Extraordinary is par for the course for the Miner golfers
The Park City High School boys’ golf team won the 3A state championship on Thursday.
The championship was par for the course for what is unquestionably one of the Park City area’s most extraordinary sports successes. The win was the ninth in a row for the program. The golfers have been state champions each year since 2008. Members of the current team were in elementary school when the streak began, something that illustrates a program with consistency that is seldom matched in sports – individual or team — at any level.
The golfers this year outdistanced their opponents on the fairways and then outputted them on the greens. The team bested its nearest rival during the state tournament by a stunning 42 strokes with a 569-stroke total. It is difficult to compare the margin of victory to the better-known sports, but, if it was a football or basketball game, the stars would have been taken out early to ensure they did not suffer injury in the mop-up time of a blowout victory.
Youngsters in Park City excel at a variety of sports, eventually arriving at the high school. Team sports have enjoyed successes over the years, as have individually focused sports like golf. Park City is also one of the nation’s top incubators of winter athletes, putting skiers, snowboarders and sliders on the Olympic and World Cup podiums.
The success of the team over a nine-year span can be attributed to a variety of factors, starting with Park City’s passion for all sorts of sports. The golf courses in the area, including the municipal links run by City Hall, meanwhile, provide challenging holes for a youngster learning which wood to use off a tee or which iron will get them onto the green. The well-regarded municipal course has for years been a favorite of Park City golfers of all skill levels.
And one cannot ignore the high school’s ace: George Murphy, the coach of the boys’ team during the entire run of championships. A coach in a sport like golf is a figure who helps mold the athletes to their individual strengths rather than designing a game-winning play as time runs out. Murphy, clearly, understood his players as he crafted the nine winning rosters.
The state-champion Miners, we hope, find their sweet spot again in 2017.
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The efforts of organizations like the South Summit Trails Foundation mean access to easy access to trails is no longer an amenity enjoyed only on the West Side.