Cottonwood coach Scott Fowler was so happy after his team landed at the top of the 5A prep golf heap yesterday at Eaglewood, he took a swim in the ninth-hole water hazard.
His cold dip was actually to make good on a promise he made to his Colts yesterday morning, before they blew away the competition with a 305 team total - eight strokes better than second-place Davis' 313."I didn't think they would hold me to it," Fowler said dripping wet in the cold air. "I was just joking around. I might promise something different next time. It was worth it; we will take that any day."
The Colts were led by sophomore second-place finisher Natalie Newren, who posted an even par 71 - three strokes better than brother and third-place finisher Stephen Newren. Natalie was in the first group to tee off - 90 minutes before the last group hit the course - and had to sit in the clubhouse watching the scores come in to see if she would become the first ever female Utah golf medalist.
Not until Alta's Luke Swilor - who happened to be in the last group - turned in a three under par 68 did anybody best or even approach her mark.
"She was disappointed," Fowler said. "I told her this (the championship trophy) was more important."
Newren admitted it was hard to watch her score fall but added she "played the best I could." Before the tournament started, she was hoping to place well enough to make the all-state team. She exceeded all expectations on a course most consider difficult.
"The greens were tough and slick" Fowler said.
During his medalist run, Swilor managed to avoid any major errors on the day but did have two bogeys in his first seven holes before hitting a hot streak. He picked up a stroke on the 159-yard, par-three No. 8, which features a green surrounded by water on three sides. After another birdie two holes later, he knew things were going his way.
"I felt pretty good. I knew what was coming," he said.
He shaved a stroke off on three of the next four holes - all par fours - leaving him the final four to play out for the win.
The Alta squad is young and figures to improve next year, but the same can be said for the Cottonwood team, which features a junior as its oldest member. Second-place Davis is also young and features freshman Danny Summerhays, who tied four 4th with a 75.
Region 1 had an excellent showing as expected. Joining Cottonwood and Davis in flexing its links muscles was Northridge in third (319) and Skyline in a tie for fourth with defending champion West Jordan (325).