By ALEXANDER LOPEZ
Coming off its stellar win in the home invitational and for the fifth time this season, Pima Community College Women’s Golf team closed out team play with second place.
The Women’s team marched into Los Colinas Golf Resort for the Chandler-Gilbert Invitational, and it wasn’t disappointed.
After the first day of team competition, Chandler-Gilbert Community College topped the leader boards at 328, with a 33-stroke differential from the next-closest team, Pima Community College, who had 361.
The Aztecs shot 15 strokes under on Day 2 and locked in the second spot in team play. Even though team competitions were so spread out by large margins, individual events were more closely contested.
Sophomore Elizabeth Satterfield (Ironwood Ridge High School) had a tough Day 1, shooting a 90, 19 over par 71, but improved her swing in Day 2 by shooting 7 strokes fewer, 83, and finishing with a individual standings two-day total of 173.
Outshooting Satterfield on Day 1 was fellow Aztec freshman Kaitlyn Hutchison (Cienega High School). Hutchison, whose Day 1 total was 88, struggled a bit in Day 2, dropping 3 extra strokes from Day 1 and picking up an 85.
Her impressive Day 2 play was able to tie her up with Satterfield in eighth place.
Tabitha Bitter (Chandler-Gilbert CC) also tied for eighth place.
Missing the trio in eighth place by just one stroke was Aztec freshman Hallie Lawson (Campo Verde High School). Lawson shot a two-day total of 174 (91-83) and locked in 11th place in the individual standing.
Sophomore Clara Solano and freshman Nicki Gonzalez finished 12th and 13th, respectively.
The Aztecs will close out their season at the Paradise Valley Invitational in Phoenix on April 22-23 at the Wildfire Golf Club.
The Men’s Golf team headed to Gold Canyon for the Region I Division I Championships, looking to secure its first and possibly biggest win of the season.
Coming into the Division Championships, the Aztecs weren’t ranked in the Top 20, but didn’t let the early judgments determine their fates.
From Day 1, the Aztecs got the ball rolling, shooting a collective 294, just 17 strokes over par 277, with the next-closest team 14 strokes behind them, Eastern Arizona College.
The Aztecs were able to maintain the solid play throughout the tournament, winning three out of the four rounds played and posting their best round on Day 4, shooting a 3-under par 277. The closet team to accomplishing this was more than 20 strokes off in almost every round.
The Aztecs’ solid individual play, as well as team play, were enough to solidify the Regional trophy for the fourth time in five years, with a team total of 1171 (294, 296, 304, 277). Not only did PCC take home the hardware, it also was the only team to have all five golfers receive All-Region honors for the hard-fought victory.
Freshman Samuel Salisbury (Walden Grove HS) was the Aztecs leading golfer, posting outstanding totals.
Through the first three rounds, Salisbury was never more than 5 strokes over par 70 and posted his best round of the tournament when he shot 1 under par 70 (69).
Salisbury finished the individual’s portion of the tournament in third place 288 (71, 75, 73, 69), just one stroke behind EAC golfer David Ross (287) and 5 strokes behind the leader.
Just a few strokes behind Salisbury was sophomore Diego Cueva-Schraidt (Sabino HS), in fourth, with a four-day total of 296 (75, 73, 79, 69). Cueva-Schraidt also posted his best day of the tournament, in round four, shooting 1 under par 70 (69).
Right on his heels and also posting his best day in round 4 was freshman Curtis Goldin (McClintock HS), shooting a four-day total of 298 (80, 76, 73, 69) also shot a 1 under par 70 in Round 4 and tied for fifth place with fellow Aztec freshman Louie Riesgo (Cienega HS). Riesgo, who shot an even par 70 in the final round of play, locked in a four-day total of 298 (73, 74, 81, 70).
The final Aztec golfer, who also rounded off the placements at seventh and finished just three strokes behind the pair of warriors tied at fifth, was PCC’s freshman Cody Goza (Blue Ridge HS).
Goza hung with the pack through the whole competition and didn’t let any golfer off the hook, even his teammates. Goza shot a four-day total of 301 (75,74, 79, 73).
The Aztecs, with their backs against the wall, came out of Gold Canyon with a tremendous win and an advancement to the next round of play.
“Everything we did this season was to get prepared for regionals,” said head coach Rich Elias. “We didn’t play our best all year, but we improved and we’re peaking at the right time. Ben (Esparza) and I had a team meeting after yesterday’s round and we told them, ‘Hey guys, now is the time. This is what we came here to do. Let’s put our best foot forward and leave everything out there.’
“The kids stepped up and performed. Ben really made a big impact as my assistant coach.”
The Aztecs will make the cross country journey for the big dance, the Division I Championship in Melbourne, Florida. It all tees off on May 14-17, and AztecPress.com will have the updated final totals following the completion of the championship.