Miners can’t be stopped in region play | ParkRecord.com

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Miners can’t be stopped in region play

Girls’ golf team is focused on winning a state title

Park City High Schools Tai Miller drives the ball at the UHSAA 3A State Championships last season. Miller has been a top-five golfer for the Miners this season.

When the Park City High School girls' golf team takes the course during region play, it, along with the opposing team, already knows how the match will turn out.

The Miners have cruised through all of their region matches thus far, winning each contest to date. The most recent was at Union, where they cruised to a 59-stroke win. Before that, it was 44-stroke advantage at Tooele. The match before that saw Park City win by 29 strokes.

The PCHS girls' team has outgrown its region opponents. Park City Head Coach George Murphy, who was nominated this year for the Governor's State of Sport Coach of the Year award, recognizes that the teams in Region 10 might be having a down year this season, but the region isn't what the Miners have their eyes fixated on.

"I'm not trying to disrespect the region, it's just not been very strong this year," Murphy said. "That's not our issue. [The Miners have] been focused for the last couple of years on the state tournament and what's going to happen at state."

In addition to UHSAA 3A state championships being the season-defining matches, Park City is focused on them for another reason. The Miners were right on the cusp of claiming a state title each of the last three seasons — they placed third in 2014 and second in 2015 and 2016 — so they're hungry to get over that hump.

"The drive for these girls is stronger than ever because they were so close," Murphy said. "[They] almost had [a state title] last year. They could taste it."

"It’s just harder when the level of the competition is not the same and they're not playing against the same type of players that they're going to play against at state. They still have to play with confidence."

The Miners returned a wealth of experience from last year's runner-up team, including Saylor Rabe, who leads Region 10 by 23 strokes heading into Thursday's match at Grantsville. And while she's upped her game, as well, it's the improvement of the rest of the team that has the Miners poised to break through.

In those same individual region standings, Park City occupies the top five spots. Sage Roberts is the fifth-best golfer on the team, but she is also the fifth-best golfer in all of Region 10. In between Roberts and Rabe, the three Miners, Mckenzie Schow, Grace Donahue and Tai Miller, are separated by just three strokes.

Murphy said he welcomes battles within the war.

"The girls have got to get used to the competition within their own team," Murphy said. "When it comes down to six players [at the state tournament], with the eight or nine or 10 girls that could make it on the state team, that's where we try to feed the motivation and the competition and the pressure. I want them to feel pressure when they play to see how they respond when they do play in these tournaments."

The Miners will look to continue their dominant run through region play with a match at Grantsville on Thursday afternoon. The contest is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.