It’s been nearly a year since Park City High School narrowly lost the state title to region foe Uintah in the 3A boys’ golf championships, but as the teams of Region 10 gathered for their first match of the season on Thursday at the Park City Golf Club, not a whole lot has changed.
The boys are back on the course for another year and the No. 1 contender is still Uintah. The Utes return all of their varsity golfers from last year giving them the region’s top preseason ranking. Park City, on the other hand has a number of boys who have been on the Park City team but are new to the varsity scene. The Miners’ No. 1 player, Sam Bell, is back for another year, but had to miss the first match of the season.
"The Utes are good players," said Park City head coach George Murphy. "They’ve got some talent."
This is the first time in a number of years that the Miners aren’t coming into the season as the region favorite, but Murphy said that his team still has plenty of talent that should make up for lack of varsity experience.
With so many new varsity athletes, Murphy worried that nerves and inexperience might play a role in the match. He was right, but luckily it was also an issue for the other schools, and the Miners shot their way to their first win if the season with a team total of 322 six strokes better than Uintah’s 328.
"That was a good start," Murphy said. "Not a huge lead, but at least it’s a lead."
The other schools, Judge, Union and Wasatch, all tied with team totals of 345.
Murphy was pleased with the win, although he knows there is room for improvement.
"Obviously we could have played better," Murphy said. "They’re pushing too hard because of their inexperience."
Murphy said hosting the match on their home course may have helped the Miners relax more. He said it benefited the new varsity players, allowing them to easily adjust and learn from the experience. Although nerves as well as some wind on the course were definitely factors for the Miners, Murphy figures a lot of that will have dissipated by next week’s match.
Individually, Blake Peterson took first place with a 73. Peterson was the only golfer on Thursday who shot in the 70s.The Miners weren’t far behind with Jack Burrus and Brian Schwerin each shooting an 80 and Michael Coopman with a 81.
Next week will also feel like a bit of a home meet as the Region 10 teams travel to nearby Soldier Hollow Thursday at 11 a.m.
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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.