MIDWAY — Even though they've won back-to-back 3A state golf championships, the Dixie Flyers have been a little unsure of how they'd stack up this week with the state's top 4A teams.
From watching scores from the 4A schools up north all season, the Region 9 champs figured they'd probably be able to compete with the best in their new classification, but still had some uncertainty. Well, now they certainly know they can play with the best.
The Flyers, with five players shooting 84 or better Wednesday in horrendous winds on the Gold Course at Soldier Hollow State Park Golf Course, grabbed a five-shot lead after one round of the Class 4A Utah High School Golf Championship with a team score of 319.
"We figured we could shoot somewhere between 295 and 305, so we're a little surprised that we have the lead. But the conditions were very difficult, so we are tickled to be in the position that we're in," Dixie coach Reed McArthur said.
Heading into today's final round on Soldier Hollow's Silver Course, the Flyers will try to hang onto that slim lead by playing with more confidence and comfort from now knowing how they compare.
"The kids did a great job of holding up under these conditions and they didn't give in," McArthur said. "And they now know that they belong and that they can compete with these teams. I expect that they'll go out there (today) and know that they can come back from a bad shot and recover from a bad hole."
In second, at 324, are the Bonneville Lakers, the defending 4A champions. Sky View is one shot behind Bonneville and Pine View, another Region 9 squad, is tied for fourth with Payson at 327. Also making the cut were Box Elder (329), West (335), Olympus (335), Timpview (335), East (337) and Provo (337). The day's biggest disappointment had to be scores posted by Springville and Cottonwood. The Red Devils, Region 7 champions, shot 346 and missed the cut by nine shots. The Colts, champions of Region 6, missed the cut by six strokes.
To say the least, it wasn't a day for low scoring. But Wednesday's conditions have made for a close contest in the medalist competition. Sky View's Mo Heath, Roy's David Bailey and Bonneville's Brock Glassman are tied atop the medalist leaderboard after each fired a 4-over par 76. Dixie teammates Stephen Archibald and Mike Jurca, Payson's Ryan Fillmore, Provo's Greg Schofield and Box Elder's Joe Wight are all a shot back at 77. Troy Owen, of Woods Cross, shot 78. Pine View teammates Jordan Adams and Skyler Schone, at 79, are the only other golfers to break the 80 mark. Any player who shot 84 or better on Wednesday will be back for today's final round.
"It was brutal out there," McArthur said. "Balls were blowing off slopes and wiggling on greens. Kids were hitting two more clubs than normal. It was just brutal."
Normally, the Silver Course plays two or three shots easier, so if the winds are not as severe today the scoring should be much lower. Players from the top three teams tee off between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
See scores on page D8