Facebook Twitter

High school golf: Crimson Cliffs reclaims the 4A state championship

SHARE High school golf: Crimson Cliffs reclaims the 4A state championship

Crimson Cliff High School’s boys golf team poses with the 4A state championship trophy on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022

Fairways Media/Randy Dodson

After finishing runner-up last year, Crimson Cliffs boys golf team reclaimed the state 4A championship on Thursday. 

With juniors Boston Bracken and Lincoln Markham leading the way, Crimson Cliffs shot 3 strokes under par as a team for the tournament, which was played at Sky Mountain Golf Course in Hurricane.

The Mustangs posted a collective 3-under score of 285 on Day 1, then followed that with an even-par 288 on the second day for a total of 573. Crimson saw its top four golfers place among the top eight individual medalists.

Bracken eagled the 18th and final hole on Wednesday, finishing with a 6-under score of 66 for the round. Then, on Thursday, he sank an eagle putt on the 18th for the second day in a row. That enabled him to break even for the day and edge teammate Markham by two strokes for top individual medalist honors. Bracken and Markham were the only two golfers to finish under par. 

Bracken came in at par or better on 31 of the 36 holes during the tournament, including 10 birdies and two eagles. 

Crimson Cliffs coach Cody Felts said Bracken briefly became displeased with himself for needing eight strokes to finish the par-4 13th hole on Thursday.

“He just has this knack for coming back,” Felts said. “He was upset with taking that quadruple bogey on that hole, but he just knew he had to make it up.”

Felts said it was especially exciting to see his top two golfers battling it out for the top of the leaderboard both days, always staying within a couple strokes of each other.

“I was happy the way it all played out,” he said.

Meanwhile, Desert Hills finished in second place with a two-day team score of 601, or 25 over par. The Thunder were led by sophomore Brock Porter’s 71-74-145 and senior Boston Dixon’s 74-74-148.

Third place went to defending champion Ridgeline. The Riverhawks, who were led by senior Zach Skinner’s 4-over score of 73-75-148, finished with a team score of 614.

Crimson’s victory marked the third state title in the four-year history of the school, which first opened its doors in the fall of 2019.

The runaway win for the Mustangs was in sharp contrast to last year’s thrilling finish at Birch Creek Golf Course in Smithfield. At the 2021 state 4A tournament, Crimson Cliffs and Ridgeline finished in a tie for first place with 597 strokes each, after which the Riverhawks won the sudden-death playoff hole by two strokes to claim the title.

“I’m not gonna lie, it did motivate our boys,” Felts. “It didn’t feel good for them to lose last year. They felt like they certainly had a chance to do it but just didn’t pull it off.”

This time around, the Mustangs led wire to wire, building a 16-stroke lead the first day and extending it to 28 the second day.

“We certainly didn’t think that we had it wrapped up or by any means think that it was a done deal,” Felts said of the comfortable lead the Mustangs enjoyed heading into Thursday. “But it was nice to have a little bit of a cushion.”

4A state tournament

At Sky Mountain Golf Course

Final team scores

1. Crimson Cliffs, 573

2. Desert Hills, 601

3. Ridgeline, 614

4. Dixie, 630

5. Sky View, 633

5. Cedar City, 633

7. Snow Canyon, 638

8. Green Canyon, 647

Final individual results

  • 138 — Boston Bracken, Crimson Cliffs
  • 140 — Lincoln Markham, Crimson Cliffs
  • 145 — Brock Porter, Desert Hills
  • 148 — Boston Dixon, Desert Hills
  • 148 — Zachary Skinner, Ridgeline
  • 149 — Preston Heward, Crimson Cliffs
  • 150 — Staten McMurdie, Dixie
  • 150 — Dylan Winona, Crimson Cliffs
  • 152 — Braylon Bingham, Cedar
  • 152 — Michael Stirland, Hurricane
  • 152 — Jarren Phillips, Crimson Cliffs
  • 153 — Trey Kelsch, Snow Canyon
  • 153 — Luke Barnes, Snow Canyon
  • 153 — Noah Christensen, Desert Hills
  • 154 — Hayden Howell, Sky View
  • 154 — Eli Jensen, Sky View
  • 155 — Sam Ballingham, Green Canyon
  • 155 — Beckham Johansen, Ridgeline
  • 156 — Mason Schaffer, Dixie
  • 156 — Tyler Jackman, Ridgeline
  • 156 — Gabe Taylor, Logan