Park City came into the first day of the 3A state golf tournament at Soldier Hollow looking to defend its crown and extend its winning streak for the ninth consecutive year.
The Miners are in position to just that after firing a team score of 288, 18 shots ahead of second-place Logan (306), and 21 shots ahead of third-place Union (309).
The final round will start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Pine View finished the day in fourth after shooting one of its worst scores of the season. The Region 9 champs came in with a team average around 300 but ended the day at 311.
“We’re all frustrated and down right now because we know we can play a lot better than that,” Pine View’s Noah Schone said. “We’ve shown that all year, but today just wasn’t our day. But we know what we have to do tomorrow, and I know our guys are going to go out there and give it all they got.”
Schone led the way for the Panthers with a 1-under 71. The Dixie State commit had four birdies, but a couple of bogeys on the back nine knocked him back into a four-way tie for fourth place.
“I was sitting at 2-under, but my plan was to get to at least 3-under and so I went for it on the back nine and it ended up costing me,” he said. “I know I’m going to have to play better tomorrow for my team and to catch the leaders. I just plan on being aggressive and going after every green and see what happens. Tomorrow is my last tournament in my high school career and I’m going to leave it all out there.”
Schone’s teammate Jaden Milne had a great front nine, but couldn’t keep it going to finish with a 76.
The junior had several birdies, but his best moment came on the par-5 16th hole.
After hitting a long drive, Milne followed it up with a beautiful second shot with one of his hybrid clubs. Standing roughly 35 yards out, Pine View Athletic Director Gary Higgins told Milne that he didn’t need to take his putter with him, believing that he was going to chip the ball in for eagle.
And that’s exactly what happened.
“After I chipped it in, Gary was just laughing and said, ‘I knew you didn’t need your putter,’” Milne said.
After not making the cut as a team last year, Desert Hills (318) rebounded but did so by the skin of its teeth. The Thunder edged out Dixie (319) by one stroke.
Will Stewart led the way for the Thunder with a 77. Stewart was flirting with even-par all afternoon before a triple-bogey on the last hole changed everything.
“I’m happy with the way I played today, just not pleased with how I finished with that triple to end the day. But our team made the cut, and that’s been our goal since the start of the season so we are all happy about that.”
Bryce Bunker and Kyson Plant both fired 79s for their best score of the season to help the Thunder slip past the Flyers for the last qualifying spot.
Dixie was led by Jack Phillips, who fired a 77. And although his team won’t be playing tomorrow, Phillips will be as he made the cut to play for medalist honors.
Brody Henderson and Carson Bottema both fired a pair of 80’s to lead the Flyers to one of its best scores of the season. Unfortunately, Bottema and Henderson just missed the cut by one-stroke.
Scores came in a bit higher this year compared to years past, due to tough weather conditions.
Play was suspended in the afternoon for just over an hour due to high winds and rainy conditions.
“I’ve never been so cold in my life,” Stewart said half-jokingly. “That delay was tough because it really messes up your rhythm and everything. It was definitely a game-changer for sure.”
Hurricane (335) and Canyon View (339) missed the cut. Britton Esplin (82) and Nathanial Horsely (83) had the top score for the Tigers and Jamis Benson and Jackson Nelson both fired a pair of 82s for the Falcons.
Union’s Austin Jarmillo is atop the leaderboard after finishing with a 5-under par 67. His teammate Dustin Corun, had the shot of the day with a hole-in-one on the par-3 seventh hole.