Former Phs Golfer Takes State Medalist Honors

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Add 84th Arizona Amateur Championship low medalist honors to Brandan Kelley's long list of links accomplishments.

The former Longhorn and Point Loma University golf star swung his way to the state honors July 29 at Troon Country Club in Scottsdale.

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Brandan Kelley

Kelley's card of 5-under 137 earned him a No. 1 seed into match play that began the following day. His final score consisted of rounds of 69 and 68 that edged him past Steven Hake of San Diego who tallied a 138 (71 and 67).

Kelley called the round one of his best efforts because "putting up those kind of numbers is tough on that kind of (difficult) course."

After earning the No. 1 seed in stroke play, Kelley advanced to the round of 64 where he defeated Cyrus Whitney of Oro Valley, 3 and 2.

In the round of 32, however, Kelley's incredible run through the amateur championships came to a screeching halt.

Paired against Joey Mendenhall of Phoenix, Kelley lost in 20 holes.

"What a bummer," he said.

With the loss, Kelley's plans are to turn professional and play on the Gateway Tour and then on to bigger national tournaments, possibly the PGA. Kelley debuted on the Gateway tour Dec. 19- 21, 2007 in the Arizona Holiday Classic. His tally of 233 (78, 74 and 81) earned him a 16th-place finish.

Kelley is a graduate of Point Loma, near San Diego, where he was a four-year varsity letter winner and a two-time All-Region selection. At the NAIA region championships he finished third and as a junior was 78th at the national championships.

Kelley graduated from Payson High School in 2004 after leading the Longhorns to four of the most successful seasons in the history of the program.

During his tenure on the team, the Horns won three 3A East region titles, the 4A Grand Canyon region championship, the 3A state crown and a number of tournaments.

After graduating from PHS as an honor student, he said he decided to attend Point Loma because the school was a place where he could continue his golf career, play year-round and take advantage of a strong academic curriculum.

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