The strategy seemed a bit strange, but there’s no arguing with the results.
In fifth place and trailing the leaders by 13 shots entering Tuesday’s final round, Mountain View staged an epic comeback to win the Division I boys golf state championship on Tuesday afternoon.
The Toros finished the 36-hole tournament with a team total of 576, one shot better than Desert Vista.
Being so far back, Mountain View’s Hayden Webb said his team didn’t have to face the pressure of thinking it had any chance at winning the title. With no pressure, the Toros were brilliant on the par 72 Aguila Golf Course in Phoenix.
“We didn’t have a great first day,” Webb said. “We were kind of laid back the second day and make a lot of birdies. If we were around the lead we would have definitely been a lot more tense. We were still a young team (just two seniors). It wasn’t the worst thing in the world to be in fifth place.”
As a team Mountain View had a final-round total of 10-under-par 278. Senior Hayden Webb led the way with a 6-under-par 66. Chad Hardy had 72, Jake Gerard 70 and Tyler Webb 70. The total was 20 shots better than the Toros first-day total.
The state championship is the Toros’ first since they won back-to-back titles in 1991 and 1992. It had been so long that Webb didn’t exactly know when the last championship happened.
For Desert Vista it is another year of frustration. The Thunder finished second for the fourth straight year. In 2009 they were second to Hamilton, in 2010 they were second to Red Mountain and last season they were second to Phoenix Brophy.
In a lot of other ways Desert Vista is the second best team this year. The Thunder were also second at both the prestigious Brophy Invitational and the Dobson Invitational.
For Desert Vista junior Matt Liringis it was a bitter-sweet day. He easily won the individual title with rounds of 65 and 68.
“It’s a win and a loss at the same time,” Liringis said. “They just played incredible golf.”
It was the final three holes that cost the Thunder on Tuesday. Their top four players played their last three holes in 9-over-par.
The two-day total of 11-under-par 133 was Liringis’ best ever tournament. Call him an up-and-coming player as he qualified for the Junior World Championships earlier this year at San Diego’s Torrey Pines.
He’s just hoping the second place finishes are done.