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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
O'Sullivan's record round steers Xavier to D-I golf titleOct 27, 2012
Hannah O'Sullivan takes her time making shots on the golf course. One couldn't argue with her approach on Saturday at Aguila Golf Course.
The Xavier freshman carded a big-school, state record 8-under par 64 to help the Gators pull away from Hamilton in the final round and win their second straight Division I crown.
"She's very deliberate," Winsor said. "I think it bothers some people. But that's the way she plays. She's been very consistent all season."
Not only was it Xavier's second title in a row (the Gators edged Hamilton by four shots last year), but its 30th overall in the sport. All the title teams have been coached by Sister Lynn Winsor. Hamilton broke one of Xavier's long streaks as champions by winning in 2010.
O'Sullivan, who led after the first round shooting 4-under 68, destroyed the course Saturday. She birdied holes 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 and 17. Her only bogey was on the final hole -- a short putt that caromed in and out. For the two days, O'Sullivan collected 16 birdies. The best state tournament round ever in Arizona was Cactus Shadows' Esther Choe, who shot 61 in one of her rounds on the way to the 4A title in 2005 at Del Urich in Tucson. Choe's 61 was 9-under par.
"I really didn't concentrate on winning the tournament,' O'Sullivan said. "There are so many great players out here. I didn't want to psyche myself out. When the tournament started I was nervous. I think my putting the last two days was the difference. I felt confident putting."
Xavier and Hamilton, who duked it out for the title last year, were even at 291 heading to Saturday's round. Hamilton got a 2-under-par 70 for the second day in a row from Saki Iida and another 70 from Mikayla Harmon. Improved scores from Xavier's Megan Hauptman, Ariana Macioce and of course O'Sullivan's off-the-chart round Saturday were too much for Hamilton. Xavier finished at 574 while Hamilton totaled 583. Pinnacle was third (607).
Finishing second overall to O'Sullivan's 132 was Hamilton's Iida (140). Rounding out the top 10 were Hamilton's Harmon (143) and Yesong Han (144), Macioce (145) and Pinnacle's Kaylee Knadler (145), Xavier's Madison Kerley (146), Mountain Ridge's Carly Akine (147), Mesa Mountain View's Jill Harvison (148) and Chandler High's Jacquelyn Porman (150).
Pinnacle's Megan Knadler, who finished at 151, had the shot of the day with a hole-in-one on the par 3 13th.