SYRACUSE — The Skyline High golf team finds itself in a familiar position heading into Thursday’s final round of the 5A State Golf Tournament at Glen Eagle Golf Course: first place.
That’s exactly where the Eagles were after the first round of last year’s tournament. The problem was, that’s not where they ended up after the second round as they fell to third place behind Olympus and Viewmont who passed them up and the Eagles struggled the final day and finished 18 strokes off the pace.
The difference this year is the Eagles have a much bigger lead — 12 strokes as opposed to four strokes — and they also have the experience of knowing what to expect with five of their six players back from last year.
“We were in the lead last year, so we’ll play with caution,” said Skyline coach Craig Barlow. “But we’re better this year, by far, more experienced but still young. They’ve been through it once now, so hopefully they will be fine.”
The Eagles won the Region 6 title, but they never shot as low as Wednesday — a 9-under-par 279 total, a dozen strokes better than Farmington, which entered the tournament with the lowest season stroke average in 5A.
The young Skyline team, which features a freshmen, three sophomores, a junior and just one senior, showed off its superior depth as its No. 6 player, Abe Thomas shot a 2-under-par 70 for a counting score in the best four-of-six format, while its No. 1 player, Simon Kwon, had a non-counting 73.
The best scores were 69s by sophomores Tyson Shelley and Joseph Kim. Besides Thomas’ 70, the other counting score was a 71 by freshman Sean Lam. Senior Phillip Meima had a non-counting 76 and freshman Spencer Clayton, playing as an individual, shot a 74.
Farmington, a school in just its first year of existence, was led by Williard Richards with a 71, Parker Thompson at 72 and Ben Seely at 73 with No. 1 player Braxton Watts adding a 75.
Corner Canyon, which is third at 292, a stroke behind Farmington, was led by Jackson Bench with a 70, Ty Felts at 71 and Mitch Anderson at 74.
Defending champion Olympus is three more strokes back at 295, led by John Fox, who is the individual leader with a 68. Defending individual champion Zack Neff shot a 72.
The 16-team field was cut to 10 as Viewmont (297), Skyridge (305), Springville (306), Bountiful (310), Brighton (312) and Wasatch (316) will all be back for Thursday’s final round along with individual golfers who shot 79 or better.
5A Boys Golf
at Glen Eagle GC (par-72),
1. Skyline 279; 2. Farmington 291; 3. Corner Canyon 292: 4. Olympus 295: 5. Viewmont 297: 6. Skyridge 305: 7. Springville 306; 8. Bountiful 310: 9. Brighton 312; 10. Wasatch 316; 11. Timpview 318, Woods Cross 318; 13. Highland 320; 14. Maple Mountain 323; 15. Alta 328; 16. East 329.
68 — John Fox, Olympus
69 — Tyson Shelley, Skyline, Joseph Kim, Skyline
70 — Abe Thomas, Skyline, Jackson Bench, Corner Canyon; Brandon Robison, Viewmont
71 — Sean Lam, Skyline; Willard Richards, Farmington; Ty Felts, Corner Canyon; Zach Hansen, Box Elder 71
72 — Zach Neff, Olympus, Parker Thompson, Farmington
73 — Simon Kwon, Skyline, Ben Seely, Farmington; Ben Shaw, Bountiful
74 — Mitch Anderson, Corner Canyon; Preston Bridges, Springville 74, Brayden Polosky, Viewmont, Spencer Clayton, Skyline; Gabe Schino, Corner Canyon