Girls’ team rules the greens
Despite snow, snow and more snow the Park City High School girls golf team managed to fight the elements and win their first Region 10 Golf Championship on Tuesday at the Spanish Oaks Golf Course in Spanish Fork. The girls won the tournament by 15 strokes with a combined score of 315. Uintah took second with 300. In region competition this season, the Miners finished with a team score of 1,031, 29 strokes better than Uintah with 1,060.
In their inaugural year, the Miners have consistently won all of the tournaments in region play and have at least one player finishing among the top five. Park City head coach George Murphy says that he is impressed by the girls’ attitudes and ability.
"They just do it," Murphy said. "In some of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen they played through it. They didn’t complain and they performed well."
Staying positive has been no small feat, the girls play in the state tournament on Wednesday, exactly four days after the Park City Golf Club opened. Practicing meant long drives to Salt Lake every week or working with a simulator at the Basin Recreation Field House, while other teams practiced daily on their home courses. Many tournaments took place in cold weather and even an occasional snow flurry.
"Weather’s been tough for everybody in the region, but more so Park City and Wasatch," Murphy said.
However, in a snowstorm at Soldier Hollow two weeks ago, the team put up some of their best scores, combining for a total score of 140. Perry said she played her best in the elements. Park City player Julia Kranstover said that it makes sense to have girls golf in the spring with so many girls’ sports already in the fall, but she said the team has wished for a home course more than once after they made the long drive to Salt Lake every week.
"If we had our own course, we could be really good," Kranstover said.
Still the Miners persevered with girls slowly lowering their scores and surprising even themselves. Murphy said that some girls have gone from enjoying the game to dedicating themselves to earning college golf scholarships and plan to compete year-round.
"A lot of these girls, they want to play golf in college. They’re seeing where they can go," Murphy said. "A door has been opened to them."
Leading the pack is Carina Crosby, who took third overall in the region with a 274. The score is the combination of the best six out of seven tournaments in region play. She was followed closely by Ciera Perry in seventh place with a 298 and Abby Cohen in eighth with a 299. Crosby trailed only Stephanie Hoffee of Waterford with a total of 255 and Judge’s Ali Nakamura of Judge, who played for the Bulldogs when prep golf was co-ed, with a 263. Crosby was also third at Spanish Oaks, shooting a 95. Hoffee won with an 84. Nakamura took second with an 87.
Crosby shot a 42 on the front nine and continued the streak untilthe 17th hole where she had to add a number of strokes to her final score. Murphy said trhat Crosby persevred through that and came back to do well on the 18th hole.
"She was looking at one of her best scores," Murphy said. "She was able to come back the next hole and stay strong. She not afraid to get in with the best golfers"
This was the team’s first full 18-hole tournament. With the newness of the sport and the ability level within the state, administrators decided that small matches would be best. Murphy said that the girls struggled somewhat at Spanish Oaks since the course is longer and more narrow, but they still did well with a full round.
"Their scores on the back nine weren’t that much higher," he said.
The girls will take to the links on Wednesday for the state championships at Rose Park Golf Course. Murphy said that the course is flatter and easier than the Spanish Oaks course, and thinks the girls should paly well. They have a practice round scheduled on the course on Monday.
The Miners have yet to see any non-region competition, so Murphy said that anything could happen. The tournament will only include 1A through 3A level schools, which will eliminate competition from many of the stronger southern Utah teams.
The state tournament will begin at 11 a.m. at the Rose Park Course on Wednesday. Murphy expects the tournament to last at least six hours or more if people want to drive down and support the girls.
A head-on collision Thursday morning on Brown’s Canyon Road killed the driver of one vehicle and left another driver with critical injuries.