Big day for Bell
There was no canned answer from Park City High School golfer Sam Bell after he shot a 69 to win the Region 10 individual title Thursday. No "I was just focused on my game," or "I’m not worried about my performance, I just want to do well for the team."
Bell said he was well aware of what he had to do and what others around him might do when he walked onto the Glendale Golf Course Thursday afternoon for the region championships.
He started the day trailing Blake Peterson of Waterford and Stratton Shultz of Uintah and knew he would have to have the perfect game to jump the two other golfers for the title. Things started rolling for the senior after he chipped a ball in on hole No. 3 and things went his way from there. Bell was in the same foursome as both Peterson and Shultz and was concentrating on their performances as well as his the entire time.
"I knew both of them were working hard to win region," Bell said. "I’ve played with them all year. I was expecting it to be a different day."
Bell said that even though Glendale isn’t the most challenging course the team plays on, he still had to work hard to make sure he hit the fairway and made his putts.
"Everything came together today," Bell said. "I was putting well and hitting the fairway."
Bell had a pretty good lead and then birdied on hole No. 13. Peterson came back on the next few holes, but another birdie from Bell on hole No. 15 nearly solidified the win. From there, he knew he just had to make par.
"From there I was just trying to keep it out of the woods," he laughed.
Bell finished third in the region last year and said it was important to claim the title this year.
"It was my goal," he said. "It was a really big deal for me."
It was a successful day for the rest of the Miners as well. Seven of the top 14 golfers in the region were from Park City. Zac Fear, also a senior, turned in his best performance of the year, shooting a 71. Fear said he had struggled throughout season, but everything came together for him at the region match.
"I had a good round today," Fear said. "It was a good way to finish the match."
Fear had a putt lip around the first hole and then drop in and he said things went his way from there.
"It was nice to see Zac shoot what we knew he could shoot," Park City head coach George Murphy said.
But the real celebration began when the team claimed the Region 10 championship, beating Uintah by four strokes with a score of 293. Six Miners shot in the 70s on Thursday showing the depth of the Park City team.
Still, it will be a tall order for the Miners to continue their success and win the state title next week. Last year, they led the region by 96 strokes heading into the state championships and ultimately lost to Uintah after two windy days of play at Soldier Hollow. This year, the Miners lead the Utes by an overall count of just 24 strokes and three of Uintah’s golfers finished in the top six in the region this year and will most certainly be looking to defend their state title.
"It’s been neck-and-neck all year," Murphy said.
In fact, the one time Uintah beat Park City this season was at Soldier Hollow, so Murphy knows that Park City will have to come prepared.
"They’ll play the best they can and see what happens," Murphy said.
In the meantime, before state Murphy will be watching the team closely to see who he will put on the state roster, which allows for six golfers per team. The team has made Soldier Hollow their home course this year and Murphy has been mentally holding a state championship tryout all season long. Top golfers like Bell and Michael Coopman will make the list but some of the final spots may go to the best golfers at Soldier Hollow as opposed to the best golfers overall.
"I’m glad I’m in this spot," said Murphy about his upcoming decision. "It shows depth on our team. They’ve all posted scores. It’s nice to see.
The 3A golf state championships will be held Oct 8 and 9 at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.