With the 3A state tournament next week, the final Region 9 tournament of the season was nothing short of spectacular Tuesday afternoon at SunRiver Golf Club.
Desert Hills’ Katie Perkins, a senior and Utah Valley University commit, saved her best for last with a 3-under 68, to help lead the Thunder to the team victory. It was her sixth individual title of the season.
Sitting at 1-over par heading into the last four holes, Perkins made it look easy when she rolled of four-straight birdies to come under par.
“It was amazing getting that last birdie,” Perkins said. “I didn’t play as well as I would have liked, but in the end, it all came together and I couldn’t be happier.
After Perkins sank her last birdie on the final hole, tears of joy rolled down here face as her parents congratulated her.
“Katie continues to amaze me,” Rick Perkins said of his daughter. “She doesn’t get nervous and is always focused. It’s not the same for me,” he said humorously. “I’m more nervous then she is and I don’t know why, because she always comes through.”
“Her mental toughness and focus was just incredible today,” Desert Hills coach Laurie Dyer said. “She’s on top of her game and it will be exciting watching her at state next week.”
Perkins wasn’t the one shining as Abby Morris, Tori Thomas and Bailee Carmack all set personal bests for the Thunder.
“We just keep getting better and its really rewarding to see everyone playing so well right now,” Dyer said.
Dixie’s Mikayla Frei had another impressive day. Frei fired a 2-over par 73, to set a new personal best and helped the Flyers finish the day in third place.
“I had a double bogey on the back nine, but I was able to keep it together and I birdied the next two holes,” Frei said. “I’m really happy with the way that I played today. I’m playing the best golf of my life right now and I’m really excited heading into the state tournament next week.
“She (Mikayla) is playing terrific right now and is playing with a lot of confidence,” Dixie coach Mark Heppler said. “I’ve challenged her the last couple of weeks and she continues to step and respond. She’s great!”
Cedar’s Shay Bauman just missed out on her sixth top 10 finish finished of the season, but Cedar coach Greg Dabis is still impressed by the way she has handled herself this year, both on and off the course.
“She’s incredible. I look back when I was in school and there is no way that I could have done what she has been able to do this year,” Dabis said. She’s really driven in whatever she does and is a great athlete. We are really going to miss her next year.”
Even though Cedar didn’t qualify for the state tournament, the Lady Reds and Coach Dabis will still be able to watch Bauman play next week. Because Bauman finished in the top 10 on the individual side, she will be playing not only for herself at state next week, but for her school as well. The Sterling Scholar and Academic All-State awardee will look to add another award to her list of accomplishments next week at state.
The final highlight of the day came on the par 5 seventh hole, as Perkins, Frei and Snow Canyon’s Lexi Hamel all came through with big putts to birdie the hole.
The state tournament will span two days, totaling 36 holes next Wednesday and Thursday at Bloomington Country Club.
Follow Justin Giles on Twitter @Justingiles22.
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Top 10 Individual Scores (SunRiver)
Katie Perkins (Desert Hills) 68, Mikayla Frei (Dixie) 73, Taylor Bandley (Pine View) 74, Tori Thomas (Desert Hills) 75, Kyla Smith (Desert Hills) 77, Gracie Richens (Dixie) 79, Lexi Hamel (Snow Canyon) 80, K’jhana Plant (Desert Hills) 87, Bailee Carmack (Desert Hills) 88, Allison Lawlor (Pine View) 89.
Top 10 Individual Player Standings (Season Total)
1. Katie Perkins
2. Kyla Smith
3. Gracie Richens
4. Taylor Bandley
5. Mikayla Frei
6. Lexi Hamel
7. Tori Thomas
8. Shay Bauman
9. K’jhana Plant
10. Abby Morris
Final Team Scores (SunRiver 18 holes)
Desert Hills 307, Pine View 343, Dixie 367 Snow Canyon 389, Cedar 443, Canyon View 498, Hurricane 583