Mater Dei (Calif.) wins Palmetto High School Championship by 12
20 Apr 2019
Mater Dei (Palmetto HS photo)
Mater Dei (Palmetto HS photo)

By Chris King

Jaden Cantafio shot a 5-under 67 to lead Mater Dei to victory in the Palmetto High School Golf Championship Saturday at True Blue Golf Club. Mater Dei finished with a two-round total of 586, 12 shots better than runner-up Charlotte Catholic in the Championship Flight.

Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) entered the round trailing Charlotte Catholic by three strokes, but Cantafio’s nearly flawless round powered the Monarchs. He birdied the first and fourth holes and never looked back.

Cantafio captured medalist honors as well with a 36-hole total of 4-under 140, two shots ahead of Hunter Battles of Muscle Shoals (Ala.) High School.

Woodruff (S.C.) High School won the First Flight championship, besting Arapahoe by seven shots. Woodruff’s Daniel Brasington won medalist honors, shooting a 70 Saturday at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club.

The Palmetto is a 54-hole, college-style event that began on Thursday with a qualifying round. Based on qualifying scores, teams were flighted for 36 holes of stroke play competition.

Weekend rounds were played at True Blue and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, both of which are ranked among America’s top 100 public courses.

Current PGA Tour players Rickie Fowler, the 2006 champion, and Harris English are among the Palmetto’s distinguished alums.

Caledonia is ranked 29th on Golf Magazine’s list of the Top 100 You Can Play, a ranking of America’s best public courses, and True Blue is 77th on the prestigious list. Both layouts are Mike Strantz designs that offer distinct, yet equally dramatic and memorable experiences.

Caledonia, which is equal parts art and architecture, plays through a stunning piece of lowcountry land that was once home to a thriving rice plantation. A round at True Blue, while completely different from a design perspective, is no less captivating. Strantz used waste bunkers, which frame many of the course’s fairways, to craft a layout that is among the area’s most visually stunning.

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