MORGAN — In another year, a state championship golf tournament in October at Round Valley Golf Course could have involved rain, wind or even snow. This is 2020, though, so expect the unexpected.
That was just fine for Morgan High boys golf coach Dennis Peterson, who watched his team capture the 3A state championship for the third consecutive year on a sunny afternoon in the mid-70s Thursday.
“I play a lot of competitive tournaments throughout the summer … just learning how to play under pressure and play good when you need to, really focusing on my game all year and keeping everything solid all year, practicing every day,” Salas said. “That’s what you’ve got to do when you want to be the best, so that’s what I’ve done.” — Carbon sophomore Bode Salas
“Probably the best thing (for us) was the weather,” Peterson said. “There were no difficulties as far as the wind. Just a solid two days of these boys golfing. They played right around their average. Nothing spectacular.”
Morgan finished with a stroke total of 597, besting second-place Delta by 26. Tanner Telford led the way for the Trojans, shooting even par to claim third place overall. Brenden Vaughan tied for fourth at 2-over, and Nathan Millburn tied for sixth at 5-over. Millburn shot a 73 on Thursday, which Peterson said was a career round for him and “a big part of keeping the gap where it was and actually extending it a little bit.”
“Brenden Vaughan played solid for two days, Eric (Watts) played well and Tanner (Telford) pretty much was our anchor,” Peterson said. “We just had a lot of firepower for this tournament the last two days.”
Individually, Carbon sophomore Bode Salas edged Delta’s Jake Henrie to claim the top spot. Salas finished 4-under while Henrie finished 2-under. The two battled back and forth throughout the two days and were tied following the first 18 holes Wednesday. Henrie finished strong on the first day, rallying from a three-stroke deficit following the 12th hole to pull even with Salas by the end of the round.
The two matched each other to remain even through the first seven holes Thursday before Henrie took a 1-shot lead on the eighth hole. Salas took a 1-shot lead on the 12th hole and led the rest of the way, using a pair of birdies at the end to seal the victory.
Salas, who said he had made a concerted effort to not know where he was in relation to Henrie throughout the day Thursday, admitted that he finally relented just before the final hole. He asked his coach, who said he had a one-shot lead.
“I said I needed to birdie. I just knew I had to get the job done that way,” Salas said.
Salas said preparation was the key to success over the course of the two days.
“I play a lot of competitive tournaments throughout the summer … just learning how to play under pressure and play good when you need to, really focusing on my game all year and keeping everything solid all year, practicing every day,” Salas said. “That’s what you’ve got to do when you want to be the best, so that’s what I’ve done.”
3A state tournament
At Round Valley Golf Course
1. Morgan, 597; 2. Delta, 623; 3. Judge Memorial, 625; 4. Richfield, 634; 5. Grantsville, 647; 6. Grand, 648; 7. Juab, 653; 8. Union, 655.
140 — Bode Salas, Carbon
142 — Jake Henrie, Delta
144 — Tanner Telford, Morgan
146 — Brenden Vaughan, Morgan; Nico Smith, Judge Memorial
149 — Jaygen Mullen, Richfield; Nathan Millburn, Morgan
150 — Wyatt Toney, Grand
152 — Rafe Saunders, Grand
153 — Nicholas Falkner, Judge Memorial
154 — Gage Brower, Richfield; Kauner Kay, Juab; Trevin Wakefield, Emery
155 — Jalal Khan, Juab; Carson Thornock, South Sevier
156 — Walker Carroll, Delta
157 — Tai Zobell, Union