Region 9 golf lost a lot of good young men, following the 2012 graduation.
But if there’s one thing about having as many golf courses as churches in Southern Utah, it’s that there is always sure to be a new crop of young talent.
The season-opening tournament took place at St. George Golf Club Tuesday afternoon, with two teams starting early to separate themselves from the pack.
Dixie edged out Desert Hills by one stroke, with a team score of 318 to win the first tournament of the season.
“Everybody came out and had a few struggles, but we stuck with it and got away by the skin on our teeth,” said Dixie senior Cameron Hammil.
Hammil led his team with a 78, the second best score of the day.
Like many of Tuesday’s competitors, Hammil had to overcome a rough start before nicking strokes from his overall score.
“I started six over through my first nine and made a birdie and just stayed hot from there, kept with my round to keep it together. I knew my team would need me,” Hammil said. “I was surprised that I came in low man for the team, but I’m happy we got away with it.”
The best individual score of the day belonged to Desert Hills’ Taylor Cummings.
Cummings, a junior, was Desert Hills’ No. 2 golfer last year and has stayed busy throughout the summer in local and distant golf tournaments. Cummings’ name, no stranger to print, most recently could be seen after winning a local JAG tournament in the 15-17 Boys Division.
“I started with a double-bogey and then a bogey, so I was three over after two holes, and I finished four over,” said Cummings of his performance Tuesday. “The whole day I thought I was doing really bad because I was constantly still over par, but everyone else just played so bad today that I looked good.”
Cummings utilized an ever-improving short game to get him back in the race and eventually come out as the lead man.
“I started hitting greens a lot more often. I was always getting up and downs. Any time I missed the green, I always chipped it up (for par),” Cummings said.
Snow Canyon floated around the third spot with a 330. Pine View, who last year won all but one region tournament, finished fourth with a 351. Hurricane (354), Canyon View (358) and Cedar (365) filled the last three slots.
There is still a long, hot season ahead for Region 9 golfers and plenty of time for this year’s stars to emerge.
Follow Garrett on Twitter, @G_Faylor