PCHS wins eighth straight golf title
The Park City High School boys’ golf team entered this week’s 3A state tournament feeling a lot of pressure. Though the Miners would never admit it, the weight of seven straight titles was squarely on their shoulders.
In search of an eighth title, the Miners shrugged off the pressure and took control early, jumping out to a seven-stroke lead over second-place Tooele after the first round of play on Soldier Hollow’s Gold Course. Despite it being the first state tournament experience for three of the six team members, all six Miners shot 75 (three strokes over par) or better.
Led by senior co-captains Mitchell Schow (65) and Drew Fleming (70), Park City carded a team total (calculated by combining a team’s four lowest scores) of 281 Wednesday.
"They all played so great on day one," Park City Coach George Murphy said. "They really held it together."
As other teams tried desperately to catch up on Thursday, Park City remained steady, carding a team score of 290 to win the tournament by a comfortable margin of 20 strokes over Tooele. Murphy said he was proud of the aggressiveness displayed by the Miners on Thursday.
"We came into today and I said, ‘Hey, we’re not going out there just to try to hold onto this lead. Go win this thing,’" he said. "They came in with pressure and they felt it. I couldn’t be more proud of them. They feel elated right now."
"To me, that just shows our dominance," Schow said. "If you want to beat us, you’re going to have to play really well."
Schow again led the way for the Miners, carding a 66 on Thursday to claim his third-straight 3A individual title. Hole No. 16 was an adventure for Schow on Thursday, as he hit his tee shot into an animal hole. After being granted a free drop following a lengthy delay to consult a rules official, he proceeded to hit his second shot into a different animal hole further up the fairway. Following another, briefer delay, Schow managed to birdie the par-5 hole and all but clinch his individual title.
"I just knew I had to grind it out no matter what," he said. "There’s always something that can happen and go wrong. You just have to look for the positive in it."
Fleming finished tied for fifth in the individual standings, shooting a 72 on Thursday. For the second day in a row, no Miner finished with a score higher than 77.
With the young players following the seniors’ lead, Murphy said it was a great tournament to build confidence on the biggest stage.
"For these kids who were here for the first time, it gives them great experience," he said. "Shooting 73s, 75s and 76s — it gives them a lot of confidence going into next year. [Schow and Fleming] are going to be big losses, but, just like they’ve stepped in and taken other seniors’ spots, these younger kids are going to try to do the same thing and play a lot of golf this summer to get even better."
Schow will enter next season as a member of the University of Utah golf team. With an outstanding high-school career now behind him, he plans to make his collegiate career just as impressive.
"My goal my freshman year is to be a first-team All-American," he said. "I’m going to have to work on my short game quite a bit, though. Even though my putting was really good this week, it’s going to have to be like that every single day."
Meanwhile, next year’s Miners will again enter the season as the top dogs in 3A. Murphy said he’s already excited for the challenge.
"We’ve got some great teams here in 3A," he said. "Tooele finished right behind us and I know Pine View is itching to get us. We just have to back this up and keep working on our depth. I love the team we’ve got right now. The way they played, it’s immeasurable how important that is."
3A State Golf Results
Mitchell Schow — 65
Drew Fleming — 70
Cole Lee — 73
Josh Lansky — 73
Ddean Tsandes — 75
Jack Hanskat — 75
Mitchell Schow — 66
Drew Fleming — 72
Jack Hanskat — 76
Josh Lansky — 76
Dean Tsandes — 76
Cole Lee — 77
Park City — 571
Tooele — 591
Snow Canyon — 604
Pine View — 609
Carbon — 618
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Tosh Martin, a Park City High School junior, was the Miners’ sole selection to the Class 4A UHSAA All-State soccer first team.