With the state championship slightly more than a month away, the Phoenix Brophy boys golf team made an impressive showing at the finals host course, winning the Aguila Invitational by 11 strokes.
Entering the final round at Aguila Golf Course in Laveen, Brophy and Scottsdale Desert Mountain were in a two-team race with the Broncos holding a one-stroke lead. However, strong performances by Trent Sanders (69), the tournament medalist, and Ryan Donahue (74) were enough for the victory. The Broncos finished at 22-over-par 598 to beat the Wolves (609) by 11 strokes.
Sanders, with rounds of 74 and 69 (143) edged Desert Mountain’s Brandon Jaffe (73-72—145) by two shots.
“They played well on the front side and had a good start,” Brophy coach John Shores said. “I was kind of worried how they would finish when the wind was picking up, but they held it together.”
Led by Jaffe, Desert Mountain finished second. Scottsdale Horizon, which entered the final round in eighth place, rallied around under-par performances by Blake Brown and Luke Bradford to finish third, followed by Phoenix Desert Vista and Gilbert Highland.
Sanders, one of the top juniors last year, has struggled this year with up-and-down performances. However, with regional and the state championship coming up, Sanders has picked the right time to peak.
“I started off slow, but I play well here and put together a few good rounds,” Sanders said.
In the girls tourney, Phoenix Xavier continued its dominance, winning by 66 shots. Individually, four of the top five spots were filled by Xavier girls, led by tournament medalist Cheyenne Woods.
Woods posted the best round of the tournament on Friday with a 4-under 68 and followed with an even-par 72, good enough for a three-shot win over Mesa Red Mountain’s Kristen Schelling.
“I thought I played really good the last two days,” Woods said. “As a team, I thought we did great and didn’t make many mistakes.”
Scottsdale Chaparral was second and Red Mountain, Tempe Corona del Sol and Mesa Dobson followed.
“What’s happened in the past is that a lot of times on the second day, we don’t play as well,” Xavier coach Sister Lynn Winsor said. “I don’t know what it is, but today we shot the same and that’s a good sign for me.”