Tori Thomas didn’t play her best in a practice round Wednesday at Sunbrook, but when it mattered most, the Desert Hills phenom came through to win her first high school individual title.
Thomas fired a two-over par 38 in the nine-hole tournament for a one-shot victory over her teammate Kyla Smith (39), Snow Canyon’s Lexi Hamel (39) and Dixie’s Mikayla Frei (39).
“It feels great to be able to finish at the top,” Thomas said with a big smile. “The main goal that I had today was to just shoot better than I did yesterday and it worked out.”
Thomas finished with one birdie, one bogey and one double bogey for the day.
“I always strive to have no doubles and no three-putts. I had one of each, which came on the same hole, but I’m glad I got them both over with,” the sophomore said.
Thomas got some revenge a couple holes later when she birdied the par-4 No.1 hole on Blackrock. After her tee shot missed the green, Thomas made a beautiful chip that rolled right up to the cup.
“I thought it was going in,” she said, “but I’ll take a birdie.”
“Tori has been working on a new swing and so it was nice to see it all come together today,” Desert Hills head coach Laurie Dyer said.
With the help of her teammates, Desert Hills took home the team title with a 16-shot victory over second-place Dixie (188).
Dixie did have two players finish in the top-5.
Frei led the way with a 39 while junior Gracie Richens was right behind with a 40. Richens had two putts lip out on the last two holes, which pushed her out of contention for the top spot.
“Gracie played great and was just unfortunate on those two putts,” Dixie head coach Mark Heppler said. “But she’ll bounce back. That’s just who she is.”
Like Richens, Hamel also had several opportunities to take medalist honors but couldn’t get a couple of putts to drop after making spectacular shots all day. The one shot Hamel would gladly take back took place on the No. 1 hole. After her shot bounced off a tree, Hamel didn’t let that get her down as she followed it up with a sensational shot that stopped right at the cup.
“Hitting the tree which was a big downer for sure,” she said. “I thought to myself that I could play it safe and punch out or I could go for it and I did and it worked out.”
After placing 8th last week at Green Spring, Hamel was pleased with her second place performance.
“Last week I didn’t play my game and all week I just wanted redemption,” Hamel added. “I felt like I did that today, I just left a few putts out there.”
Next week’s Region 9 tournament will take place at Sand Hollow on Thursday. Tee times are set for 2 p.m.
1st – Tori Smith, Desert Hills, 38
T-2nd – Lexi Hamel, Snow Canyon, 39
T-2nd – Mikayla Frei, Dixie, 39
T-2nd – Kyla Smith, Desert Hills, 39
T-5th – Gracie Richens, Dixie, 40
T-5th – Taylor Bandley, Pine View, 40
7th –Bailia Milne, Pine View, 40
8th – K’Jahna Plant, Desert Hills, 45
9th – Michelle Crenshaw, Snow Canyon, 47
10th – Kellie Nance, Desert Hills, 50
1st – Desert Hills 172
2nd – Dixie 188
3rd – Pine View 194
4th – Snow Canyon 197
5th – Hurricane 242
6th – Cedar 251