Scottsdale Prep Academy Earns First Team Title at D-III State Championship
Words by: Andy Morales, AZPreps365
Scottsdale Prep shot a 7-under-par 273 on Tuesday to pull away from Valley Christian at the Division III state championships held at the OMNI Tucson National. The Spartans held a slim 4-stroke lead over the Trojans after the first round on the Sonoran Course on Monday but that lead grew as the day went on and the program finished with a 40-stroke victory (572 to 612) to claim the first golf championship for the program.
It was the biggest margin of victory at the D-III level since 2009 when Snowflake beat Payson 595 to 652. In addition, Scottsdale Prep sophomore Adam Miller finished 3-under on Tuesday to claim the individual state championship with a 1-under 139. His teammate, junior Talia Gutman, finished three strokes back for second place after she shot a 3-under on Tuesday. Arizona College Prep senior Rajveer Sethi also took second place after he finished with the best round of the tournament with a 4-under 66.
Adam Miller is your 2021 @AZPreps365 D3 State Champion. First medalist from Scottsdale Prep and also first team title for the school #AZPreps365 His dad is the coach getting drenched https://t.co/xYLO6c7uL9 pic.twitter.com/R6Gq2jRk7l— Andy Morales (@AZPreps365Andy) May 12, 2021
Gutman’s runner-up finish was the highest for a female athlete playing in D-III since former Estrella Foothills standout Sarah Freeman won a state title in 2007. Former Yuma Catholic standout Alexandria Schmunk took third place in 2018 and 2019.
Valley Christian won six of the last seven D-III championships, including 2018 and 2019, with former standout James Mackie winning it all as a freshman and as a senior in 2019. Now competing for California Baptist, Mackie took second place at the WAC championships earlier this month.
Mackie was the first freshman to win a championship in 2016 and Rancho Solano Prep freshman Brantlee Howard finished nine strokes back to take ninth place this year. As a team, Scottsdale Prep had four finishers in the top six and only Davis Johnson is a senior. Johnson took second to Mackie in 2019.
AZ College Prep took 12th place last year and Rajveer Sethi took 22nd.
Story via: Andy Morales, AZPreps365
Inaugural LNGA Mid-Am/Senior tees off at Anthem Golf & Country Club
STASI, JOHNSON LEAD MID-AMATEUR; INGRAM PACES SENIOR AMATEUR
Inaugural LNGA Championships Begin in Arizona
ANTHEM, Ariz. (April 19) – Four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi, of Oakland Park, Fla., and Gretchen Johnson, Portland, Ore., both carded even-par 72 to share the lead in the Mid-Amateur Championship and highly decorated Sara Ingram, of Nashville, Tenn., shot 3-over 75 to pace the Senior Amateur Championship of the Ladies National Golf Association (LNGA) Thursday at Anthem Golf & Country Club.
“It a great golf course which tests you,” said Stasi, an eight-time Florida Amateur Player of the Year. “But the wind died down a little today from the practice rounds and I could attack a few more pins.”
Stasi posted five birdies against three bogeys and a double bogey and finished her up-and-down round with two birdies in the last four holes. Johnson, the 2017 and 2018 Oregon Golf Association Tournament of Champions winner, steadied her way around the course with 16 pars and a birdie and a bogey.
“I kept it where the lawnmower goes most of the day,” said Johnson, a semifinalist at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. “It’s kind of tight, like target golf and I hit a lot of greens and I got it up and down every time.”
Ingram, a 3-time winner of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, was three-over through four holes but overcame her early struggles to gain a one-stroke lead over 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am winner Corey Weworski, of Carlsbad, Calif. Past U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur champion Mina Hardin, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Evelyn Orley, of Cardiff, Calif., trail Ingram by two.
“I had to work hard today,” said Ingram, the three-time USA Curtis Cup team member who will serve as captain of the team in the Match this August in Wales. “It was not an easy 75. I hit some good shots. My game was better than it’s been since coming back two years.”
Lauren Greenlief, of Ashburn, Va., the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and a semifinalist in 2019, and Dawn Woodard, of Greer, S.C., an eight-time winner of the South Carolina State Amateur and three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur medalist, trailed the Mid-Am leaders by two strokes with two-over-par 74s.
Both championships are 54-hole, stroke-play events in their inaugural year and are conducted by the Ladies National Golf Association. The Mid-Amateur Championship is for players 25-years-old and up with an index in the World Handicap System not exceeding 10.4. The Senior Amateur Championship is for players 50-year-old and up with an index in World Handicap System not exceeding 14.4. The Wilma Cup, in honor of the departed women’s golf advocate and LNGA leader Wilma Gilliland, will be presented to the Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur champions and remain in their custody for a year. Medals will also be awarded to the runner-up and third-place finisher in each championship.
• Ingram is a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame and the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame. She came back to golf after a long hiatus to serve as the general chairman of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and to serve as Curtis Cup captain. She won the 2020 Tennessee Women’s Senior Amateur.
• Woodard and Stasi will play together at the 6th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship next week at Maridoe Golf Club in Dallas.
Meghan Stasi: “It is a beautiful venue. The LNGA is doing a great job. It’s fun to have a solid tournament in April.”
“It’s great to be back with friends. We are all talking about where you can go and what you have to do to go anywhere. But, you have to be smart and follow the rules.”
Gretchen Johnson: “Where I’m from in Portland, I’m not used to the grain and the influence of the mountains, but I made a lot of short putts. The firmness of the greens puts a premium on lag putting.
“The goal is to play a little better each day. If I can continue to keep it in play and putt well everything else should fall into place. There are a lot of great players here. It may be a small field, but it is a strong field with a lot of good players.”
ABOUT THE LADIES NATIONAL GOLF ASSOCIATION (LNGA)
The LNGA is a national volunteer women’s amateur golf association founded in Kansas City Mo. in 1927 to promote amateur golf and good sportsmanship among women golfers and junior girls. Our events are hosted at venues across the United States. The events spotlight the nationally prominent amateur golfer that may be eligible for Curtis Cup team selection along with the skilled players from around the world. The LNGA Amateur, the Women’s Mid-Amateur and the Senior Women’s Amateur are included in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) list of golf championships.
Words by: Pete Kowalski
Media contact: Pete Kowalski, [email protected]; 908-216-8435
Barzekoff Picks Up AGA Championship Victory
By Brianna Gianiorio
LAVEEN, ARIZ- Cameron Barzekoff shot a final-round 69 Sunday at Aguila Golf Course to overtake second-round leader Jacob Letman and win the 2021 AGA Championship by two strokes. Barzekoff combined his opening-round 69 and second-round 70 to finish 2-under 208 for the tournament, the only player under par for the weekend.
“This win means a lot – this is my first tournament since early November,” the first-time AGA Major winner said. “I took a long, long time off – just been working on my game. I have not won a tournament since maybe this past summer.”
Evan Chien turned in the low round of the day, an impressive 3-under 67 to finish tied for second with reigning AGA Player of the Year Bryan Hoops at even-par.
Prevailing through rain, wind and cold weather during the first two rounds of the championship, Letman was the only player to record both rounds under par. Entering the final round 3-under, Letman started the day with a narrow one-shot lead ahead of Adam Walicki and a two-shot lead ahead of Barzekoff.
Barzekoff, a 20-year-old Las Vegas resident, found himself one behind the lead after he birdied the first hole. When Letman and Walicki turned in bogeys on the par-4 5th hole, Barzekoff jumped into his first lead of the tournament. After a birdie on hole 8, Barzekoff made the turn with a 1-under 34, two shots ahead of Hoops and Zach Smith.
It was an up-and-down back nine for Barzekoff, who still managed to hold the lead through the final stretch. He recorded two bogeys and a birdie on his first five holes to drop his lead to one. It was a clutch eagle on hole 15 that made for his two-shot win..
“Today it was a little bit more wayward off the tee, I made some clutch holes coming in, like the eagle and 15,” Barzekoff said. “I think I went driver driver off the deck and then made a 30-foot for eagle. That was what kept me kind of in the tournament.”
He finished out his final three holes bogey, birdie, bogey to claim the win.With tough hole locations and weather, he was the only player to turn in three rounds of par or better.
“I didn’t have much confidence coming into the greens this week after the first two rounds,”he said. “Trusting your line is probably the biggest thing – a couple of my longer putts I trusted and I happened to make a few when they counted.”
This marks Barzekoff’s first tournament and win of his 2021 amateur season. The champion gave up D1 college golf at Boise State University to return back home to Las Vegas after his father was diagnosed with cancer but hopes to return to college golf soon.
“I played two years there (at BSU). I decided to come home for my father’s health in Vegas- he has been battling cancer for the last two and a half years, so I wanted to come closer to him and hopefully I’ll be on UNLV’s roster next semester.”
2021 marks the 32nd year of the AGA Championship since its inception in 1989. Formerly known as the AZ Publinks, the Championship is one of seven championships conducted by the Arizona Golf Association. Held over a three-day period, the 54-hole event with a cut after 36 holes, is the first AGA Championship of the year. The next Championship is the Arizona Stroke Play Championship hosted by Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Course set for April 22-25, 2021.
Marilynn Smith & Founders’ Legacy Foundation (MSFLF) Fundraising Initiatives
About the MSFLF
The Marilynn Smith & Founders’ Legacy Foundation forwards the spirit and legacy of all the LPGA Founders and Pioneers, including the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund, which, since 1999, has awarded over $1 million to 199 young women to pursue their academic dreams and further their golf careers.
To create awareness and to raise money, they have two initiatives planned to help fill the absence of Founders Cup which would’ve been next week in Arizona. Please help by supporting these and/or sharing the information for others to participate.
1) An ONLINE AUCTION in conjunction with next week’s Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic.
This is an LPGA Symetra Tour event that will be held March 17th thru March 21st at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, AZ.
The Auction opens on Sunday, March 14th and closes on Tuesday, the 23rd. The Pro-Am takes place Wednesday, March 17th, this item will close on Monday the 15th at the end of the day. There are collectible items and rounds of golf. Also, there’s a raffle embedded in the auction for a custom Marilynn Smith Tour bag signed by all of the LPGA players at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Tickets are $13 apiece or 13 for $100. (Focusing on 13 for the 13 Founders!)
Visit: https://www.32auctions.com/MSmith to participate.
2) A VIRTUAL SUNDAY TEA 1-3 PM on Sunday, March 21st, the final day of the Symetra Tournament tourney. Ron Sirak, well-known golf writer and Golf Channel broadcast contributor, will interview several golf celebrities including LPGA Founder Shirley Spork, LPGA Pioneer Renee Powell, LPGA Superstar Nancy Lopez, Marilynn Smith Scholarship Recipient Michele Bateman and others. This Virtual Tea follows in the tradition of holding a Tea to kick-off Marilynn’s annual LPGA Charity Pro-AM, which many PGWA ladies have attended over the years.
You can “attend” the Tea, by registering at www.VirtualSundayTea.EventBrite.com.
There is a nominal $13 donation to register – 13 in honor of the 13 LPGA Founders. Because it’s a virtual event, you will receive a link to access the program a few days prior to the event.