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High school golf: Strong second day propels Park City to its 11th straight state title

Park City's golf team captured its 11th straight state championship on Tuesday during the 4A state golf tournament at Birch Creek Golf Course in Smithfield.
Park City's golf team captured its 11th straight state championship on Tuesday during the 4A state golf tournament at Birch Creek Golf Course in Smithfield.
James Edward

SMITHFIELD — Park City coach George Murphy had a simple message for his team heading into the second day of the 4A state tournament at Birch Creek Golf Course.

“Don’t play tentative, you have to go out there and take this,” he said.

Park City only led by three strokes after Monday’s opening round, and the team hot on its heels heading into the second day was a Sky View team playing on its home course. There was no room for error.

Park City backed up its 299 on Monday with an impressive 292 on Tuesday to pull away from the 4A field to capture its 11th straight state championship.

“There was a little bit of pressure, but we tried to push it off and say this is their home course, they should play well and they’re going to feel pressure to take care of business at home,” said Murphy. “Our guys clutched out big time today.”

Park City had four guys shoot in the 70s on both days as it finished with 591, followed by Desert Hills with 603 and Sky View with 605.

Park City nearly had the sweep with the medalist as well, but Desert Hills’ Ashton Davison edged Park City’s Dean Tsandes in a playoff after they both finished with a 1-under 143.

“It feels amazing. All the hard work. Just happy to be here,” said Davison.

Tsandes rolled in a birdie on No. 18 to force the playoff, but in the playoff it was Davison who birdied No. 18 to claim medalist honors. Tsandes can take slight credit for Davison’s win.

Davison’s range finder stopped working after the front nine, but Tsandes said he didn’t hesitate sharing his during the rest of their round.

In the playoff, both players found the fairway on the par 5 18th. Davison lasered his uphill approach shot at 192 yards from the middle of the fairway, and he nearly holed his shot as it hit less than a foot behind the hole, rolling about 25 yards past the hole.

Tsandes, meanwhile, found trouble in the bunker in front of the green with his approach shot, and Davison made a two-putt birdie for the individual title.

“That was the most nerve-wracking 7-iron I’ve ever hit, but the best I’ve ever hit,” said Davison.

Davison shot a 72 on Monday, but his second round got off to a rocky start as he hit a shot out of bounds on No. 1 and double bogeyed. He recovered to shoot a 1-under 71 to force the playoff.

Tsandes also shot a 71 on Tuesday, rolling in a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 18. He let out an emphatic fist pump after rolling in the putt, not because he’d forced a playoff — which he didn’t know — but because he’d been burning edges and lipping out putts all day.

Tsandes was Park City’s sixth man heading into the state tournament, but Murphy said the senior stepped up to end his high school career with Park City’s top finish at state.

Park City’s other golfers in the 70s on Tuesday were Jack Wright (72), Eli Kimche (73) and Griffin Ward (76).

In the medalist chase, Sky View’s Ryan Seamons, Tooele’s Bridger Holmes and Pine View’s Lucas Schone all finished one shot back with an even par 144.

4A Boys State Golf Tournament

at Birch Creek Golf Course

Team scores

1. Park City, 591; 2. Desert Hills, 603; 3. Sky View, 605; 4. Spanish Fork, 610; 5. Tooele, 613; 6. Pine View, 616; 7. Green Canyon, 630; 8. Lehi, 638.

Individual results

143 — Ashton Davison, Desert Hills (won in playoff); Dean Thomas, Park City

144 — Ryan Seamons, Sky View; Bridger Holmes, Tooele; Lucas Schone, Pine View

145 — Hayden Kleven, Sky View; Dewey Panter, Green Canyon

146 — Remington Newell, Spanish Fork

149 — Eli Kimche, Park City

150 — Griffin Ward, Park City; Tyler Clayson, Spanish Fork; Peyton Thevenot, Tooele

151 — Medrick Johnson, Desert Hills; Helaman Ofagengaue, Lehi

152 — Jack Wright, Park City; Cooper Milne, Pine View

153 — Curtis Matheson, Desert Hills; Jackson Miller, Cedar

154 — Wyatt Petersen, Park City; Tucker Lee, Park City; Jarett Giles, Bear River