Cardinal dominates the par 5’s at Eagle’s Nest to win in come-from-behind fashion

by Gary Adornato

The 2021 MIAA Individual Stroke Play Golf Championships concluded on Thursday at Eagle’s Nest Country Club in Phoenix and Calvert Hall junior Lorenzo Sanz captured the title.

Calvert Hall junior Lorenzo Sanz rallied from behind on the back nine of the final round to win the 2021 MIAA Individual Stroke Play Golf Championship at Eagle’s Nest Country Club.

Sanz entered the final round one shot behind Archbishop Spalding’s Luke Lombardo and St. Paul’s T.J. Burkom and shot a 68 on Thursday, which was one shot better than Lombardo’s second round score of 69, leaving the two golfers tied for the lead, each with a two-day total of 140. The pair then entered a playoff where Sanz prevailed, making him the second consecutive Calvert Hall golfer and fourth Cardinal overall to claim the MIAA individual crown.

Burkom, who tied for fourth with St. Paul’s teammate Tommy Sharps, was in the title hunt all afternoon, but was doomed by a pair of sixes on the back nine, on 15 and 17, and finished with a two day total of 144.

Early on Thursday, Lombardo appeared poised to run away and hide on day two as he birdie the first hole and stretched his lead to four shots when Sanz boggied holes two and three. The lead stayed at four through six holes, before Sanz began to make his move with a birdie on the par 5 seventh hole and then moved back within one with an eagle on the par 5 ninth hole.

Lombardo got one stroke back with a birdie on number 11, but Sanz drew even with consecutive birdies on the par 3 14th hole and par 5 15th hole. The par fives were definitely where Sanz was most productive, as he was 4 under during the round on Eagle’s Nest’s four longest holes.

Both golfers parred the final three holes to set the stage for the playoff.

“There was a lot of great golf over those two days at Eagle’s Nest,” said Calvert Hall coach Drew Forrester. “I think this year, overall, was filled with talent from every team. So for Lorenzo to come from behind like he did speaks volumes about his game and his toughness. I’ve seen a lot of junior golfers in my 11 years of coaching. Lorenzo is the best putter – at his age – that I’ve witnessed. Having Lorenzo win and four other Calvert Hall players make the cut was a nice way to end our season, particularly after what happened in the semifinal vs. St. Paul’s and the 1-point defeat we suffered.”

Gilman’s Bennett Espenshade joined Sanz and Lombardo in positing a sub-70 round as he fired a 69 on Thursday to finish third overall at 143. Toby Webb of Saints Peter & Paul was sixth with a score of 145 and Mount St. Joseph’s Reece Tydings was seventh at 148. Sharps, Webb and Tydings all carded one-under par rounds of 71 on Thursday. In addition, McDonogh’s Jeremy Bershak rebounded from an opening round 81, to shoot a score of 70 on Thursday, which vaulted him into a tie for eighth place with Loyola’s Mason Coleman, both with 151 after the two rounds.

Calvert Hall’s four individual champions ties them with Gilman and Spalding for second most in MIAA history. St. Paul’s leads the pack with six individual crowns.

St. Paul’s also leads the way in winning the team title at the stroke play championship, which it did again this year.

Burkom and Sharps’ performance combined with those of Chris Kilduff (152) and Jackson Guy (154) gave the Crusaders a two day net of 595 and their ninth title at this event. Calvert Hall as second at 603 and Gilman was third at 613.

Golf Ind Tourney Final 2021