The Division I golf tournaments are headed south.
The question is will the scores do the same?
The tournaments are being held at The Omni Tucson National, which is a championship level course that houses professional events and the players will be playing a different course each day of the two-day event.
“It’s never been set up where they had to play two different courses,” Red Mountain coach Frank Campos. “The two courses provide different challenges. They are not going to be able to just bomb away.
“It’s going to be target golf and putting yourself in the right position on the course.”
The boys tournament has three area teams making the trek to Old Pueblo in Desert Ridge, Mountain View and Red Mountain, while the girls teams will feature the same three squads along with Westwood.
The boys start on the Catalina Course and finish on the Sonoran, while girls tee it up on the Sonoran first before closing it out on the Catalina.
The Catalina is a traditional-style layout with gentle contours and tree-lined fairways, while the Sonoran is a desert-style layout that features steep elevation changes and some unusual uphill/downhill shot opportunities.
The Red Mountain boys finished the regular season as the fourth ranked team, while Mountain View was 11th and Desert Ridge 17th.
The Mountain Lions are led by senior Cameron Barzekoff, who finished fourth in the individual rankings, and senior Abraham Elmore, who finished at 25.
Barzekoff has had a solid season after moving to Arizona last year from Las Vegas and hopes to finish it off with a couple of good rounds.
“It is going to come down course management and the short game,” he said. “I’ve played well all year, and I just need to keep it going.”
Mountain View’s top golfer is junior Zach McDermid, while Desert Ridge is led by sophomore Noah Allen.
“It’s going to be tough tournament at a new course,” McDermid said. “I think the key is going to be getting off to a good start so you have a chance on the second day.”
The Red Mountain girls finished fourth in the final team standings, while Desert Ridge was also in the top 10 at ninth. Mountain View finished 14th and Westwood was 17th.
The top two contenders are Red Mountain junior Nicole Ewing and Desert Ridge junior Brooke Beyer, who finished the year ranked 14th and 15th, respectively.
Area teams usually fare well at the state meet as the Red Mountain boys have won nine state titles with the last one coming in 2013, while Mountain View boys won it all in 2012 and has four overall and Dobson has one title (2003) and several top three finishes in its history.
The girls have less championship success simply because of Xavier’s dominance, but Desert Ridge managed a title in 2007 and finished as runner-up in 2005, 2006 and 2008, while Red Mountain finished third in 2007.
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.