Waterford’s Evelyn Azares knew she’d hit a great approach shot, but even she was stunned when she walked onto the No. 18 green at Glendale Golf Course and saw that she only had a four-foot putt for birdie.

In that moment, Azares wasn’t even thinking about winning, but rather she had a shot to make birdie on her final high school hole in a career that included a 131 her freshman year.

“I hit that shot, and I knew I could not have made it go any better than that. Stepping onto the green and seeing how close that shot was, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, if I make this putt and end with a birdie, that would be amazing.’ I wasn’t even thinking about winning,” said Azares.

Tied with American Heritage’s Bethany Braddy heading into that final hole of the 2A state tournament on Tuesday, Azares rolled the birdie putt straight into the heart of the cup to capture 2A medalist honors and put the finishing touches on a remarkable career of perseverance.

“I came from shooting a 131, so now that I’m winning this it sums up all the hard work. This is so surreal for me,” said Azares, who finished fourth at state as a junior.

Azares shot a 42 on the front nine at Glendale but then settled down with a 39 on the back nine to shoot a nine-over 81.

Braddy shot an 11-over 83 to finish in second place, with Beaver’s Heidi Harris and Millard’s Lindsay Starley tying for third with 85s.

For Harris, her 85 was a season-best round, according to coach Chanda Gardner, and was one of the catalysts to Beaver’s repeat state championship.

Beaver’s depth allowed it to shoot a team score of 371, a 10-stroke improvement upon last year, when it narrowly beat Rowland Hall 381 to 383.

This year’s team title was nearly as tight, as it wasn’t until the final groups started to come in that Beaver narrowly pulled away from second-year program American Heritage, which made a 56-stroke improvement from a year ago to finish second with a 379.

Waterford was third with a 394 and South Sevier fourth with 399.

“Our key this year was just to play the best that we can play in ourselves. We’re thrilled with the back to back,” said Gardner.

Like last year, depth was the key as only Harris finished inside the top five. Taisley Marshall shot a 90 for sixth place, with Sunnie Moon shooting a 93 for seventh place.

“I really have one through eight that all shoot consistently. My first is kind of my all-star and my second girl does super well as well, but I have probably six kids on my team that all can shoot the same. It makes it hard for region and who is playing,” said Gardner.

For American Heritage, this was just its second season competing in the 2A state tournament, and it made a massive jump from sixth to second.


Class 2A state tournament

Full leaderboard

At Glendale Golf Course

Final team scores

1. Beaver, 371

2. American Heritage, 379

3. Waterford, 394

4. South Sevier, 399

5. St. Joseph, 418

6. Millard, 428

7. Rowland Hall, 443

8. North Sevier, 447

Final individual results

81 — Evelyn Azares, Waterford

83 — Bethany Braddy, American Heritage

85 — Heidi Harris, Beaver

85 — Lindsay Starley, Millard

86 — Anna Eggertsen, American Heritage

90 — Taisley Marshall, Beaver

93 — Sunnie Moon, Beaver

95 — Emily Nicholson, Wasatch Academy

96 — Jade Kerby, Grand

97 — Kate Weissman, Rowland Hall

97 — Whitley Goble, South Sevier

98 — Kaycee Kim, Waterford

98 — Breylan Okerlund, South Sevier

99 — Katherine Ferry, North Summit

100 — Halen Moon, St. Joseph

101 — Liz Randall, St. Joseph

101 — Mylie Miller, South Sevier

102 — Austyn Bennett, Millard

103 — Bonnie Richrds, South Sevier

103 — Brittni Crum, Beaver

103 — Emmaline Gay, South Sevier