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High school golf: Davis has its work cut out to repeat as 6A state champions

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Davis is still in it, but certainly has its work cut out to repeat as state champions, after the first day of competition in the 2-day 6A state golf championships.

The Darts golfed through rainy weather on Wednesday to finish with a team score of 302, 15 shots back of the 287 score put up by favored Lone Peak. American Fork carded the second-best team score with a 296 with Weber tying Davis' 302 score for third place.

Leading the way for the Knights was Zach Jones, who shot a 68 for the low score of the afternoon. Davis was again led by Cole Ponich, who again managed to shoot under par, with a score of 70, which Davis coach Ben Horne says he does with just about every round of golf he plays.

"I saw him shoot even par, once, and every other time in competition it's been under par," Horne said of the defending state champion. "He's been under par and he's just been amazing for us since he started golfing for us as a freshman."

Ponich recently returned from France, where he competed in the Junior Ryder Cup for the United States team which defeated Europe 12 1/2 points to 11 1/2.

"He just got back on Sunday, so it's a real good thing the tournament this year started on Wednesday, because he needed some time," Horne said of Ponich, who is committed to golf for BYU at the collegiate level. "He's been phenomenal for us, and led us again today, much like he has since he joined the team."

Lightning delayed the tournament for about an hour, with Ponich bringing Davis in after his teammates struggled a bit.

"We weren't at our best today, but hopefully we can turn things around tomorrow," Horne said. "We'll need to be at our best to catch up to Lone Peak, who again had a solid day.

Day two begins at 8:30 a.m. and will again be held at Talons Cove Golf Course.

6A state golf tournament

Valley View Golf Course, par 72

Team scores through day one

1. Lone Peak, 287; 2. American Fork, 296; 3. Weber, 302; 3. Davis, 302; 5. Northridge, 314; 6. Bingham, 315; 7. Pleasant Grove, 316; 8. Syracuse, 326.

Individual results

68 — Bryson Hirabayashi, Clearfield

68 — Zach Jones, Lone Peak

70 — Preston Smithson, Lone Peak

70 — Cole Ponich, Davis

71 — Jackson McDaniel, American Fork

71 — Tysen Diaz, Layton

72 — Jayce Morrill, American Fork