Nine in a row: Miners do it again at state championships
Tanzi Propst/Park Record
Death, taxes and a Park City High School boys’ golf state championship. On Thursday afternoon at Soldier Hollow, the Miners clinched a state title, this time with impressive depth and consistency, for the ninth-straight year, the longest consecutive streak in Utah boys’ golf history. With this title, Park City is tied for second all-time in the state in terms of total number of boy’s golf championships.
“It feels good. I think we even beat last year’s score by a couple of strokes,” said Head Coach George Murphy on his team’s 569 total for the tournament. “These guys, as far as consistency and depth with our team, they played well. … I’m proud of all of them.”
Park City’s stroke total was 42 better than the second-place finisher from Logan. Among the six selected golfers to count for the team score in the two-day tournament, half of them hit under par (72) on the Silver course. The team built up an 18-hole cushion after the first day, but instead of easing up on the final day of competition, the players shot seven strokes better, collectively.
“[Thursday] was just about attacking, being aggressive, [being] confident,” Murphy said. “Don’t be tentative, don’t protect the lead, go out there and grow it and get after it.”
And Murphy was right about beating last year’s score by two strokes. Even after losing top graduated players Mitchell Schow and Drew Fleming, the Miners came back stronger than ever in 2016 by hitting their best tournament total in the last six years.
“This is a different set of kids and you want them all to do well,” Murphy said. “These guys were able to peak just at the right time.”
Leading the way was Zane Schemmer, who almost didn’t make the cut on his own team. But after impressing in the final stretches of the season, Murphy gave him the sixth and final spot of the state team. The difficult coaching decision paid off for the Miners.
“I wanted to give it a go for my team and my coach, who believed in me enough to bring me on as the sixth man on the state team. That meant a lot to me,” Schemmer said.
Schemmer finished at four-under par (140) after the two days, tying for the top spot after regulation. This led to a sudden-death playoff on the 18th hole with two others who also hit that mark in Juan Diego’s Michael Walters and Pine View’s Noah Schone.
On the par-five hole, there’s a lateral hazard about halfway through. Most of the competitors throughout the day opted to use an iron to pull up just before hazard. This is the strategy Schemmer and Schone used in the playoff, using three hits to get on the green in regulation.
But Walters brought out his driver on the do-or-die hole, clearing the hazard and pinning his section shot just off of the green. He then putted from the fringe to get the ball close to the hole, punching it in on his next stroke to earn a birdie and put the pressure on Schemmer, who was last to hit after Schone finished with par just before Walters.
A fair amount of distance stood between Schemmer’s ball and the hole, but with a made putt he would have forced a second sudden-death playoff between he and Walters. After analyzing the putt over and over again with Murphy by his side, Schemmer lined it up and hit a beauty of a stroke.
The ball was on line, making its way towards the hole. Schemmer even gave a little fist pump as the ball reached the cup, but at the last second, it rimmed out. It was a great hit with an unfortunate ending for Schemmer, but he has no regret.
“The last putt, it started on line and I thought it had a really good chance of going in,” Schemmer said. “I set it on a good line and looked like it was in, just missed at the end. … I thought that par was going to win it. Michael [Walters] just played a great hole. With his [first] two shots, he did deserve to win that playoff.”
Other Park City players who were pivotal in the championship run were freshman Eli Kimche (141), who hit five-under par on the second day to finish as the team’s second-best golfer, and Dean Tsandes (143) following just two strokes behind. Rounding out the scoring six were Cole Lee (148), Josh Lansky (150) and Jack Hanskat (152).
Two more Miners competed at the state championships in the Individual competition, with Jack Wright (150) tying Lansky for 11th-place overall and Parker Cutt just four strokes behind with a 154. Overall, the team occupied half of the top eight spots.
When asked if this state championship meant any more to him than the previous eight, Murphy simply said with a smile, “They are all really cool.”
MIDWAY — After two cold, occasionally rainy days at Soldier Hollow Golf Course, Park City continued its historic streak in boys golf Thursday as it captured its ninth straight state championship while Juan Diego’s Michael Walters took medalist honors in a dramatic sudden-death playoff after finishing with a two-day total of 140.
The playoff took place on the 18th hole of the Silver Course, a hole that Walters had bogeyed to finish his round.
“I thought it was down the drain at that point,” Walters said of the bogey to end his round.
However, it was all finished for the junior. In the playoff, Park City’s Zane Schemmer and Pine View’s Noah Schone each laid up in front of the creek on the par-5 18th hole, but Walters had a different plan.
“I got to 18 for the playoff and everyone was laying up and I thought: ‘why not go at it?’” Walters said. “It paid off in the end.”
Pay off it did, as he hit a driver and cleared the creek and was able to hit up close to the green while his playing partners could not.
Walters was then in good position to win, sitting two on the fringe of the green, but Schemmer and Schone did not want to let medalist honors escape without some drama.
Schone had taken three shots and was just off the back of the green some 60 feet away. Meanwhile, Schemmer was on the green in three with a 20-foot birdie putt waiting.
While it looked like Schone was just out of the running, he gave it a go and almost holed his lengthy birdie putt from the fringe.
Walters then hit his shot from the fringe, which he almost made, leaving him with a tap-in birdie.
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For Walters, it was a bit of redemption after struggling at the state tournament in 2015.
“Last year I didn’t play well and this year I wanted redemption,” he said.
In the team competition, it may sound like a broken record in 3A, but Park City took yet another state championship in boys golf. The Miners won their ninth straight title in dominating fashion, ending with a two-day total of 569 and beating the next closest team by 42 strokes.
Even with the dynasty, such a big win might have come as a surprise considering the Miners lost senior Drew Flemming in addition to three-time medalist Mitchell Schow. Head coach George Murphy, though, was confident in his team and was proud of the team's performance.
“They came in and took care of business yesterday and they backed it up today with an even better round,” Murphy said of the team, which improved by seven shots from the first day of state to the second. “Today was just about attacking, being aggressive, being confident and not being tentative.”
Next year, Park City hopes to continue its success as it only had two seniors on this year’s squad in Cole Lee and Josh Lansky. In addition to Schemmer, the Miners will return Eli Kimche, Jack Hanskat and Dean Tsandes from the six players they took for the state team, while Jack Wright and Parker Cutt, who went to state as individuals, will return as well.
1. Park City, 569. 2. Logan, 611. 3. Pine View, 612. 4. Ridgeline, 619. 5. Carbon, 621. 6. Union, 623. 7. Desert Hills, 628. 8. Tooele, 630. 9. North Sanpete, 631. 10. Juan Diego, 632.
140 — Michael Walters,* Juan Diego; Noah Schone, Pine View; Zane Schemmer, Park City.
141 — Eli Kimche, Park City.
142 — Austin Jaramillo, Union.
143 — Dean Tsandes, Park City.
145 — Joe Garlick, North Sanpete.
148 — Cole Lee, Park City.
149 — Dakota Millward, Pine View; River Dillman, North Sanpete.
150 — Josh Lansky, Park City; Ryker Smith, Carbon; Jack Wright, Park City.
151 — Brock Taylor, Logan; Seth Tremayne, Logan; Bridger Holmes, Tooele; Tegan Robison, Tooele; Garrett Lindsey, Stansbury; Matthew Millburn, Morgan.
152 — Jack Hanskat, Park City; Jaden Milne, Pine View.
Boys’ golf: Park City secures its ninth consecutive 3A title
Park City took an 18-shot lead into the second day of competition and finished with a seven-under 569 to outscore second place Logan by a whopping 42 strokes. Four Miners finished in the Top 10 individually: Zane Schemmer (second), Eli Kimchi (fourth), Dean Tsandes and Cole Lee were all awarded individual honors.
For nine straight seasons the Miners have taken home the state title in 3A. Park City head coach George Murphy is still unable to fully explain how he is able to reload his team with top-notch talent year in and year out.
“It’s something in the water up in Park City,” Murphy said. “I have no idea how we keep reloading. The thing is the expectation has been set, the bar is placed pretty high. These kids work their butts off year round. We don’t have year-round golf up in Park City but they make sure they get tournament play in the summers, our pros at local courses are really good at supporting junior golf and so we get a lot of support.”
Still, the support doesn’t alleviate the pressures and expectations of bringing home the state title year after year. But Murphy said that doesn’t seem to be an issue with his players.
“My job is to take that pressure off of them,” Murphy said. “But they put pressure on themselves and they are competitive with each other. They want to beat each other on the team so they’re all fighting for the top spots. You’ve got two guys here who didn’t make the state team and are playing as individuals and play well, they’re out for blood on our own team let alone against other teams in the region and the state. It’s fun to be around them.”
Juan Diego’s Michael Walters took home the top medalist honors in Class 3A, shooting a four-under 140 over two days and beating out Park City’s Zane Schemmer and Pine View’s Noah Schone in a sudden-death playoff on the par-5 18th hole. After Walters completed his birdie putt, Schemmer’s 15-foot birdie chance lipped out to give Walters the top individual prize at the state tournament.
“As a whole, I thought my tournament was pretty good,” Walters said. “Going into 18 I thought I had a good shot to win, but I ended up bogeying the hole and thought it was over. I came in, saw that there was a playoff and just started preparing for that. I threw my headphones on and got ready.”
Walters thought he was going to have to prepare himself for a second playoff hole as well, but instead he ended up celebrating his individual state title as Schemmer’s putt couldn’t find enough of the hole to fall.
“That was crazy, I thought it went in,” Walters said. “I was excited, I just thought ‘finally all the hard work has paid off.’ But I’m going to celebrate this one and I’ll probably end up going to hit some more balls tomorrow.”
In 2A, the Red Devils shot a combined 624 during the two-day competition and beat second place Waterford by 13 strokes. Grand also had three golfers place in the top-10 individuals as Alec Williams (third), Masen Ward (fifth) and Brendon Woodard (ninth) took home individual honors.
“The second day is always the toughest, especially when you’re going in with a lead,” Grand County head coach Aaron Woodard said. “It’s just that much added pressure, but they still came out and battled. I can’t thank the kids enough, they put the effort in and it showed. Going back to back is a great feeling, the program is working for the kids. You get a back to back state title and you know the kids are really pushing and really working for that goal.”
Waterford’s Jack Nilson ended up taking home the top individual prize in 2A, shooting a three-under 141 including a four-under 68 on the final day after finishing tied for second after day one.
“I did decent the first day but today I played a lot better,” Nilson said. “I hit the ball straighter and hit a lot more putts. [The end of the tournament] was really intense, I only had a one-shot lead going to 16, but I went birdie-birdie to get my lead to three and then finished with a bogey trying to finish it. I just kept pushing myself to shoot better scores after every hole — next year I want to shoot even lower scores.”
Class 3A Boys Golf
At Soldier Hollow Silver Course
Top 10 Individual Leaders •
Michael Walters Juan Diego 140
Noah Schone Pine View 140
Zane Schemmer Park City 140
Eli Kimche Park City 141
Austin Jarmillo Union 142
Dean Tsandes Park CIty 143
Joe Garlick North Sanpete 145
Cole Lee Park City 148
Dakota Millward Pine View 149
River Dillman North Sanpete 149 Top 5 Teams •
Park City 569
Pine View 612
Prep golf: Park City Miners lead in Class 3A state golf tournament
In Class 3A, Park City leads by 18 strokes. Dean Tsandes, Zane Schemmer, Lee Cole and Eli Kimchi combined to shoot an even par 288 on the Silver course at Soldier Hollow.
Tsandes and Schemmer led the team scoring, each shooting a one-under 71, Lee shot an even 72 and Kimchi finished with a two-over 74.
Second place Logan shot an 18-over 306, followed by Union (309), Pine View (311) and Ridgeline (312) to complete the top five for Class 3A.
Union’s Austin Jarmillo is the individual leader after the first day. He shot a five-under 67 for a two stroke lead over Juan Diego’s Michael Walters, who shot a three-under 69. Pine View’s Noah Schone, with a one-under 71, and Park City’s Tsandes and Schemmer rounded out the top-five individuals.
Tsandes, Jarmillo and Logan’s Brock Taylor will compete in day two’s final 3A grouping, which is set to tee off at 11:20 a.m. on the Silver course at Soldier Hollow.
Union’s Dustin Corun recorded his first career hole-in-one, on the par-3 seventh hole.
The results for the first day of the Class 2A competition will be finalized tomorrow.
Play could not be continued, due to darkness after a lengthy weather delay. The remaining 2A first rounds will resume Thursday morning at 8:45 a.m.
Class 3A Boys Golf
At Soldier Hollow Silver Course
Top 5 Individual Leaders •
Austin Jarmillo Union 67
Michael Walters Juan Diego 69
Noah Schone Pine View 71
Dean Tsandes Park City 71
Zane Schemmer Park City 71
Top 5 Teams •
Park City 288
Pine View 311
Miners cruise to Region 10 title, prep for state championships
Park City High School's JT Harman laughs as a mallard duck waddles across the 18th green at the Park City Golf Course during a Region 10 Meet earlier this year. The duck stayed around for the putting to conclude and followed the boys down the golf cart trail to the next hole.
Dealing with some weather, Tuesday’s match on the silver course at Soldier Hollow was a near-perfect tune-up before the state tournament, which is the first week of October.
“We were looking at it as just kind of a warm up or a preview of how the state tournament is going to be [at Soldier Hollow],” said Head Coach George Murphy. “We were looking at how they played, especially when it got windy.”
Park City was led by Zane Schemmer and Cole Lee, who both shot an even-par 72. Dean Tsandes and Josh Lansky followed with marks of 73 and 75, respectively, to give the team its 292 score.
All season long, the strength of this team has been the depth it boasts. In years past, the Miners have relied on some of its top golfers, including last season with now-departed Mitchell Schow and Drew Fleming, on their way to a dynasty. But in 2016, there hasn’t been one golfer that has stuck out more than any other.
In fact, Schemmer, the lead golfer for Park City on Tuesday, was slotted in the No. 8 spot in the lineup, proving that on any given day, any one of these Miner golfers could lead the way.
“I don’t think we’ve had this kind of depth where we’ve had all eight [golfers] capable of playing that well,” Murphy said.
In addition to another Region 10 title, history was made by the Park City team on Tuesday.
By the end of the match, the Miners didn’t claim either of the top two spots in the region — those belonged to Austin Jaramillo of Union and Bridger Holmes of Tooele — but they did take the next eight to round out the top 10. This is something that not even Park City, the eight-time defending state champions, has done.
If a team has an individual that finishes in the top 12 of its region, that golfer is able to participate in the individual portion of the state tournament. Because of this, Murphy will be allowed to take all eight of those golfers to the state championship, even though only six will count for the team score.
With the top Park City golfer seemingly changing with every match, Murphy has a tough decision to make before Oct. 5-6.
“Right now, it’s kind of just up in the air. I don’t know what to do,” Murphy said. “But I’ve got about a week to figure out.”
Having too many good golfers is not a bad problem to have, but there will surely be some heavy contemplation done by the Park City head coach this next week in terms of setting a lineup for the state championships. Even so, Murphy and his team are confident heading into their final competition of the season.
“[The players] feel pretty good with where they are,” Murphy said. “They each have some things they want to work on and get better at, but they know that at that course, the silver course at Soldier Hollow, they are capable of scoring. It’s going to be, this year, who’s going to step up and make a name for themselves. … Raising the bar for themselves individually, but also just to help the team.”
PCHS boys’ golf stays hot during cold region match
Park Citys Jack Hanskat watches a putt roll toward the hole during Thursdays Region 10 golf match at Park Meadows.
It was cold during the early hours of the tournament, of course, but it didn’t take the Miners long to warm up. Seven PCHS golfers carded scores in the 70s, and the Miners’ team score of 297 was good enough to beat second-place Union by 34 strokes.
Park City Coach George Murphy said he was happy to see so many Miners turning in low scores on the tough Park Meadows course.
“It was solid,” he said. “Everybody played well. We had seven kids shooting in the 70s. With greens as fast as they were, the course was playing tough, but they managed it well. They played good shots into the greens. It was fun to watch.”
Senior Josh Lansky led the way for Park City, finishing the round with a one-over-par 73. Sophomores Jack Wright (74) and Dean Tsandes (75), freshman Eli Kimche (75) and junior Jack Hanskat (75) had the best scores of the day for the Miners.
Hanskat, who started the round on Hole No. 14, said he started slow, carding a double bogey on that hole, but eventually rounded into form.
“It took me a couple of holes,” he said. “Golf’s like that, though — you just have to forget about it and try to move on. On 16, I hit a 195-yard shot to within a foot [of the hole]. That was a good way to bring it back. Then I birdied 17 and birdied 18.”
The team score of 297 accomplished the Miners’ sub-300 goal, but Murphy said he thinks the team can shoot even better on days when conditions are more favorable.
“A 297 is not our best score, but it’s solid,” he said. “Sub-300 is always our goal. It was very cold. The scores are high from the region, but our kids kept it together. They’re OK with the cold.
“These are awesome scores for this course, too. There’s a ton of sand and it’s a little longer than we’ve played some other places. They handled it quite nicely.”
The Miners have only one more match: the Region 10 tournament on Tuesday, Sept. 20. That tournament will be held at Soldier Hollow, which will also serve as the site of the 3A state golf tournament Oct. 5-6.
Murphy said that since so many Miners are playing well, choosing six to make up the state team won’t be easy.
“It’s going to come down to next week,” he said. “Whoever steps up, especially at that course as a test for state — it’s going to be close. They’re all playing well, though, and that’s where we want them.”
Both Murphy and Hanskat hope the weather conditions at the state tournament in October are similar to the conditions from Thursday.
“Last year, it rained during state, which was pretty rough,” Hanskat said. “But if we had a day like today during state, that’d be fine by me.”
“If we get used to it over the next few weeks, that’s perfect for us,” Murphy added. “We’ll be used to it and won’t let it affect us.”
The Miners will get plenty of practice at the state course before October. Hanskat said the Miners all know the course well, but will need to gain some confidence and stay sharp before the tournament begins.
“It’s just falling in love with the course,” he said. “We all know that course really well, but especially over the next three weeks, we’ll get to know it even more. The greens there are a whole lot different than the greens here [at Park Meadows].”
Thursday at Park Meadows
PCHS boys’ golf earns another region victory
Park Citys Josh Lansky, pictured here during a match last week, was one of three Miners to shoot a 75 on Wednesday at Stansbury. Eli Kimche led Park City with a 73.
Competing in the Region 10 event, the Miners recorded a team score of 298, besting second-place Union by 13 strokes to extend their overall region lead to 108 strokes over Tooele.
Freshman Eli Kimche led the way for the Miners, shooting a one-over-par 73. Josh Lansky, Parker Cutt and Jack Wright all shot 75s to round out Park City’s top four.
Though only the lowest four scores for each team are counted toward the team total, Park City Coach George Murphy said all eight varsity players and a couple of JV players had a great day on the Stansbury course.
“It was a good result and we had some really great scores from 1-10,” he said. “We had two JV players who played really well, too.”
Murphy said he was impressed with Kimche’s round, especially after the freshman struggled at the start.
“I think he triple [bogeyed] the first or second hole,” Murphy said. “With a start like that, especially with younger players, you have a tendency to get down on yourself. But he played fantastic all day and had a solid performance.”
Though the second-place team is 108 strokes behind Park City, Murphy said the region standings are tighter than they’ve been in years past. He said that’ll help the Miners as they push for their ninth-straight state title.
“With two tournaments left, we have a pretty sizable lead, but I like that the margin is getting closer,” he said. “These guys need to stay sharp and on their game.”
This weekend, the Miners are challenging themselves at a tournament in Arizona — the Antigua National High School Golf Invitational.
On Thursday, Murphy said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing with some of the country’s top high school squads.
“I think we’re a pretty deep team 1-5,” he said. “We’ll see how they do the next couple of days. We usually finish middle of the pack with our team. We’ll see how they handle the heat and a little more pressure. The teams down here are all really good.”
On Thursday, the Miners will host another home region match, this time at Park Meadows Country Club. The Region 10 Championship will follow on Sept. 20 at Soldier Hollow.
Murphy said Park City is going to keep working hard ahead of the 3A tournament Oct. 5-6 at Soldier Hollow.
“We’re just trying to keep them in good shape for what’s ahead in the first part of October,” he said.
Thursday’s match at Park Meadows is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.
Wednesday at Stansbury
PCHS boys’ golf shoots for ninth-straight title
Park Record File Photo
Any conversation about the Park City High School boys’ golf team quickly turns to the streak.
The Miners have won eight-straight state championships, but winning a ninth won’t be an easy task.
The team lost longtime leaders Mitchell Schow and Drew Fleming to graduation and will now rely on two new senior leaders, surrounded by a core of young golfers, to get the job done in 2016.
Though Fleming and Schow will certainly be missed, Coach George Murphy said the Miners do return a number of experienced golfers to the team.
“We actually have five kids who played at state last year and are returning with experience,” he said. “And they all played well and shot 75 or 76 both days. I don’t know if we’ve ever had that much depth at state.”
Seniors Josh Lansky and Cole Lee and junior Jack Hanskat make up the core of the team, but the Miners have talent at the underclassman level, too.
“[Sophomore] Dean Tsandes is starting the year at No. 1,” Murphy said. “He played a lot of tournament golf in California this summer. He’s excited for the season and is playing well.”
The Miners will also have freshmen Eli Kimche, Ryan Wright and Parker Cutt and sophomore Jack Wright vying for varsity positions. Murphy said anything could happen between now and when he has to pick his top six players for the state tournament.
“We’ll wait to see who steps up and takes the top couple spots and really leads this team,” he said. “We’ve got some young kids and we’ve got some juniors and seniors looking to make a name for themselves. That’s not a bad situation to have. We’ve got some good players and some good talent. Even though we’re going to miss [Schow and Fleming], we’re excited to see what we can do.”
As Park City works toward the 3A state tournament at Soldier Hollow in early October, Murphy said he’s trying to keep the focus on having a great 2016 season and not worrying about the streak of eight straight state championships.
“There’s no pressure,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens. I just want them to enjoy it and play solid golf. I don’t think I’ve mentioned one time to them in the last three weeks anything about the streak.”
That said, Murphy has seen determination from this year’s team. He said they are excited for the opportunity to extend the title streak to nine.
“They set that bar pretty high and they’re up for the challenge,” he said. “They want to keep this going. They’re very motivated and playing well, too.”
The Miners’ first home match of the season is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 1, at Park City Golf Course.