posted scores of 2-under-par 69 and 1-over 72 to win the State Junior Golf Championship held at TPC Scottsdale’s Champions Course June 16-17. In the first round, she worked her way to 4-under par after 10 holes before cooling off a bit to finish with a one-stroke lead at 2-under par. In the second round, Todd recovered from a difficult stretch of holes on front nine to finish strong with four birdies and one bogey on the back nine.

“I reminded myself that I could still be in it to win, even though I might not be enough,” she said.

Todd adds the victory to another big win last year at The Thompson Invitational. The verbal commit to UNLV is looking forward to continuing her journey in the game that began years age as a youngster when she “used to ride in the golf cart” with her dad.

“I really like the coaches, they’re super sweet and nice. It just seemed like a good fit,” she said.

Todd’s final score of 1-under-par 141 edged out two players – Maya Benita of Tucson and Ashley Menne of Surprise – tied for second place at 1-over-par 143. Benita, bound for UA in the fall, fired a first round 74 followed by a 69, which included three birdies down the stretch on holes 10, 13 and 17.

Defending champion, Ashley Menne – vying for an unprecedented fifth-consecutive State Junior Championship – fired steady rounds of 71-72. Set to play for ASU in the fall, Menne put up a solid 28 pars, two birdies, a bogey and double bogey over 36 holes.

On the boy’s side, Joseph Lloyd of Scottsdale – a verbal commit to the University of Utah – broke through with a win after a near miss last week.

“I found something with my putting that really clicked; it really propelled me for the last two weeks,” he said.

A two-player race between Lloyd and Max Lyons of Peoria tightened up on a back nine that had been giving up a bunch of birdies during the tournament.

“I didn’t start out my best today,” said Lloyd after the final round. “But I knew making the turn that I was only one back.”

After birdies on 10 and 11, Lloyd’s clutch up-and-down for par on the 12th kept his momentum going in the right direction. Lyons answered with a birdie at 13 to go up by one stroke. They both birdied 14; and on No. 15, a drivable par-4, Lloyd “flared one to the right,” and pitched his second to about 10 feet. Meanwhile, Lyons made his birdie putt, shifting the pressure Lloyd, who sank the putt to stay one stroke behind Lyons with three holes remaining.

On the par-3 16th, Lloyd made another clutch up and down to level the match.

“I knew I needed to birdie 17 and par 18,” he said. “I hit a great drive on 17 [par 5], had 245 in. I hit a 5-iron to about 20 feet and two putted for birdie. Max got up and down from the bunker for birdie, so we’re still tied going into 18.

“I hit hybrid off the tee and Max ended up hitting it in the water, so I knew I had a good chance of winning with a par. I hit a 6-iron to the right edge of the green and just rolled the 20 footer to about six inches.”

While the dual for first place was going on, Johnny Walker of Chandler was making a move of his own. In the first round, he bounced back from a rocky start with a spectacular run on the back nine (31). He went five-under par for four holes (14-17) – including an ace at No. 16 from 189 yards with a 5-iron – to put up a 3-under-par 68. He posted another 68 in the final round thanks to four birdies on the back nine to finish at 6-under-par 136, two strokes off the pace set by Lloyd. Click Here for complete final standings.

About the JGAA
The Junior Golf Association of Arizona is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to educate, motivate and inspire Arizona’s youth through golf and all of the valuable lessons and life skills inherent to the game. In addition to hosting competitive events, the JGAA develops programs for local schools, assists golf courses with their junior programs, conducts college prep seminars and etiquette clinics. The Junior Ambassador and Guest Speaker Programs give JGAA students the opportunity to learn, develop and adopt successful habits and practices – both on and off the golf course – from a collection of prominent, civic-minded community and business leaders. The JGAA also awards two scholarship funds annually to high school senior members of the JGAA for their college education – the Tres Arnold and the John Wolfinger Memorial College Scholarships. The JGAA’s strong belief in teamwork and cooperation has guided the organization for more than 30 years and is instilled in all of its members. For more information JGAA, visit www.jgaa.org or call 602-944-6168.

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Mari Miezwa, Bryan Hoops and Take Arizona Mid-Am Titles at Talking Stick Golf Club

Hoops Goes Wire-to-Wire for Arizona Mid-Amateur Title

Bryan Hoops took the first-round lead in the 2020 Arizona Mid-Amateur and never looked back, winning the three-day tournament with a score of 202 (-8; 67-68-67).

Hoops’ first round -3 (67) gave him a tie for the lead with Ryan Marks after the final day. Hoops followed up with a -2 (68) in the second round, again tied atop the leaderboard, but this time with friend Mike “Wags” Wagner. Just a week prior, Wagner beat Hoops by two strokes in the Senior Stroke Play Championship.

“We love to battle it out,” said Hoops. “He got the best of me on the front [at the Senior Stroke Play Championship], but today I reversed it and got back at him.”

Abe Candelaria (68-72-66), Mitchell Holmes (69-71-66), and Kristoffer Marshall (69-69-68) each tied for second place at -4.

Cory Perreault won the Net Division at +1 (75-64-72), with John Schaller six strokes back at +7 (69-72-76).

Hoops, an AGA tournament regular, will look to continue his winning ways at Falcon Amateur, played June 19-20 at Falcon Dunes Golf Club in Waddell, Ariz.

Miezwa Wins Inaugural Arizona Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship

Mari Miezwa (+8, 75-69-74) turned in a dominant performance at Talking Stick Golf Club’s O’odham Course, winning the first-ever Arizona Women’s Mid-Am Championship by nine strokes over Kim Eaton (+17; 86-71-70).

Miezwa’s tournament-low -1 (69) in her second round, which included four birdies, gave her a sizable cushion going into the final day. She was able to thwart Eaton’s strong comeback effort by making key putts.

“I’d say the putting was the strongest all three days,” said Miezwa. “I struggled with the driver the first day, but it got a little bit better the second day and a little bit better the third day as well. It’s nice to know that you have a couple rounds so that you can take something from the first round and apply it to the second and third.”

“The first AGA Women’s Mid Am Championship was a great success,” said Le Ann Finger, Senior Director of Tournaments and Championships for the Arizona Golf Association. “It gives the best women amateur golfers in Arizona another chance to compete. We look forward to this tournament growing in size for years to come.”

Miezwa will look to keep the hot play going in the Arizona Women’s State Amateur Match Play Championship at Desert Mountain’s Outlaw Course June 25-28.