UNLV’s Caden Fioroni, San Jose State’s Antonia Malate win 12th annual Patriot All-America; Arizona’s Chaz Aurilia claims inaugural Thunderbolt

UNLV junior Caden Fioroni and San Jose State grad student Antonia Malate won their respective divisions at the 12th annual Patriot All-America in Arizona on Saturday.

Fioroni finished at 12 under after scores of 67-71-63 at the Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona, to beat Oklahoma’s Ben Lorenz by a shot. Colorado State’s Connor Jones and Oklahoma’s Stephen J. Campbell tied for third at 10 under.

Fioroni’s final-round 63 featured birdies on five of his last seven holes, including Nos. 16, 17 ad 18, to tie the men’s division low score. Lorenz had a look for birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff but his putt came up short.

“I have no words right now, honestly I knew I was really behind today and this is the first time I never thought about my score,” said Fioroni. “I knew I needed to make as many birdies as I could. I was so much in the zone I didn’t realize until after the round that I shot 8 under. I’m kind of in shock right now – I dont know what to say.”

UNLV Caden Fioroni
UNLV Caden Fioroni

UNLV’s Caden Fioroni celebrates after winning the 2022 Patriot All-America in Litchfield Park, Arizona. (Photo: Arizona Golf Association)

Meanwhile, Malate earned medalist honors in the women’s division after outlasting ASU’s Grace Summerhays and Emma McMyler of Xavier.

The three golfers finished 54 holes tied at 9 under. Summerhays was knocked out first after parring the first playoff hole, while Malate and Xavier made birdie. On the fourth playoff hole, Malate drained a 20-foot eagle putt to claim the win.

“This is one of my bigger collegiate wins so I’m excited,” said Malate. “[Emma] played really well and made a lot of great putts. She made it hard for me, so I had to make an eagle to win.”

2022 Patriot All-America
2022 Patriot All-America

Antonia Malate of San Jose State celebrates after winning the 2022 Patriot All-America in Litchfield Park, Arizona. (Photo: Arizona Golf Association)

Arizona senior Chaz Aurilia won the inaugural Thunderbolt at Sterling Grove Golf & Country Club in Surprise, Arizona.

Aurilia also needed extra holes to win. Tied with Fresno State’s Joseph Lloyd at 13 under, Aurilia sank a 20-foot birdie then watched Lloyd’s birdie try from about 18 feet lip out.

“It feels good. I played really well all week,” said Aurilia. “This is the first time they’ve had this event, and it’s a really good event. It’s for a really cool cause, also, so it was a great tournament for me.”

2022 Thunderbolt
2022 Thunderbolt

Chaz Aurilia won medalist honors at the 2022 Thunderbolt at Sterling Grove Golf & Country Club in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo: Arizona Golf Association)

About the The Patriot All-America

The event honors fallen or severely wounded soldiers in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. At the opening ceremony, golfers receive a golf bag donated by Ping emblazoned with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. Participants also receive a card with the soldier’s story so they can be familiar with that soldier, giving many of the top players a unique perspective not only on golf, but on life. At the conclusion of the tournament, the golf bags are shipped to players’ schools and auctioned with all proceeds benefitting the Folds of Honor Foundation. Named after the Air Force P-47 Thunderbolt, the new event was added in 2023 to accommodate players who met the initial eligibility but did not make it into The Patriot.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek