4A Golf: Deming player fires brilliant 67 to boys title; Belens Salome, the Academy team accepting girls trophies
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SANTA ANA PUEBLO – Take a step back to Monday afternoon. Deming’s Vari Mariscal had just hit a one-over par 73 in fair conditions at the Santa Ana Golf Club. In fourth, he was just two strokes ahead of fellow Wildcats Tyler Jackson.
A nice round – even if maybe not the best ending.
What the results didn’t show easily was that Mariscal was five-under over 13 holes on Monday, with double bogeys on #14 and #15. A triple on #17. A merciful birdie on #18, hard to hit the bad taste of the last five holes from his mouth.
“Didn’t play well at the back,” Mariscal said, shaking his head like he was all too familiar with the feeling.
Which made sense. By his own admission, Mariscal had struggled all season to finish the Finals, six second-place finishes — usually lost by just one stroke — chasing Deming’s best player whenever he made it.
“It was hard to enjoy the round when I was playing really well,” he admitted, “and still losing by a loss or two.”
As for Tuesday?
“Today,” paused Deming golf coach James Williams, “was salvation for him.”
Up on the links in Santa Ana, Mariscal had one of those rounds that constantly gathers a crowd and keeps them to the end. The Deming senior ended his prep career with a smashing five-under-67 win in two rounds in the 140-point final to beat Belen’s Grady Cox (69, 141) in one fell swoop, with Skyler Woods (68, 141) by Kirtland Central, Silver’s Jacob Alcdorta (69, 143) and Deming’s Jacson (74, 145) complete the top five.
In other words: a perfect finish.
“Sixty-seven, I mean, that’s not my best result,” Mariscal said. “But it was – I don’t know how to make sense of it – it was the best lap ever.”
Additionally, Mariscal gave Deming (587) more than enough breathing room to safely claim her second consecutive boys’ team title after winning the 5A tournament in 2022, while St. Pius (606) and Kirtland Central (615) took second and third place. or.
“I think we were the best team in New Mexico last year and this year,” Williams said. “So that we’re done like that was pretty awesome.”
Mariscal’s round started quite unfavorably. Par after starting for the day at #10. Birdie at #11. Good start, but it all depends on how you finish, right?
Then Mariscal hit a six-iron off the tee on the par-3 #12, onto an ‘odd’ narrow green with perhaps only eight feet of clearance on each side. He knew he had hit it well enough. He heard the ball hit the pin.
But it was the small crowd around the green that let Mariscal know he did it.
“It was great,” he said with a smile.
Mariscal took the lead and never gave it up, four consecutive birdies on the back nine and just one bogey on his last hole to seal the perfect, long-awaited finish. Sharing via FaceTime with his father CJ Morris, who has stage 4 head and neck cancer, made it just a jumper.
“It was just cool to see how happy he was and how happy my mom was,” he said. “It means a lot to me. A lot.”
GIRLS: Maybe Rylee Salome doesn’t need to be nervous at this point. After all, Belen’s star sophomore was one of two 4A girls to finish in the red with a three-under 69 on Tuesday, and the only one to finish the tournament’s underperforming overall with a 140.
But some nerves just won’t let go – just like on the first tee.
“It’s kind of nerve-wracking to have everyone standing around. But luckily I hit a good tee shot,” she laughed.
Salome also played a big part in a particularly close girls’ team final in which Albuquerque Academy (683) finished first, St. Pius (691) finished second and Salome’s Eagles (692) just missed out.
“It feels so good,” Academy’s Anya Parasher said of the team title. “I feel like we were just so close to (St. Pius) and so close to the other teams up to that point.”
4A Golf Final Scores