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Boys golf: Rincon makes final push for last playoff spot

October 21, 2015 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365


Cooper Bradford may have put Rincon in the playoffs.
(Andy Morales/AZPreps365.com)

Cooper Bradford calmly approached what he thought would be his last official putt in high school. The Rincon/University senior knew his team needed to score a 157 to take over the last at-large playoff spot but he had no idea everything depended on how he finished.

"If I had known I probably would have taken a hour on the hole," Bradford thought. "I'm glad I didn't know."

He sank the 2-footer and his team erupted. They all knew what the shot meant.

Bradford has never played in a state tournament but his 38 against Canyon del Oro and Salpointe at Randolph North may just be the ticket. Rincon is now one of the 10 at-large teams in the Division I state tournament but barely.

The Rangers have a rating of 8.711 and No. 11 Gilbert Mesquite is sitting at 8.798 but the Wildcats have one last shot. The Gilbert City Tournament will be held on Thursday.

For the record, Canyon del Oro shot a 154, Rincon a 157 and Salpointe finished with 158.  The Dorados have already qualified for the Division I state tournament after winning Section I and the Lancers are the top ranked at-large team in Division II.

The D-I state tournament will take place Nov. 4-5 at the Aguila Golf Course in Laveen and the D-II tourney will be played Nov. 2-3 at Randolph.

Trevor Gregoire led Canyon del Oro with an even-par 36 as did Rincon standout Dallan Graybill.

"I'm looking for anywhere between third place and top ten at state," Gregoire said. "I'm also hoping for a top three finish for the team."

Salpointe junior Trevor Werbylo shot a 38 which is considered an off day for the projected D-I college recruit.

"Even though I played terribly today I think it has been a great year," Werbylo said.

"I have been more consistent this year with a few bad rounds but still it has been good. I'm looking forward to going up against teams like Catalina Foothills at state."

Catalina Foothills is the Section II champion. Other Southern Arizona teams that have qualified for the D-II playoffs include Walden Grove (Sec. III champions) and Sabino (at-large).

Mountain View's Cooper Cordova, Marana's John Fiore, Rio Rico's Justin Fischer, Sahuarita's Ryan Smith and Mountain View's Kyle Stachel are currently holding onto at-large individual berths in D-II.

Buena senior Briggs Duce may be the only individual from Southern Arizona competing in the D-I tournament while Canyon del Oro is the only team assured of a spot.

If Rincon does not make the playoffs as a team then Graybill will go as an individual if the scores hold up.

The other shot of the day belonged to Salpointe senior Derek Lozier. Lozier chipped in a shot from 120 feet on the fourth hole. It was a one-bouncer that had his team jumping and hugging each other on senior night.