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Not quite to par

After cruising early, Spanish Fork, Springville struggle at state

The golfers from Spanish Fork and Springville high schools might have had things too easy for the first few months of the 2005 season.

Both the Red Devils and Dons coasted to their region crowns this season — Springville taking home the Region 7 title and Spanish Fork grabbing the Region 4 crown. At their respective state tournaments, however, both teams struggled and did not post the same kind of scores that they had posted all season long in region matches.

As a result, the Red Devils had to settle for a respectable fourth spot in the 4A tournament, while the Dons came home in fifth place at the 5A event. Both teams went into their two-day tournaments as one of the teams favored to take home the crown. The two region champions seemed to be hurt at the state match by not being challenged at the region level.

In winning Region 4, the Dons won every match and finished the season 115 strokes ahead of Lone Peak. At region matches the Dons regularly had three or four golfers in the low 70s. At the state meet, at Glen Eagle Golf Course, the Dons' scores were in the mid to high 70s. In finishing 33 strokes behind, they would have needed every golfer to shoot about four shots lower per round.

Springville lost only one region match and won the league title by 61 strokes. At the state tournament at Valley View Golf Course in Layton, the Red Devils had a poor first day and despite shooting better in round two simply had too much ground to make up. Springville had a couple of players shoot good each day but also had a couple struggle each day. They also ran into a hot team from West High, which had brothers Tony Finau and Gipper Finau both shoot in the 60s in the final round.

The Orem Tigers, defending state champions, had a solid first day and were sitting alone in second place, thanks to balanced scoring. On day two, however, the Tigers posted a number nine shots worse and fell back to fifth. The Payson Lions were the surprise of the first day of the 4A event, sitting in third with their best scores of the season. But the Lions posted a team score 18 shots higher after the second round and dropped down to the sixth — still a great showing for the upstart Lions.

The individual race in Region 4 was a two-man battle between the Spanish Fork twosome of Matt Porter and Zac Hansen. Hansen won two medalist crowns and led for the first half of the year, before Porter mounted a late charge by winning the final two matches and eventually beating Hansen by 17 shots.

Springville's Clark Fredrickson was the valley's most consistent player. He won three medalist titles and never finished worse than second in taking the Region 7 crown by 18 shots. The league's toughest battle was for the second spot between Red Devils golfers Colten Lamb and Paul Norman, and Timpview's Josh Sakamaki. The T-Birds senior eventually took that runner-up spot by a shot over Lamb.

Fredrickson's pair of 74s at the state tournament also made him the valley's top finisher there, with a tie for seventh. Lamb was tied for second after the first day but fell back to 13th with a tough second round. Orem's Brian Adamson finished in 12th.

At the 5A tournament, Pleasant Grove's Zack Johnson had the valley's best finish at 11th. Hansen finished in 13th place, and Porter had to settle for a tie for 34th.

Utah Valley prep golf

Utah Valley Player of the Year:

Clark Fredrickson, Springville

All-Valley Golf Team:

Matt Porter, Spanish Fork

Zac Hansen, Spanish Fork

Blake Hiatt, Spanish Fork

Colten Lamb, Springville

Paul Norman, Springville

Josh Sakamaki, Timpview

Zack Johnson, Pleasant Grove

Jeff Holmes, Timpanogos

Matt Heiner, Lone Peak

Brian Adamson, Orem


E-mail: jimr@desnews.com