On March 18, 2021, 20 members of the Niners played nine holes on the Sonoran Course, with nine of the 12 members of the Hamilton High Boys Golf Team (HHGT) who are the reigning Arizona State Champions the second year in a row. The team is coached by Steve Kanner, in his 20th year at Hamilton. During his career, the team has won the Championship in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2019, and 2020. Each Niner who made a significant contribution to the HHGT Tax Credit Fund was teamed with at least one of the HHGT. This event was postponed last year due to the COVID virus, and many of the Niners contributed again to the fund. The cumulative total for the past seven events has raised $13,575 for the HHGT which is used to supplant their travel and golf budgets. This year’s event raised $4,100 towards that total. Sponsors for the event included Western State Bank (Dave Ouradnik), ArizSota Business Consulting Company (David Mork), and Gene Cole. Due to the COVID restrictions, no food or beverages were sponsored. Gift cards for the Oakwood Pro Shop were awarded to the HHGT players, including low gross (Nick Lippe, a junior at 4 under, an 18-hole handicap of zero) and low net (Anawin Pickulthong, a sophomore at 3 under, also has the same handicap) were awarded at the end of the round.
Other HHGT scores were Vincent Cervantes, sophomore at 3 under; Rohan Singh, a junior at 2 under; Mahanth Chirravuri at 1 over; Ryo Ito, sophomore at 1 over; Kush Shah, freshman at 2 over; Sky Hu, a freshman at 6 over; and Caden Clark, a freshman at 10 over. The HHGT used the Blue Tees, and all other Niners were in front of that tee. Many times, the HHGT member could not tee off until the group in front had hit their second shot. Many HHGT players were hitting their drives 250 to 275 yards, and many drove the green on the shorter par 4s and were on the green in 2 on the par 5s, putting for eagles! The 2020 Championship was played at OMNI Tucson National Sonoran Course, and HHGT won by three strokes as a team. Mahanth Chirravuri won the state title with 10 under, by two strokes. In the 2017 event, Mason Andersen, a then HHGT senior, now an ASU senior, and a four-year member of the ASU Golf team, is currently ranked in the top 90 players by the World Amateur Golf Ranking. And he played in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills! Many of the HHGT had not played the Sonoran course before, and they really showed the “grandpas” how youth can make a difference in a golf event. As has been said before, “These kids are good!” Thanks to the team, the coach, our game manager Len Dolins, the contributing players, the Niners Board, and the staff at the Oakwood Golf Club for making the event a success.