If you thought last season’s boys golf state championships were close, just wait. This season’s race to a state title may be even tighter.
“It’s too close to call,” said Mesa Mountain View coach Chuck Powell, whose team won last season’s Division I team title by 1 stroke. “There are many teams that are deep with returners with experience that can go low. I believe this will be one of the best and tightest state tournaments ever with only about 12 strokes separating the top 10 teams and probably about the same or even tighter for the top 10 individuals.”
Last season, the top three teams in Division I were separated by just 4 strokes (Mesa Mountain View, 576; Phoenix Desert Vista, 577, Phoenix Brophy Prep, 579). Several of the top golfers return this season in Division I, including last season’s state champion Desert Vista senior Matt Liringis. But Powell said depth will be the key this season.
“Sure, the battle between everybody’s Number 1 and Number 2 is going to be fun and exciting, but it’s going to be the Numbers 3, 4 and 5 who will really make state interesting this year,” he said.
Mesa Mountain View returns four from last season’s championship team while adding a talented newcomer in senior Josh Delo. Desert Vista also brings in a top newcomer in Jack Snyder, a transfer from Division II defending champion Phoenix Thunderbird. Snyder shot 143 last season, good for sixth overall in Division II and would have been tied for 10th in Division I. In Division II, Thunderbird, which beat Oro Valley Canyon del Oro by 7 strokes, returns every golfer but Snyder.
Canyon del Oro returns three top returners in Frankie Wu, Chris Meyers and Daniel Rowland.
“We are going to start slow with those three carrying us to qualifying marks while we develop the back end of our roster,” Canyon del Oro coach John Farbarik said. “We expect to compete by the time state gets here in two months.”
Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep should be a contender as it returns four of its top five golfers.