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High school boys golf: Crimson Cliffs leads 4A tournament after first day, but Zach Skinner keeping Ridgeline in striking distance

SHARE High school boys golf: Crimson Cliffs leads 4A tournament after first day, but Zach Skinner keeping Ridgeline in striking distance

Ridgeline High School’s Zach Skinner, left, hits his tee shot on the fourth hole at Birch Creek Golf Course as Pine View High School’s Kaden Koch, right, watches during the first round of the 4A boys state championships in Smithfield on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

Eli Lucero, Herald Journal

After winning back-to-back state 4A state championships in 2019 and 2020, the Crimson Cliffs Mustangs have their sights set on a third in-a-row.

Following day one of the 4A state tournament at Birch Creek Golf Course, the Mustangs recorded an 8-over par score of 296 and hold a 4-stroke lead over last season’s third place squad—the Ridgeline Riverhawks. Green Canyon (309), Sky View (313) and Pine View (315) round out the top five after the first round.

Crimson Cliffs led the field with the most birdies and pars, while also recording the fewest bogeys of any team. 

“The course presented a challenge for us and it was fun learning how to play a new course,” Crimson Cliffs coach Cody Felts said. “The 18th green wreaked some havoc on us today but we look at it as an experience to learn from and hopefully play better tomorrow with a different strategy. I’m proud of the boys and their efforts today and hopefully we come out tomorrow with good attitudes and can play their best.”

If not for their struggles on the eighteenth hole — shot their round-worst six over par on the final hole — the Mustangs would’ve possessed a much more convincing lead heading into Thursday’s final round of play. 

Ridgeline has been able to remain within striking distance thanks, in large part, to the outstanding individual performance of its junior Zach Skinner. Skinner leads the field after shooting a 7-under round of 65, including a blistering six birdies on the back nine alone. 

Skinner holds a 6-stroke lead over Crimson Cliffs sophomore Boston Bracken, who shot a 71. Skinner and Bracken were the only players who didn’t record an over-par score on a Birch Creek course that has proved to be difficult for most players.

Rain and chilly temperatures are on the forecast for Thursday’s final round, so conditions aren’t expected to make the course any easier on the players as the Mustangs will look to hang on to their lead and complete the “three-peat.”

Class 4A state tournament

At Birch Creek Golf Course (Smithfield, UT)

Team scores 

1. Crimson Cliffs, 296

2. Ridgeline, 300

3. Green Canyon, 309

4. Sky View, 313

5. Pine View, 315

6. Desert Hills, 317

7. Hurricane, 329

8. Cedar, 333

8. Logan, 333

10. Dixie, 335

11. Snow Canyon, 344

12. Bear River, 358

13. Mountain Crest, 388

Individual results

65— Zach Skinner, Ridgeline

71— Boston Bracken, Crimson Cliffs

73— Michael Stirland, Hurricane

74— Jax McMurdie, Dixie; Abe Olson, Green Canyon; Curz Kirchhausen, Crimson Cliffs; Zach Felts, Crimson Cliffs

75— Sam Ballingham, Green Canyon; Hayden Howell, Sky View

77— Noah Christensen, Desert Hills; Fletcher Hamblin, Ridgeline; Lincoln Markham, Crimson Cliffs; Brandon Roundy, Pine View; Beckham Johansen, Ridgeline

78— Ty Anderson, Logan; Boston Dixon, Desert Hills

79— Carson Shakespear, Green Canyon; Ethan McKay, Sky View; Braden Alder, Sky View; Luke Barnes, Cedar; Brock Roundy, Pine View; Kaden Koch, Pine View

80— Jace Fillmore, Desert Hills; Dillan Karren, Sky View; Sean Felts, Crimson Cliffs; Cooper Milne, Pine View

81— JD McKenna, Green Canyon; Braylon Bingham, Cedar; Preston Heward, Crimson Cliffs; Miles Stokes, Ridgeline; Ryker Bennett, Bear River; Preston Monson, Hurricane