Northwest trio forms core of premier state 16-18 golf team - The Explorer: Sports

Northwest trio forms core of premier state 16-18 golf team

Esparza, McMahon, McClure off to Junior America’s Cup

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Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:35 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Later this month, three local high school golfers are traveling to Pasadena, Calif., to represent Arizona in the Junior America’s Cup.

Ironwood Ridge High School standouts Ben Esparza and Alex McMahon and Salpointe Catholic High School student Matt McClure are joining up with Garrett Moss of Gilbert, forming Arizona’s 16-18-year-old boys team at the Annandale Golf Club.

For Esparza and McClure, this will be their second visit to play in the Junior America’s Cup. Both qualified last year to play in the competition, held in Washington.

This is McMahon’s first time going.

“It’s exciting. I didn’t really know about the whole point system and making this team before I moved here to Arizona,” McMahon said. “I came out and played a couple tournaments and kind of found myself on the team. So, it worked out kind of nice. It should be fun in LA.”

The fact three of Arizona’s four 16-18-year-olds are from greater Tucson isn’t lost on Matt’s father, Bob McClure.

“We’ve been competing against Phoenix, and we’ve watched it for so long,” Bob McClure said. “We haven’t been able to compete. But it’s turning. We’ve watched them grow.”

The three Northwest golfers are familiar with one another, and are friends.

“We are usually at the junior golf programs just traveling with our parents,” Esparza said. “This time we get to go as a team. We aren’t competing against each other, we’re working together to achieve a common goal.”

That common goal is to defeat 16 other teams from Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii and many other states in the West, along with a team from Canada and two teams from Mexico.

Each of the players wants to win the competition, and have a good experience along the way. McMahon is looking forward to getting to travel and play on a decent course, but to also play some of the best competitors in the West.

During the Tucson City Junior Championship, Esparza finished first at seven under par, followed by McMahon in second at five under and McClure tied for fourth at four under. With those results, each earned personal points toward an invitation to the America’s Cup.

“We have all played golf well and proved ourselves around the state, but we want to prove ourselves on more of a national stage,” McMahon said. “I think if we all play to our abilities, we should have success.”

The guys think last year’s Arizona team didn’t play as well as expected, finishing ninth overall. They are looking for redemption.

The competition, which spans four days – one practice round and three event rounds – is tallied with the best three scores of the four teammates. The highest score is dropped. At the end of the competition, the scores are totaled and awards go to both the winning team and the player with the lowest score. The individual winner receives the Sally Pini Memorial Medal. The medal is named after the America’s Cup lost its long-time executive director, Sally Pini, in November of 2004. The award has been given to the top player since 2006.

OV junior golf championships Aug. 1-2 at club

Entries are open now for the fourth annual Oro Valley Junior Golf Championship, to be held Aug. 1-2 at the Oro Valley Country Club.

Young players ages 9-17 are invited to compete and play the private course, according to Mike Wilson.

“They’ve been very generous to make their site available,” said Wilson, a member of the sponsoring Oro Valley Optimists Club. “It’s fantastic. I hope we can get some young people to play.”

The tournament is conducted by the Southern Arizona Junior Golf Association. For a $50 entry fee, players get two rounds of golf and lunch at the awards event.

Trophies go to the top players in five divisions for both boys and girls – ages 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-17, and championship.

Deadline for entries is Monday, July 20. To register, people may go to www.sajga.org, or call Mike Wilson at 591-9640.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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