Park City golf is teed up for another Region 11 title
Two thousand and twenty-eight. That’s Park City High School’s boys golf team’s current score for the season. It might sound high, but the team is leading the region by 109 strokes with only a home tournament on Sept. 20 left in the Region 11 regular season.
To lose the lead now would be nearly impossible, said coach George Murphy.
“It would have to be a disastrous effort on everybody’s part — have their worst round ever — and even then it would be tough,” he said.
With Region 11 all but finished, the team is now focusing on winning its 11th consecutive Class 4A state championship. The main question is, who’s going to compete on the six-man state team?
As of Wednesday’s competition at Birch Creek Golf Course, which is North of Logan, the Miners’ varsity team comprised sophomore Tucker Lee (76), junior Eli Kimche (72), senior Jack Wright (69), junior Ryan Wright (79), junior Parker Cutt (78), sophomore Wyatt Petersen (76), senior Dean Tsandes (79), and senior Griffin Ward (79).
Jack Wright is a shoe-in for the six-man state team, with the lowest season-long score in the region: 508. That’s partly because of consistency, but he has had some standout performances, including shooting a 69 at Schneiter’s Riverside Golf in Ogden, as well as at Birch Creek on Wednesday. Kimche is the only one with a lower score for an individual tournament, having shot a 68 at Schneiter’s.
After Jack Wright’s season-long score, there are two players that are harder to position — Kimche and Lee. They haven’t competed with the varsity team for the full season, but their average scores are still low.
Kimche has missed two of the seven tournaments the team has played so far, and has an overall score of 364, meaning he averages about 73 strokes a tournament and a has a projected score of 510.
Tucker Lee, a sophomore, has an almost-identical scenario with his total of 220 for three tournaments, giving an average of 73.3 and a projected total of 513.
Ryan Wright has the next season-long low score with a 524, followed by Parker Cutt with a 526, Wyatt Peterson with a 528, Dean Tsandes with a 533, and Griffin Ward with a 534.
Tellingly, Ward has the eighth-best score on the team, and is ranked eighth on the Region 11 individual leaderboard (Lee and Kimche aren’t ranked because of their absences).
Only two Tooele players keep the Miners from an unbroken sweep of the leaderboard, with the Buffaloes’ Bridger Holmes in second overall with a score of 512, and Peyton Thevenot in sixth with a score of 532.
All that means Murphy will be hard pressed to find a poor choice among the candidates for the state team, a reality that has Kimche and the Miners working hard to stand out.
“With how competitive it is, it’s necessary to have solid, consistent rounds,” Kimche said. “We really don’t know who’s going to be on the state team, so all of our guys are going to put their everything into this (upcoming) tournament.”
The two that don’t end up playing with the varsity team will likely go as individuals, Murphy said, as Jack Hanskat did last year when he took fourth overall alongside Cutt.
The state competitions will be held at Birch Creek, which the team is excited about.
“In Park City, we are used to playing on tight courses where, if you hit it in the tree you might have to punch out, and it takes a couple shots off your round,” Kimche said. “But this course, it’s pretty wide open, you can get away with some risky shots, which I believe is good for our team because we can just attack this course. If you were to talk to any of the guys on our team, I think they would all agree that they would love this course and they are looking to play great at state.”
Murphy said the team spent some extra time on the course before its Wednesday competition, and the results were promising for the upcoming state championship.
“We had a couple shoot two and three under par there last weekend, so they are starting to feel very comfortable there,” he said of the practice rounds. “They are starting to bring it together all at the right time, are peaking at the right time. Some are still waiting for that to happen still, and they’re right there.”
The Miners won Wednesday’s tournament with a combined score of 293, followed by Tooele with a 321 then Bonneville with a 324.
Murphy said after the Sept. 20 home tournament at Park City Municipal Golf Course, the team will take a week of practice, then will play at Birch Creek the day before the Class 4A tournament starts.
Tee off for the home tournament is at 9 a.m.
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