TPC Scottsdale-Champions Course: June 16-17
Former Catalina Foothills standout Maya Benita started the second round of the JGAA State Junior Golf Championship in seventh place and five strokes behind Kendall Todd of Goodyear but the University of Arizona commit shot a 2-under-par 69 today at the TPC Scottsdale-Champions Course to close the gap with Todd dramatically.
Benita was one of only two golfers on the girl’s side to shoot under par in second round action and she accomplished this even with a bogey on the first hole and a double bogey on the seventh. Meanwhile, Todd recorded four bogeys and a double bogey to give the field a shot at her lead after leading by one stroke after the first round.
“I unfortunately struggled off of the tee and was out of position on some important holes,” Benita said. “My putting really kept me in the game. I was able to make a lot of birdies and par saves that helped my score. It was fun to see the ball go in and know that I might have a chance.”
Three-time AIA state champion and ASU commit Ashley Menne started the day two strokes off the pace but a double bogey on the 18th prevented the former Xavier standout from forcing a tie with Todd and Menne finished with a 1-over 143 to take second place along with Benita. Todd finished the state championship with a 1-under 141.
Todd will be a home-schooled senior and she has committed to play for UNLV.
Benita won the AIA Division II individual title last fall for the Falcons and Ironwood Ridge brought home the D-II team championship. Nighthawk standout Zoe Newell came in 8th place with a 6-over 148.
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On the boy’s side, 11 players shot under par including JGAA state champion Joseph Lloyd. Lloyd went 4-under today to erase a four-stroke deficit after the first round to win the state championship by one stroke.
Lloyd is a Pinnacle senior and he will be playing for Utah.
Salpointe sophomore Carlos Astiazaran was the highest finisher from Southern Arizona and he tied for 32nd place with an 11-over 153.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org