Video: Top Plays Overall of 2018-19The best and most amazing from high school sports the last nine months. Aidan Thomas
went wire-to-wire and Kamille Dimayuga fought from behind to win individual championships Friday in the inaugural NHSGA High School Golf National Invitational at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Thomas, a recent graduate of from St. Pius X (Albuquerque, N.M.)
who will play and attend New Mexico State, shot a two-under round of 70 to take the boys medalist title at 135, one stroke ahead of James Amai and two better than Connor Gaunt (Cabot, Ark.). Thomas fired a career-best 65 on Thursday to take the two-day, 36-hole, non-NFHS-sanctioned event.
The invitation-only tournament featured more than 300 of the top boys and girls high school players in the country.
Thomas birdied the first three holes on the Magnolia course to move to 10-under par. Even though he bogeyed three holes over the final 15 holes, he had enough to edge Amai, who finished at 8-under 137.
"It's exciting to compete with the best high school players," Thomas said. "I worked hard to earn an invitation to the championship and feel like I deserve to be here. It feels great to be a champion."
Amai, a recent graduate at Brookline (Mass.)
, said: "Playing in the National Invitational, representing Massachusetts is amazing. Any time you can represent your state and school is an honor."
Dimayuga, who helped Troy (Fullerton, Calif.)
to a CIF state title in the fall, shot consecutive rounds of 71 to finish at 142. The incoming junior trailed first-day leader Kayla Bartemeyer (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) by two strokes entering the day, but made five birdies to win by by one stroke over Isabel Sy (San Gabriel, Calif.) and Emma Schimpf (Charleston, S.C.).
Sy shot the best round of the tournament with a 68 to finish at 143.
"Getting to travel with my team itself was a fun experience," Dimayuga said. "I learned a lot about myself this week that I will use going forward."
Dimayuga also led her California team to the title, by sinking a birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff, to beat South Carolina. Both teams finished with regulation totals of 584. Other California players were Sherilyn Villanueva, Mylan Hirata, Sy and Elyse Kim.
Virginia won the boys team title with a two-day total of 581, easily outdistancing runner-up Arkansas (592). Virginal team players were Zack Smith, Trent Svuem, Ian Walters, Charlie Hanson and Brint Harbison, who shot a two-day total of 141 (3-under par) to finish fifth overall individually.
"Our boys had a blast," Virginia coach Josh Aldrich said. "At this stage for those guys to keep that type of composure was really, really cool to watch."