For once, Justin Rodriguez doesn't have to go to a state golf tournament alone. This time, the Chandler golfer will have all of his teammates after the Wolves qualified for 5A-I state championships on Saturday at Maryvale Golf Course.
The Wolves were just good enough finishing eighth in the 5A-I Super Regional No. 2. Only the top eight teams qualified. The 36-hole state championships are next week at Aguila Golf Course.
As near as coach Jay Troutt can figure this is the first time Chandler has qualified for the state championships in at least eight years.
This will be Rodriguez's fourth straight trip to the state championship, but his first with the team. Rodriguez played well during both rounds with scores of 73 ad 75 to finish tied for ninth.
"The kids are playing it pretty cool, but they are excited," Troutt said.
Going into the 13-team Super Regional, Troutt figured the Wolves were going to finish anywhere from seventh to 10th place. Chandler couldn't catch Mesa Mountain View, which was seventh, but the Wolves were better than Phoenix St. Mary's and Mesa, which were ninth and 10th.
"We tried to catch Mountain View, but they were a little bit better than we were," Troutt said. "We just have a group of athletes who have put it together at the right time."
Chandler got quality play from David Jirrels with scores of 80 and 81 and Tyler Keesee with scores of 82 and 84.
Chandler Hamilton, the three-time defending state champion and favorite once again, won the Super Regional with a team score of 7-under-par 569. The Huskies were 12 shots clear of second-place and ever-improving Phoenix Mountain Pointe.
Andrew Yun of Hamilton was the medalist with a two-day total of 8-under 136. Yun had rounds of 66 and 70 on the par 72 course.
Second was teammate C.J. Kim at 143 and third was Hamilton sophomore Cameron Palmer at 144.