SPARKS — Alex Kaui has been playing golf so long she can’t even remember her first swing.
But the Green Valley senior ended her high school career in style on Tuesday, winning her third consecutive individual state title.
Kaui shot 4-under-par 68 Tuesday, finishing with a two-day total of 138 to capture the Division I championship at Wildcreek Golf Course.
Kaui, who first picked up a club at age 3, finished 14 shots ahead of Spanish Springs’ Katrina Pendergrast, who shot two rounds of 76.
Green Valley head coach Greg Murphy could hardly keep himself from crying as he realized that it would be the last time he would have Kaui on his team.
“Now I’m going to get all emotional,” Murphy said as his eyes welled up. “It has been absolutely phenomenal having her on our team the past four seasons, always being able to count on her to pick the team up whenever they need it. It’s been completely amazing.”
Kaui’s leadership and strong showing at state wasn’t enough to keep Green Valley’s title streak alive.
The Gators won the Class 4A state title the last three seasons, but finished fourth this season with a team total of 722.
Spanish Springs won the championship at 686, followed by McQueen (696) and Coronado (698).
“We have new players that have never played golf, so we couldn’t really expect as much,” Kaui said. “They just started so this is just good experience for our team, and it taught me a lot about leadership trying to keep them positive and competitive.”
Kaui was the only golfer to break par either day, and was seven strokes better than any other golfer in the tournament on Tuesday. Douglas’ Nicole Tereda, who finished third at 154, shot 75 for the day’s second-best round.
Coronado’s Natalie Yamamoto shot 76 Tuesday to claim fourth-place on a scorecard playoff with a two-day 156. Basic’s Jamie Donizio also shot 156 to finish fifth.
“It feels like high school is just kind of flying by, even though it was a lot of work all these years getting through school and playing catch-up constantly,” Kaui said. “Now it’s pretty much done, and it’s been a very amazing experience.
“I’m glad I got to meet the people I did, and I love my team.”