The first day of the high school boy’s Division II state golf tournament has come and passed, and the leaders are the usual suspects, minus one powerhouse.
Chris Meyers of Oro Valley Canyon Del Oro won the day, walking out with a 4-under par, 1-stroke ahead of Tucson Salpointe Catholic’s Trevor Werbylo. The pair are ranked fourth and second in Division II, respectively. They were the only two to shoot under par for the day, with two players shooting even.
Meyers and Werbylo were expected to be right at the top, but a surprise came from JJ Gresco. The Scottsdale Notre Dame sophomore came in ranked as the top boy’s player in the state, regardless of division. He finished the day in eighth place, 6 strokes back of the leader.
“It’s one of those things, just got to work through and get to tomorrow,” Gresco said. “I just need to find my irons. I was not getting as close to the hole as I need to be to be scoring the way I should.”
As for the team scores, Phoenix Thunderbird ended Day 1 with a 14-over par and a 6-stroke lead over Canyon Del Oro. Notre Dame (21-over), Tucson Catalina Foothills (29-over) and Gilbert Campo Verde (30-over) round out the top-five.
Notre Dame’s third-place performance was a bit of a surprise considering its top seed heading into the tournament. Gresco shot a 4-over par, second on the team to Jack Savage’s two-over. Mitchell Russell came in third for Notre Dame with a 6-over.
Coach Carl Hess said he expected the scores to be lower but was happy with the day.
“I think when we had some bad shots our guys still battled and put together a decent round,” Hess said.
Aguila Golf Course is a course with which Notre Dame is familiar, having played in the Aguila Invitational and last year’s state tournament.
“Adjusting to the speed of the greens is going to be a big key to tomorrow,” Hess said. “There are spaces where you can get away with your ball spraying a little bit here and there, but there is trouble so our guys are learning where the conservative targets are and being aggressive and hitting those.”