After finishing round one of the Division I girls golf state tournament in first place Friday with a 4-under 68, Xavier freshman Hannah O’Sullivan was hoping to come back Saturday and do the same exact thing.
She didn’t, but what she did was even better.
O’Sullivan birdied nine holes on her way to a state record-breaking 8-under 64 on Saturday at Aguila Golf Course in Phoenix.
O’Sullivan broke both the one-day and two-day state records for the tournament, and was the difference-maker as Xavier won the team title with a score of 574, nine shots ahead of Hamilton.
Pinnacle finished in third place with a 607. Their effort was led by sisters Kaylee and Megan Knandler who placed fifth and tenth, respectively.
O'Sullivan's two-day total of 12-under 132 earned her the individual Division I state title, helped Xavier clinch the team championship and earned her a spot in the record books.
“Honestly, coming into the day I was kind of nervous,” O’Sullivan said. “But I was able to get over my nerves quickly. I played pretty solid throughout the whole round. It was my putting that helped me.”
O’Sullivan said her hands were still shaking a good twenty minutes after she hit her last putt, but her performance was rock solid.
“It’s great to see such potential,” Xavier co-head coach Tui Selvaratnam said. “I knew she had it in her.”
O’Sullivan birdied a total of 16 holes over the two days, including four in a row on Saturday.
The win marks Xavier’s 30th golf championship in school history. Co-head coach Lynn Winsor (also the school's athletic director) has coached at Xavier for 39 years, and has been there for every single one of them. Winsor said O’Sullivan’s performance was her key in the team win, but that it couldn’t have been done without teammates Madison Kerley, Ariana Macioce, Anne Straneva and Megan Hauptman.
“You don’t win a state championship without five girls putting their heart and soul into it,” Winsor said.
The team competition, which ended in a dead heat after Friday's first round with Xavier and Hamilton tied at 291, remained tight for most of Saturday.
teams were tied when they hit the turn, but that’s when O’Sullivan hit her stride.
“We just ran into a whirlwind named Hannah O’Sullivan,” Hamilton coach Oswaldo Perez said. “She’s a special player.”
Hamilton’s strong senior class had three girls in the top five. Saki Iida, an Arizona State-commit, placed second with a two-day total of 4-under 140. Mikayla Harmon was third with a 1-under 143 and Yesong Kim wound up fourth with an even par 144.
The real excitement for Pinnacle came on the thirteenth hole where Megan hit a hole-in-one on a par 3. It was the fourth of her career.
As she watched the ball hit the green three feet from the hole and roll in, Knadler said it was an instant confidence boost.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this could help me a lot,’” she said. “It was exciting.”