MIDWAY — Fremont senior Jordan Herzog has had a lot of thought processing going on the past 18 hours or so — trying to focus on the good thoughts while filtering out the bad.
The good thoughts going through Herzog's mind have had him reliving the many quality golf shots that he hit Monday on Soldier Hollow's Gold Course to fire a 2-under par 70 in difficult playing conditions to grab the first-round lead of the 5A state golf championship.
The bad involves thoughts of how he fired similar scores in the opening rounds the past two years at the state tournament only to fall out of contention in the medalist competition each year with a poor second round. Herzog is confident that the good thoughts will prevail in his third and final attempt to win a state high school medalist title.
"I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to do that again. That's just not going to happen," Herzog said of his second-round struggles of the past. "I'm just playing too good right now and just hitting too many good golf shots."
Herzog had four birdies and only two bogeys on his card Monday in opening with a 34 on the front side and closing with a 36 on the final nine.
"I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, and then made some putts," he said.
With Herzog's leading score, and a 1-under 71 from teammate Patrick Fishburn, the Silverwolves (292) have a commanding 14-shot lead in the team competition over Syracuse (311) heading into today's final round. Zac Blair also helped Fremont's cause with a 77, while teammates Ryan Sarlo and Denny Job both shot 79 on a day when a score lower than 80 was outstanding golf.
Syracuse was led by a 73 from sophomore Cole Ogden, which puts him in third, and a 76 and 79 from teammates Devon Purser and Jonathan Thomas, respectively. Brighton is third in the team competition at 319 and Lone Peak, the surprise team after Day 1, is in fourth at 320. Also making the 10-team cut were Bingham, Northridge, Spanish Fork, Jordan, Skyline and Timpanogos.
Those chasing Herzog, Fishburn and Ogden include Timpanogos' Jeff Holmes and Copper Hill's Nick Booth, who both shot 75, and Adam Anderson of Bingham and Purser with 76s.
The day started calmly but the wind steadily picked up over the final nine holes, with gusts reaching more than 45 mph. Those with the later tee times also had to battle rain late in their rounds.
"I didn't mind the wind because I hit the ball kind of low anyway and I just hit a lot of good knock-down shots," Ogden said.
Any player, regardless of whether their team qualified for the final day or not, that fired 80 or below advanced to today's final round. The leading three teams, playing in threesomes, will tee off today between 10 and 11 a.m. on Soldier Hollow's Silver Course. The Silverwolves are seeking their third straight state championship.