Richfield’s girls golf team 4-peated as 3A state champion as expected on Thursday at Oquirrh Hills Golf Course. A Richfield golfer also finished as medalist as expected for the fourth straight season, but it wasn’t the golfer many expected.
Richfield senior Gwen Stubbs overcame a six-shot deficit after Wednesday’s opening round, rallying to claim 3A medalist honors by one stroke.
After shooting an 84 in the first round, Stubbs shot a 3-over 75 on Thursday, the only golfer to shoot in the 70s during the final round as she finished with a 159.
“She had no idea exactly where she was medalist wise. She just kept playing solid golf. When she got to the back nine she hardly missed a shot,” said Richfield coach Troy Jones.
Richfield’s Becca Poulsen finished one shot back with a 160, while Richfield freshman Shelby Gardner and Morgan’s Ellie DeMond tied for third at 170.
Stubbs performance on the back nine both days is what won her the tournament. In her first round she was 8-over on the front, but only 4-over on the back. Then on Thursday she was 4-over on the front and 1-under on the back, with birdies on No. 11 and No. 14.
Brown said the biggest sequence of the tournament for Stubbs came on No. 16. Her tee shot nearly found the hazard on the par 4, but nestled on the downslope very near the hazard. She could’ve taken a very low-percentage shot at the green, but instead opted to chip out to 75 yards and play it safe. She then chipped on to 10 feet and sank the par putt.
“That’s a pro golfer’s par. That was phenomenal how she pulled that off,” said Jones.
From there she parred out to put pressure on her fellow senior teammate from Richfield.
Poulsen finished third last year and had a six shot lead after a strong 78 on Day 1. She nearly held on for the win, but had two unfortunate bogeys on the final two holes. She lipped out a birdie putt on No. 17 and then missed the comebacker for par. She ended up narrowly bogeying on 18 as her par putt to force a playoff rolled just past the cup.
Though Poulsen came up short in her bid for medalist, Jones said he was proud of the entire Richfield team as they played smart golf throughout the tourney to put themselves in position for the dominant win.
“The girls were really prepared to play a golf course like Oquirrh Hills that can really punish you and you get really get yourself into trouble there. Our girls were used to playing golf courses where you have to play smart and a little more strategically,” said Jones, who said a tough region slate of golf courses prepared his team for state.
As a team Richfield finished with a 674 team score, well ahead of Morgan which finished second with a 732. Judge Memorial was in third with a 734.
Jones said to repeat despite graduating three of its top four finishers from last year’s state tournament speaks to the depth of golfers within the program.
Richfield’s fourth scoring golfer shot a 190 to finish tied for 16th
Class 3A state tournament
At Oquirrh Hills Golf Course
674 — Richfield
732 — Morgan
734 — Judge Memorial
780 — Juan Diego
783 — Union
804 — Grantsville
810 — North Sanpete
812 — Carbon
159 — Gwen Stubbs, Richfield
160 — Becca Poulsen, Richfield
170 — Shelby Gardner, Richfield
170 — Ellie DeMond, Morgan
171 — Emily Keel, Union
171 — Ava Isaac, Judge Memorial
178 — Grayson Gagnon, Juan Diego
179 — Jailee Snow, Morgan
182 — Kia Christiansen, Morgan
183 — Cabria Walters, Juan Diego
184 — Lucy Callahan, Judge Memorial
184 — Aspen Delis, Summit Academy
187 — Brooklyn Woods, Judge Memorial
188 — Savanna Rassmussen, Carbon
188 — Madison Munger, Grand
190 — Ashley Cutshall, Juan Diego
190 — Brielle Jolley, Richfield
192 — MaKenna Bohman, Grantsville
192 — Sophia Medina, Judge Memorial
193 — Eryn Briggs, North Sanpete