PCHS girls’ golf eyeing title after Monday’s win
Miners have dominated region play, ready for state
The Park City High School girls’ golf team has played a waiting game all season long, hoping for some tougher competition.
Though the Miners have competed in region matches, with a couple of tournaments mixed in, they are simply having fun. Their skill level is unmatched in Region 10, which was evident in the final regular-season tune-up of the season at Park City Municipal Golf Course on Monday morning and early afternoon.
Hosting all of the region teams, Park City finished the day in first place with a 338-stroke total, 60 strokes better than the next-best finisher in Stansbury (398). Tooele, Union and Grantsville rounded out the standings, in that order, for the single match.
“It’s good to have this [match at home],” Head Coach George Murphy said. “It [was] Monday, and we still have a long week, but that’ll be good because it gives a couple of the girls that played [on Monday] a little more confidence heading into this week.”
Leading the way for the Miners was Region 10’s best individual golfer Saylor Rabe with an even 80. Grace Donahue was right behind her with an 81, while Mckenzie Schow and Sage Roberts rounded out the team scoring efforts with an 84 and 93, respectively. Tai Miller, who is typically a scorer for Park City, narrowly missed the top-four cut at 94.
Park City has been on cruise control during region play. In their seven region matches throughout the year, the Miners have not only won all seven of them, but they won by an average of 55 strokes per contest.
But next up is the UHSAA 3A State Championships, and Park City knows the competition will be nothing like they’ve seen all year long. Merchant and company know what to expect, as they’ve kept a watchful eye on some of the teams in Southern Utah, but at the same time, the head coach wants his players to know they belong.
“We know what the competition is out there and we know what we need to do, but [the Miners have] got to believe that it can happen,” Murphy said. “It comes down to confidence, knowing that they can do it. I think we’re right there.”
Knocking on the door and then proceeding to start pounding on it as the door’s hinges become weaker and weaker is the more accurate way to describe where the Miners sit in terms of winning a state title.
In 2014, the Miners finished in a close third place to Deseret Hills and Dixie. In 2015, they were even closer when they were able to finish in second place by a narrow six strokes. The next season, it was the same story: a six-stroke loss to Desert Hills, clearly a powerhouse in 3A girls’ golf.
“Six strokes behind every year,” Murphy recalled. “That’s not a lot of strokes. Between four girls in two days, it comes down to every stroke matters. That’s what we’ve got to remind them of.”
For some of the golfers on the team, like senior Rabe, they’ve been around since the 2014 third-place finish. The Miners are tired of finishing as the next-best team, and ever since the final round wrapped up at the 2016 State Championships, their mission has been to avenge themselves in 2017.
“They wanted it so bad and they knew what they had to do to get themselves back there,” Merchant said of his team. “We’re heading into state with good momentum. They’re feeling good about their games and swings. We just hope that translates into being confident in themselves.”
The UHSAA 3A girls’ golf state tournament will take place on May 17-18 at Sleepy Ridge Golf Course in Orem.
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With over 90 teams and 1,100 athletes, the Triple Crown Fastpitch World Series returns to Park City this week 16U and 18U tournaments.