Miners golf ekes out region victory at home
Win comes from unlikely source
September 23, 2017
On Thursday, it seemed likely that Bonneville High School would win the region 11 golf tournament. It wouldn't be unheard of. Bonneville had beaten Park City in their last two meetings, and while Park City still led the region by 30 strokes, the score was close on Thursday. In fact, Bonneville led by 10 strokes.
The Lakers seemed to be faring better in the wind at Park City Municipal Golf Course.
Their No. 1 player, Cameron Tucker, scored a 75, followed by Carsen Dopp with a 78 in the number-two position and Andy Buckway with an 83. Meanwhile, Park City's No. 1, Eli Kimche, scored an uncharacteristically high 85, followed by Jack Hanskat with an 81 and Dean Tsandes with an 86.
So the scores came down to Park City's final golfer – Griffin Ward, who had been bumped up from the JV team last week under instruction to wow the coaches. After he finished his last hole, a Park City player broke the news to his teammate that Ward was bringing in a 77 – the lowest on the team by three strokes, and under the score of Bonneville's No. 8 by a full 11 strokes. When the results were tallied, it came out to Bonnevelle 321, Park City 320, thanks to Ward's score.
Park City had won, but aside from astonishment at Ward's performance, the atmosphere around the Miners was more like a sigh of relief than a shout of triumph.
Hanskat said it wouldn't have been "the end of the world" if the team had lost – given that they would still go to state – but the performance was not up to the team's ability.
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"We didn't deserve it today, I don't think," he said.
For example, he said he shot one over, then eight over par in consecutive holes on the back nine.
"Part of it was, the wind was swirling and it was hard to tell which way it was going to blow," Hanskat said. "You're standing over a shot and you need to change clubs and pay attention to what the wind is doing. It's a lot more thought that has to go into it when it's that windy. Today, at one point, I was at the top of my swing and I'm pretty sure the wind just changed."
Hanskat said the conditions were no excuse for hot the team played.
"I mean, compared to the other teams, we still how, but compared to how we can play, it definitely was lacking," he said.
The exception was Ward, who according to head coach George Murphy, played his season's best round of varsity golf.
"The only guy in the 70s, as our No. 8 guy," Hanskat said, chuckling at the improbability of the situation. "He definitely pulled through today."
But Ward said his day didn't start off so well. He was putting short until the fifth hole.
"Then my coaches talked to me, and they were like 'Don't leave your putts short, you got this, get used to the greens,'" Ward said.
He birdied the fifth hole with a 15-foot putt, and things started aligning for the junior.
"After that I was just rolling everything in, saving pars," he said.
Ward said he wanted to redeem himself for previous performances, especially after he was put on the JV team last week.
"I played varsity this week and I knew I had to put on a good score and show that I can shoot well consistently," he said.
After his interview, Ward took a picture of the scores, then rejoined his team, where he was greeted with applause.
"It's a good feeling not to lose the last one by one stroke," Murphy said. "We could have been on the other side easily with how it was going out there."
Though Murphy said he was hoping for a better result, the win will help keep the team's momentum heading into the state tournament at Sky Mountain in Hurricane on Oct. 4 and 5.
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