Beaver repeats as 2A champs, Waterford’s Evelyn Azares birdies No. 18 to win individual title

Waterford’s Evelyn Azares knew she’d hit a great approach shot, but even she was stunned when she walked onto the No. 18 green at Glendale Golf Course and saw that she only had a four-foot putt for birdie.

In that moment, Azares wasn’t even thinking about winning, but rather she had a shot to make birdie on her final high school hole in a career that included a 131 her freshman year.

“I hit that shot, and I knew I could not have made it go any better than that. Stepping onto the green and seeing how close that shot was, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, if I make this putt and end with a birdie, that would be amazing.’ I wasn’t even thinking about winning,” said Azares.

2A State Individual Champ, Evelyn Azares of Waterford. (Photo: Deseret News/Scott Winterton)

Tied with American Heritage’s Bethany Braddy heading into that final hole of the 2A state tournament on Tuesday, Azares rolled the birdie putt straight into the heart of the cup to capture 2A medalist honors and put the finishing touches on a remarkable career of perseverance.

“I came from shooting a 131, so now that I’m winning this it sums up all the hard work. This is so surreal for me,” said Azares, who finished fourth at state as a junior.

Azares shot a 42 on the front nine at Glendale but then settled down with a 39 on the back nine to shoot a nine-over 81.

Braddy shot an 11-over 83 to finish in second place, with Beaver’s Heidi Harris and Millard’s Lindsay Starley tying for third with 85s.

For Harris, her 85 was a season-best round, according to coach Chanda Gardner, and was one of the catalysts to Beaver’s repeat state championship.

Beaver’s depth allowed it to shoot a team score of 371, a 10-stroke improvement upon last year, when it narrowly beat Rowland Hall 381 to 383.

Beaver High girls celebrate a back-to-back 2A title run.

This year’s team title was nearly as tight, as it wasn’t until the final groups started to come in that Beaver narrowly pulled away from second-year program American Heritage, which made a 56-stroke improvement from a year ago to finish second with a 379.

Read the complete tournament recap by Desert News sportswriter James Edward, Click Here.

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