By Jeff Locke
Special to Independent Newsmedia
Surprise resident Ashley Menne made Junior Golf Association of Arizona history earlier this month.
She is now as the only player to win three-consecutive Arizona state championships. This year’s event was June 18-20 at Talking Rock Golf Club in Prescott.
Along the way, Menne turned in twin bogey-less 6-under-par 66s to finish at 12-under-par 132, 11 strokes clear second-place finisher, Madeleine Laux of Goodyear (71-72—143). Two players – Reyna Hernandez (75-72) of Gilbert and Abbey Schutte (74-73) of Goodyear – finished tied for third place at 3-over-par 147.
Menne recently finished her sophomore year at Xavier Preparatory Academy in Phoenix. She was the state Division I co- champion in 2016, and won the title outright in 2017.
She has already made a verbal commitment to Arizona State University. Menne has been Junior Golf Association of Arizona player of the year since 2013 in three different age divisions and won the JGAA State Junior Championships in 2016 and 2017.
Menne entered the tournament at 20th in the American Junior Golf Association Rolex Ranking, with one win and seven top-10 finishes in 12 events played. According to Junior Golf Scoreboard, Menne is ranked 23rd in the nation and first in Arizona.
Caden Christopherson of Chandler fired a final-round, 6-under-par 66 – including a clutch birdie on the last hole – at Talking Rock Golf Club to capture first place at 7-under-par 137 (71-66), one stroke ahead of Chandler’s Mahanth Chirravuri who finished in second place at 6-under-par 138 (71-67).
Blake Lorenz of Peoria came in third place at 5-under-par 139 (70-69), good enough to move into second place in the points race for JGAA Player of the Year.
Lorenz recently graduated from Sunrise Mountain High School. He won the AIA Division II state title in 2017 and has signed to play for the University of Oklahoma.
The Junior Golf Association of Arizona is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to educate, motivate and inspire Arizona’s youth through golf and all of the valuable lessons and life skills inherent to the game. In addition to hosting competitive events, the JGAA develops programs for local schools, assists golf courses with their junior programs, conducts college prep seminars and etiquette clinics.
The Junior Ambassador and Guest Speaker Programs give JGAA students the opportunity to learn, develop and adopt successful habits and practices – both on and off the golf course – from a collection of prominent, civic-minded community and business leaders. The JGAA also awards two scholarship funds annually to high school senior members of the JGAA for their college education – the Tres Arnold and the John Wolfinger Memorial College Scholarships.
Editor’s note: Jeff Locke works for Communication Links.