Despite losing more than half of its state third-place team to graduation last year, the Phoenix Pinnacle boys golf team retooled this season and is looking to make another run at a state championship.
Armed with two confident freshmen and a transfer from the Midwest, the Pioneers won the 5A-II Super Regional No. 2 at Cave Creek Golf Course on Saturday with a score of 590.
Glendale Deer Valley finished second, shooting a 607, while Mesa Desert Ridge came in third with a 609.
The Pioneers’ Rob McGregor, a junior who played last year in Michigan, shot a 5-under-par 139 over the two-day, 36-hole event and finished as the only golfer under par.
He started the day tied for the lead after shooting a 2-under, 70 on Friday. However, his final round included five birdies on his way to a 69 as he put the icing on the cake with a birdie on 18.
“I felt good,” McGregor said. “I wanted to play more conservative today, and I think that worked. I just got a new putter and I think that’s working for me. I think I’m among the contenders in the state.”
The two freshmen for the Pioneers had solid weekends as well.
Zach Wright had the second-best score of the tournament, shooting a 1-over 145 while fellow first-year player Shane Allor shot a 151, good for third best on the team.
“We need to do a better job finishing our second day and staying away from having one really high score,” Coach Jay Thomas said. “If we can do that, I think we’ll have as good as chance as anyone else.”
Desert Ridge was in second place after the first day, just four shots back of Pinnacle, but struggled a bit on Saturday, shooting a 311 and dropping two shots behind Deer Valley.
Damon Tidwell and Dillon Brewer each shot 5-over 149 to lead the Jaguars.
“If we’re on, we can be one of the best teams in the state,” Jaguars coach Ben Brandau said. “If we’re off like we were today, we’re going to suffer from it. We just have to be on our A-game.”
With the top 8 teams making it to the state tournament, Avondale Westview (643), Tucson Rincon (649), Peoria Centennial (649), Surprise Valley Vista (652), and Glendale Ironwood (653) will be joining Pinnacle, Deer Valley and Desert Ridge.