PCHS boys golf enjoying added pressure of new Region 11
Miners occupy five of top 10 spots in individual standings
The Park Record
More so than most other high school sports, that Park City High School boys’ golf season goes by in the blink of an eye.
“The season gets started fast and then before you know it, we’re halfway through,” head coach George Murphy said.
The first match of the year was less than three weeks ago, yet, the Miners find themselves at roughly in the middle of their season. They just completed the fourth of eight region matches on Thursday afternoon at the Mount Ogden course in Ogden, securing their fourth consecutive win with a team stroke total of 294.
The next-best team finisher was Bonneville with 300, while Tooele was just a dozen strokes back of that. Of the courses they’ve played this season, Murphy said that Mount Ogden was one of the toughest his team endured thus far.
“Today was ridiculous, how crazy tight and hilly the course is at Mt. Ogden,” Murphy said. “It’s one of the toughest tests for these kids. It was probably one of the most challenging courses that I’ve seen in the state. If you’ve never played there, you wouldn’t understand — thinking that this course in Ogden would play so tough — but it was awesome.”
Leading the way for the Miners was Eli Kimche with a one-over 72, while freshman Wyatt Peterson finished just a stroke behind at 73. Jack Wright kept the trend going by finishing with a 74. Parker Cutt, Dean Tsandes and Zane Schemmer all followed closely after with scores of 75 for each.
Like last year’s championship-winning squad, Park City is highlighted by its depth, which was on full display on Thursday.
“It’s still really, really tight on our team,” Murphy said. “Eli and Dean have put a little separation between where they are and some of the other kids, but they are not too far behind. They’re all kind of grouped up together. It’s pretty tight. It’s been a lot of fun.”
When Park City was competing out of 3A, the margins of victories in region matches were sizeable. This season, however, with the bump up to 4A, it hasn’t been as much of a cakewalk for the team as it’s been in years past. While the Miners are still producing wins, Bonneville hasn’t been far behind, finishing within 10 strokes or less of Park City in three of the four matches this year.
Additionally, two Bonneville golfers currently sit ahead of Park City’s top golfer — Tsandes — in the individual standings, even though the Miners occupy half of the region’s top 10. The stiff competition is something Murphy believes will prove to be useful down the road.
“It’s not what these boys were used to in the last couple of years, but it’s better for us,” Murphy said. “It’s tighter. There’s more pressure and better play. And it keeps them sharper as they head into the month of September a little bit, just playing under pressure.”
While Murphy has the long-term interest for the Miners in mind, he doesn’t want the team to worry too much about the future.
“I really have no clue,” Murphy said of the condition of other 4A teams. “Even when state comes around, I don’t push that on these kids hardly at all. I say, ‘Hey, just go out there and do what you can control and what you’re capable of doing. Play your best. It’ll work out. If the scores are good as a team, you did well. And if not, somebody else got you that day, hats off to them.’
“That’s the nature of golf.”
The Miners will return to action on Wednesday afternoon at Juan Diego’s home course at River Oaks. After that, they’ll travel to Arizona for the Antigua Invitational the ensuing weekend, where they’ll compete against the best teams in Utah, Arizona and other nearby states.
Park City Mountain Resort is scheduled to start limited summer operations on Saturday, including the operation of PayDay lift for hikers and bikers.