Information from the Pima College media-relations department contributed to this report:
Pima College sophomore Maria Harrouch won the Southwest District Championships individual title, claiming her sixth straight tournament victory, as she shot a personal career-best round of 66 (six-under par) in the final day on Wednesday.
She ended the final round by sinking a 12-foot putt for birdie on the 18th green at the Hillcrest Golf Club in Sun City West.
The Aztecs finished in eighth place with a three-day total of 959 (311-327-321).
Harrouch topped Mia Clarke from Waco (Texas) McLennan Community College. Clarke finished in second place and 10-strokes behind Harrouch at 217 (74-73-70).
“It was an amazing and super fun today,” Harrouch said. “I had been putting okay the first two rounds but today I was struggling a little bit. I didn’t know where I was against the other players scoring wise.
“When Donny (assistant coach Donn Hess) said, ‘Just enjoy this last hole and let’s try and make a birdie.’ All I could think about was just making it for the team. It was really fun.”
Harrouch was even-par through the first eight holes and reflected back to separate conversations with her mom and grandmother to get herself back in the right headspace.
“We realized that I needed to focus on the things that make me go low and that is to enjoy the environment, smile, keep my head high and breath; things that have nothing to do with the actual golf game,” Harrouch said. “I was even-par eight holes in the round, and I was really upset about that. I kept looking at the palm trees, looking at the water and enjoying the sun. I ended up making all the birdies again and that mental change really paid off. The whole approach to it was easier to play with instead of pressuring myself into shooting low. I just enjoyed my day.”
Harrouch received an automatic bid to the NJCAA Division I national championships, which will be held on May 9-12 at the Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City, Kan. She took eighth place in last year’s tournament and was named an NJCAA All-American.
“I feel a lot different. I know a lot more about my own game; how to set up a game plan and how to mentally approach multiple days,” Harrouch said. “I have a lot more confidence. There’s a lot of things I want to work on before May 9. It’s trending in the right direction so I’m looking forward to it.”
Sophomore Angelica Martinez (Tucson High) finished tied for 20th place as she shot a 3-over par 75 to close out her final round. She shot a score of 233 (79-79-75).
Freshman Kayley Yanez (Marana) closed out the tournament with a 247 (77-85-85) while fellow freshman Myranda Moreno (Tucson) shot a 272 (86-91-95).
The Aztecs await the announcement for at-large bids for the NJCAA Division I National Championships.