Payson finished third among a strong, 13-school field in the 36-hole Wickenburg Wrangler Invitational at Wickenburg Country Club on April 4-5. The Longhorns shot a fifth state qualifying score on the back nine on the second day to secure a berth in the Division 3 state tournament on May 16-17.
Dean Harpe tied for first with Fountain Hills’ Griffin Peters after the first day with 1-under-par 70, but carded 72 on the second day while Peters scorched the course for 66 to finish at 6-under 136. That put him six shots in front of Harpe, who was second with even-par 142 after a final-round 72. Harpe had already shot the needed five scores to qualify for state individually, but added his sixth with a 34 on the back nine on the final day, six under the required 40.
Mason Ridley shot 79-78—157. He finished in a three-way tie for sixth, but wound up eighth in a scorecard playoff.
Mitchell McGuire tied for 18th (82-88—170). Clayton White was 41st (86-98—184) among 75 golfers in his first high school tournament. Ben Myer tied for 51st (100-96—196).
Phoenix Country Day won with 309-325—634. Goodyear Estrella Foothills (643) was second and Payson (317-334—651) third, 25 shots in front of fourth-place Fountain Hills (676). Phoenix Northwest Christian (679), Show Low (680), Sedona Red Rock (684), Wickenburg (694) and Scottsdale Christian (697) rounded out the top nine. At least eight of the top nine should qualify for state.