PCHS golf squad finishes second at state
After day one of this year’s 3A state tournament last Wednesday, the Park City High School girls’ golf team found itself leading defending champion Desert Hills by a slim margin of three strokes. That set up a rematch of last year’s battle, when Desert Hills beat Park City by six strokes to win the title.
This year, by the time all was said and done at Soldier Hollow, the path was different but the result was the same — Desert Hills again finished in first place and again beat runner-up Park City by six strokes.
Park City Coach George Murphy said the Thunder showed more poise down the stretch on Thursday than the Miners.
"A three-stroke lead is a lead, but that can be gone in one hole," he said. "It wasn’t a huge cushion and we knew that. We were playing well until about the last three or four holes. We just struggled coming home. That hurt."
Though the Miners were disappointed to finish in second place again, Murphy said he’s proud of the team for the way they played. In the 3A tourney Stableford scoring, Desert Hills finished with 610 points to the Miners’ 604. The third-place team, Dixie, finished 39 points behind Park City with a total of 565.
"I don’t want to be negative at all," Murphy said. "They played well and had a great tournament. The girls knew they were good enough to win it, but we just didn’t finish well. We just have to learn how to close out a tournament and play under pressure."
By blowing out every other team during the Region 10 season, the Miners weren’t tested the way Desert Hills was during region play. Murphy said that may have helped the Thunder down the stretch.
"I know Dixie won a couple tournaments against Desert Hills this year, so they probably played in a few more pressure situations," he said. "They’re the defending champs, too, so they’re more used to that."
Saylor Rabe led the way for Park City, finishing third overall. She shot an 80 on the first day of the tournament and followed that up with an 81 on the second day. Sarah Marshall shot a 79 on day one.
"She played outstanding," Murphy said of Rabe. "And so did Sarah. I know [Rabe] is disappointed and will take it on herself and Sarah will too, but sometimes golf will get you."
Murphy said Marshall, the team’s only senior, will be a big loss for next year, but he’s excited about the group of returning players.
"Losing Sarah is going to obviously hurt," he said. "She’s been great the last four years and has been a great role model for the younger players. But we have Saylor and Tai Miller coming back as seniors and McKenzie [Schow] and Grace [Donahue] will be sophomores. That’s a great core and we’ll add to it with Sage Roberts, who was our sixth player at state."
Now, Murphy said, the girls need to stay sharp as the school year ends.
"Next season started last Friday," he said. "They see the need to play in summer tournaments and we have more girls committed to signing up for summer tournaments."
With extra work in the summer, Murphy believes the third time could be the charm for Park City.
"Taking second again shows that we’re there to contend and to come back next year and win it," he said. "They’re motivated to put extra time in this offseason."
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