ST. GEORGE – Dixie’s Nicklaus Britt topped all golfers as the only one under par, but the Desert Hills Thunder won Region 9’s season-opening tournament at Sunbrook on a humid afternoon Wednesday.
Led by Taylor Cummings, who shot a 2-over 74, Desert Hills picked up the win in the season’s first tournament with a team-total of 311, as Jorden Olsen shot a 76, Blake Amick a 79, Brad Wade an 82, Carson Cannon an 86 and Kameron Plant an 82.
But it was Britt’s individual performance that highlighted the Sunbrook tournament. He birdied the final two holes to shoot a 2-under 70 for the day.
“My day was up and down,” Britt said. “I was good on Pointe, but bad on Woodbridge (at Sunbrook). It was nice to birdie the last two. It was a good way to finish a day like today.”
Britt said going forward he wants to make sure he keeps his pace consistent and have a better attitude.
His top highlight came on the third hole of the day at Pointe No. 8 — a par 4. Britt blasted a drive on his first stroke that landed about 8 feet away from the cup. He then sank the putt for eagle.
Playing in Britt’s group were Snow Canyon’s Triston Gardner — a freshman who shot a 73 — and Cummings.
Gardner’s top birdie hole came on the par 4 15th. He landed his first shot just short of the green and then chipped the ball about a foot away. He then sank the short-distance putt for birdie.
Arguably his top shot of the day, Gardner sank a 15-foot putt on the fourth hole for par.
Playing in his first varsity tournament and finishing second overall, Gardner said he was pleased with how he played.
“I feel pretty good after doubling the first hole,” he said. “I was 3-over at one point, but I bounced back. I had a few birdies and a few bogeys. Overall, I felt pretty good for my first tournament.”
Cummings had a chance to score even higher than his third place overall finish when he birdied on 15, but he followed that with a bogey on the next hole.
The top 10 at Sunbrook on Wednesday featured Britt (70), Gardner (73), Cummings (74), Olsen and Pine View’s Noah Schone tied at 76; Dixie’s Taylor Yardley (77), Pine View’s Connor Hayward and Dray Matthews (78), Amick (79), and Pine View’s Dakota Millward and Hurricane’s Thomas Christiansen (81).
Christiansen said he started strong on his first nine holes, but then he had a string of four consecutive holes where things went downhill. He said he managed to bounce back from that point, but the damage led to him finishing at plus-9.
“I’m not too happy with my score,” he said, “but I’m happy to come back from that string of bad holes.”
Following Desert Hills (311) in team points, Pine View finished second with 313, followed by Dixie (321), Snow Canyon, (332), Hurricane (343), Canyon View (369) and Cedar (442).
Follow Richard Briggs on Twitter, @BriggsRich.