Golfers excited for state tourney
The Park City High School boys’ golf team squared off against Wasatch on Wednesday afternoon at Park Meadows to stay sharp heading into next week’s 3A state tournament.
The Miners, who will be competing for their eighth straight 3A title, scheduled the dual match with their former Region 10 rivals to keep in form after a strong showing at the Region 10 meet at Soldier Hollow a couple of weeks ago.
The state tournament, which will also take place at Soldier Hollow on the Gold Course, is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 7, and Thursday, Oct. 8. Park City Coach George Murphy said the Miners can’t wait to get on the course and play for a title. The toughest competition for the Miners will likely be Desert Hills and a couple of other schools from the St. George area.
"We’re looking forward to it," he said. "The kids have been practicing at Soldier Hollow a lot. They’ve had some really good practices there and they’re all shooting well."
Familiarity with the course will play to the Miners’ advantage, Murphy said. Plus, variable weather conditions in northern Utah could also benefit Park City.
"They’ve all played the course plenty of times," he said. "They know they can play the course well. They’ve played it when it’s windy and when it’s been calm and when it’s been cold and rainy. Hopefully they’re ready for anything they face."
Helping the Miners will be a trio of players with state experience. Senior co-captain Mitchell Schow has won individual titles at the last two state meets. Meanwhile, the Miners also return senior co-captain Drew Fleming and sophomore Jack Hanskat from last year’s state squad.
"They’re ready to go and they know what it feels like," Murphy said. "They know they can play at that level. They’re also excited. They’re pumped for state. This is what they’ve worked for all season."
Murphy highlighted a couple of challenging areas on the Soldier Hollow course, places where the Miners will have to hit their best shots.
"If you’re not driving it straight, any of the holes can give you problems," he said. "But I’d say the front nine is a little more difficult than the back. Hole No. 6 can cause a lot of problems. It’s a blind tee shot, so they have to pick a target in the distance and go for it. It’s a tough par-4."
Murphy added that, with the six Park City players anticipated to start at Hole No. 1 (instead of a shotgun start), getting to Hole No. 6 unscathed is crucial.
"Getting off to a good start is key," he said. "The first few holes can be tricky."
The course will play at 6,800 yards, which Murphy says is a long distance for high-school golfers. But, he continued, the Miners will be ready when the time comes.
"We’re just trying to make sure they’re in top form and feeling good," he said. "They’re excited."
The state tournament is scheduled to take place Oct. 7-8 at Soldier Hollow’s Gold Course, starting at 9 a.m. each day.
Park City Mountain Resort is scheduled to start limited summer operations on Saturday, including the operation of PayDay lift for hikers and bikers.