After heartbreak last year, Miners aiming for 3A crown
PCHS girls’ golf returns all but one from 2016 squad
March 14, 2017
For the last three seasons, the Park City High School girls' golf team has been knocking on the door. A third-place finish at the UHSAA 3A State Tournament in 2014 and runner-up finishes in both 2015 and 2016 solidify the Miners as a top 3A program in the state, but in 2017, they are hoping to knock down the door that leads to a coveted state title.
"The expectations are pretty high for themselves," Head Coach George Murphy said. "They've been so close the last few years. They're just chomping at the bit to overcome that and finally finish on top."
The path to a championship all started this last weekend when the team traveled to St. George for a round of 18 holes at Sun River and nine holes at Sky Mountain. All Region 10 opponents — Stansbury, Tooele, Union and Grantsville — were in attendance, but it was the Miners who came out looking like region favorites, like they were last season.
Park City finished with the lowest stroke total among all Region 10 teams with 523. The nearest team, Tooele, was 100 strokes behind.
"They're striking the ball a lot better [than last season]," Murphy said of his team. "I've seen a lot of improvement from the girls coming back this year from last year. I know they've worked a lot harder this summer than maybe they have in the previous summers."
Not only did the school finish as the top team in terms of stroke total, but the Miners boasted four best region golfers by the end of the weekend: Grace Donahue (126), Saylor Rabe (127), McKenzie Schow (128) and Tai Miller (142).
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Tooele's Raegan Root was the only golfer that kept Park City from claiming the top five spots, as Miner Sage Roberts finished in sixth, just eight strokes behind Root.
The Miners' core — Donahue, Rabe, Schow, Miller and Roberts — is a crew that's competed in the state tournament before. This type of experience, coupled with strong practice throughout the summer, will bode well for the team down the stretch, especially after experiencing the heartbreak of falling by just a few points in last year's state tournament, Murphy said.
"We've got some good experience coming back," he said. "We did lose Sarah Marshall, but it looks like some of the girls have stepped up their game to kind of help us with [replacing her]. That's what we want to see. That's hopefully the way it goes, as we get further into region matches.
"They're playing well. They kind of look in midseason form, which is awesome to see in March."
Murphy admits Region 10 isn't the strongest in the state, but it's also still early in the season. He anticipates the group getting stronger as the year goes along, which in turn, will provide stiffer competition for the Miners throughout.
In the end, it all comes down to one weekend in May. The Miners are accustomed to dominating region competition, but they have grown tired of that. The next step is to secure a state title, which would be a first for the girl's team at Park City High School.
"Might as well aim high, because they've shown they can handle it," Murphy said. "They're excited for it. It's fun to see them and fun to coach."