Final-round notes: Desert Shootout

The sixth-annual Desert Shootout was played at Wigwam Golf & Country Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona. More than 260 players, ages 5-14, competed in 15 age divisions during the two-day stroke play event, Feb. 15-16.

Final results
Facebook photos

Boys Recap
The 9-year-old boys provided the most dramatic finish of the day, as William Luu (California) was victorious in a sudden-death playoff against 2012 World Champion Jeevan Sihota (Canada). Luu birdied Nos. 16 and 17 and took a one-stroke lead over Sihota with one hole to play. Sihota evened the score at 2-over-par with a birdie on the par-5 18th hole, but his comeback bid fell short as Luu prevailed in the playoff.

Johnnie Clark won Boys 7 with a 2-under-par total and was the only boy from the host state of Arizona to claim victory. Clark was also the only boy to card consecutive rounds under-par (35-35–70), which resulted in a three-stroke win over Jay Leng Jr. (California).

In Boys 12, Joseph Pagdin (Florida) survived a late rally by Dylan Menante (Nevada) and captured his fourth career USKG Regional victory. Over his final 15 holes, Menanate was 4-under-par, including birdies on Nos. 16 and 18, en route to a final-round 69. Despite Menante’s best efforts, Pagdin birdied No. 17 and finished one stroke ahead at 2-under-par.

Michael Nardone (Florida) also took home his third USKG Regional title with a victory in Boys 7. An eagle-birdie finish highlighted a final-round 34, giving him an even-par total and a four-stroke advantage over Arden Bunch (Georgia) and Max Thomas (California).

The four other boys winners from the Desert Shootout were Isaac Diaz (Texas; Boys 6 & Under), Jacob Uyesato (California; Boys 10), Alexander Yang (California; Boys 11), and Jorge Daniel Salazar (Mexico; Boys 13-14).

Girls Recap
With her victory in Girls 12, Michaela Morard (Alabama) extended a winning streak that started at the 2009 Desert Shootout. Morard posted a 2-over-par total and a 13-stroke victory, which now gives her at least one USKG Regional win each of the last six years.

Two girls champions were decided by a sudden-death playoff. In Girls 9, Morgan Miller (Texas) birdied the last hole of regulation and forced extra holes with Banet Flores (Guatemala), but Flores came out on top after she carded her first birdie of the tournament on the first playoff hole.

Red numbers were needed to get into the Girls 11 playoff, as Kaylee Vesley (Texas) and Sadie Englemann (Texas) combined for 11 birdies and an eagle in the final round. After Vesley took a one-stroke lead with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, Englemann tied the score at even-par with a birdie on No. 17. Vesley eventually took home the crown in the playoff, giving her the second USKG Regional title of her career.

Melena Barrientos (Texas) opened with a 78 and held a three-stroke lead in Girls 10 after 18 holes. She pulled away from the field Sunday, as she carded five birdies and an eagle en route to a final-round 69 and a 17-stroke victory.

In Girls 8, Gracie McGovern (Arizona) finished at 5-over-par and finished one stroke ahead of the field for her third USKG win. Isabella Vigna (Louisiana) posted her second USKG victory by winning Girls 13-14, and Chloe Kovelesky (Florida) won for the fifth time after a seven-stroke victory in Girls 7 & Under.

Boys 6 & Under
+3…Isaac Diaz (Texas)
+8…Phillip Dunham (Florida)
+10…Aditya Das (California)
+10…Andre Dumonteil (Colorado)

Boys 7
E…Michael Nardone (Florida)
+4…Arden Bunch (Georgia)
+4…Max Thomas (California)

Boys 8
-2…Johnnie Clark (Arizona)
+1…Jay Leng Jr. (California)
+3…Zander Grant (California)

Boys 9
+2…William Luu (California)*
+2…Jeevan Sihota (Canada)
+4…Freddy Sun (Canada)

Boys 10
E…Jacob Uyesato (California)
+1…Mahanth Chirravuri (Arizona)
+8…Rohan Reddy Aerrabolu (Texas)
+8…Gavin Aurilia (Arizona)
+8…Eli Tran (Texas)

Boys 11
-2…Alexander Yang (California)
E…Connery Meyer (Georgia)
E…Ryan Smith (Maryland)

Boys 12
-2…Joseph Pagdin (Florida)
-1…Dylan Menante (Nevada)
+4…Canon Claycomb (Kentucky)

Boys 13-14
+4…Jorge Daniel Salazar (Mexico)
+6…Cole Ponich (Utah)
+7…Cade Mayer (Arizona)

Girls 7 & Under
+5…Chloe Kovelesky (Florida)
+12…Avery Zweig (Texas)
+13…Natalie Yen (Oregon)

Girls 8
+5…Gracie McGovern (Arizona)
+6…Eleanor Parkerson (Massachusetts)
+13…Ali Mulhall (Wyoming)

Girls 9
+13…Banet Flores (Guatemala)*
+13…Morgan Miller (Texas)
+18…Kiley Malmberg (New Jersey)
+18…Kate Strickland (Oklahoma)

Girls 10
+3…Melena Barrientos (Texas)
+20…Ellee Fox (Texas)
+28…Kenzi Hall (Nevada)

Girls 11
E…Kaylee Vesely (Texas)*
E…Sadie Englemann (Texas)
+5…Soona Lee-Tolley (New York)

Girls 12
+2…Michaela Morard (Alabama)
+15…Jenny Bae (Arizona)
+15…Alison Luann Gastelum (Mexico)

Girls 13-14
+8…Isabella Vigna (Louisiana)
+12…Maya Pugatch (California)
+17…Hallie Kent (Wisconsin)

* Won via sudden-death playoff

// Chris Richards, USKG Senior Manager of Communications