PCHS golfers defend home course
Adam Spencer, The Park Record
Park City s Sarah Marshall holds her follow-through after hitting a shot with an iron on Monday at Park City Golf Course. (Jake Shane/Park Record)
Though the scores were higher than average at the always difficult Park City Golf Course on Monday, the Miners proved they're a force to be reckoned with, landing a slew of golfers in the top 10.
"Six of our girls finished in the top nine," Park City Coach George Murphy said. "They played well. It is their home course, but we haven't played this course a ton because of the weather. They played great today."
The weather that has kept the Miners off the Park City links was a factor again on Monday, with intermittent spurts of rain and occasional gusts of wind. But, Murphy said, the weather didn't play too much of a factor in the high scores.
"It was off-and-on weather, but the weather wasn't to blame for anything," he said. "It's just a difficult course -- the scores were super high all around."
Saylor Rabe led all Region 10 golfers by shooting a 10-over-par 82. Sarah Marshall finished right behind her teammate with an 83. Tai Miller recorded a 90 and Grace Donahue finished with a 92. Rabe won the Region 10 overall title, with Marshall taking second place. McKenzie Schow finished fourth, Miller took fifth and Sage Roberts placed 10th overall. The Miners finished 330 strokes ahead of second-place Stansbury in region play.
Murphy said the entire team is playing well, but they'll need to keep it up for the next week if they want to win the 3A title at Soldier Hollow May 18-19.
"We're just looking for these girls to keep their confidence up," he said. "We don't have another tournament between now and state. We'll definitely get down to Soldier Hollow and make sure they're ready and comfortable with that course."
With the strong performance on Monday under their belts, Murphy said the Miners are feeling good about their state title hopes.
Park City s Saylor Rabe led all Region 10 golfers with a 10-over-par 82 on Monday at Park City Golf Course.(Jake Shane/Park Record)
As evidenced by the Miners' high scores at the Region 10 Championship at Soldier Hollow last week, Murphy said nothing can be taken for granted on the Gold Course.
"It's hilly and it takes its toll on them," he said. "There are some long holes and it gets windy on the back nine."
Still, Murphy added, the Miners should have a leg up on their 3A competition thanks to the proximity of the course to Park City and the way they've been playing of late.
"They're swinging great," he said. "They can keep working on some little things here and there with their short game, but they had a great season. We're right there where we need to be heading into the state finals against Desert Hills and whoever else around the state has been playing well."
After a narrow second-place finish to Desert Hills at last year's state tournament, the Miners are anxious for a shot to dethrone the Thunder.
"They want to beat them," Murphy said. "Whatever happens happens, but they'll try their best. The pressure isn't really on us, it's on Desert Hills to hold their scores and keep their title. We want to do our best to knock them off."
The 3A state championships will be held on Soldier Hollow's Gold Course. The two-day tournament begins May 18.
PCHS girls' golf wins in tough conditions
Adam Spencer, The Park Record
Park City s Sarah Marshall putts on the 18th green at Soldier Hollow s Gold Course on Wednesday afternoon. Marshall shot an 85 to win the Region 10 match. (Adam Spencer/Park Record)
Due to aeration of the greens Monday and Tuesday, the Gold Course was difficult for the Park City High School squad. Even when the Miners had strong drives and good fairway shots, finishing the holes was an adventure. Scores for all five region squads were higher across the board.
Park City senior Sarah Marshall managed to limit the damage of a tough putting day to finish with an 85 to win the tournament. Freshman McKenzie Schow shot a 90 to finish third overall and second for PCHS. As a team, the Miners' top four scorers turned in a team score of 366 to win the match.
PCHS Coach George Murphy said the Miners did well to earn the scores they did on a windy day with less-than-ideal green conditions.
"On a day like today, to get five scores in the 80s or 90s, we'll take it," he said. "It didn't reflect how well they played last week, but they just aerated the greens, so they were in rough shape. It was hard to get the speeds right. A lot of the strokes from these scores were from putting. They're striking the ball well."
After struggling through most of the back nine, Marshall said a birdie on Hole No. 17 was a big confidence booster.
"That was huge for me," she said. "I'd been missing putts that were five feet and in. Those are the putts we should be making.
To make something that was within five feet after missing so many short putts was huge."
"I don't think [Wednesday's scores] will hurt their confidence," he said. "They understand the greens aren't in the best shape. I won't harp on them too much with that. They're a little flustered with the results, but they're still in a good mindset and they should still be confident with where we're heading the next couple of weeks."
Marshall said she was thinking too much about her score on Wednesday, so she'll try to direct her attention elsewhere next time she plays at Soldier Hollow.
"This course, you really have to play it hole-by-hole," she said. "If you have an 8 on a par-4, you just have to go to the next hole and say, 'Well, this is a new challenge.'"
Park City will play a final regular-season match on Monday at Park City Golf Course. Murphy said course management is important at a narrow, tree-filled course like Park City.
"It's just being smart about the shots they're hitting," he said. "The key there is not allowing yourself to get too upset or frustrated with a bad hole or a rough couple shots. Over the past however many years we've played there with both the boys and the girls, the scores tend to be higher."
On Monday and in the practices at Soldier Hollow leading up to the state tournament, Murphy said the Miners will focus on improving close to the hole.
"We need to practice hitting out of the sand," he said. "We need to work on chipping, sand and putting. We'll hopefully get them peaking at the right time heading into state."
Monday's Region 10 match at the Park City Golf Course is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
The girls went to Tooele on Wednesday and Thursday to play back to back tournaments.
Wednesday's tournament: Overlake, Tooele's home course:
1st Saylor Rabe 80
Thursday's tournament: Oquirrh Hills, Grantsvilles's home course:
1st Saylor Rabe 72
Saylor Rabe shot her best round ever on Thursday with an even par round of 72. She was 3 over on the front side and caught fire on the back side shooting -3(33)! One of the best rounds a Park City players has had since the days of Sami Crouch in 2009-10 season! Great job Saylor! She also took 1st place on Wednesday at Overlake.
Freshman Mckenzie Schow posted a season best 86 on Thursday, and freshman Grace Donahue shot her two best rounds of the season with a 91 on Wednesday and followed that up with another 91 on Thursday, placing her in the top 10 both days. Sophomore Sage Robert was able to do the same by posting a season and personal best 97 both days. Junior Tai Miller placed in the top 10 both days with 94.
Senior and team captain Sarah Marshall stepped out on Wednesday to help her PC Orchestra advance to state, but she was back in action on Thursday with a fourth place finish by shooting 87. She is currently in 2nd place in region 10 play behind teammate Saylor Rabe.
Park City leads Region 10 by 163 strokes over 2nd place Stansbury.
PCHS girls' golf looks to take next step
Adam Spencer, The Park Record
Park City s Saylor Rabe will try to lead the Miners to a 3A state title in 2016. (Park Record File Photo)
The Park City High School girls' golf team came heartbreakingly close to winning the 3A state title in 2015, falling by six strokes to a Desert Hills squad that extended its title streak to six years in a row.
In 2016, the Miners are hungry to take the next step and stop the Desert Hills' championship run.
Though Park City lost a few contributors from last year's team, Coach George Murphy said the 2016 Miners have plenty of talent returning.
"They were so close last year," he said. "Six strokes is nothing over two days. That's a three-foot putt or a muffed chip. They're motivated and they're hungry. They've been working at it. Saylor [Rabe] has played a ton over the summer. Sarah Marshall is back in form and is playing really well, too."
Murphy said the Miners haven't had the chance to get many matches in due to inclement weather. The only two Region 10 matches the Miners have been able to complete came in early March in St. George, where Park City took a 46-stroke lead over second-place Stansbury.
"That's the only thing we've basically had -- a two-day tournament at St. George," Murphy said. "Our first real region tournament at anyone's home course will be next Thursday in Roosevelt."
Fortunately, Murphy added, the Region 10 schools had the foresight to schedule a pair of region events in a warm climate.
"It came down to the inconsistency of the weather," he said. "We planned it back in November to make sure we could get a couple region tournaments in just in case we had bad weather in March.
That turned out well for us."
Murphy said the Miners are hoping for big things from Schow this year.
"Hopefully the talent runs in the family," he laughed. "She's had about a year and a half off from golf, so she's just getting back into it. It was nice to have her score in St. George."
As the Miners prepare for the heart of their schedule, in which they'll play five matches in three weeks, Murphy said he's encouraged by the dedication the players are showing.
"They're on their spring break and they're coming down to Soldier Hollow to practice," he said. "They know having the state playoffs up here at Soldier Hollow is to our advantage. That'll give them some confidence going into the state tournament."
Murphy said the Miners hope to end Desert Hills' run of state championships on a course they consider to be one of their home courses. The key to having success on the biggest stage, Murphy said, is confidence.
"It really comes down to the details of the short game and confidence," he said. "Confidence is huge. When it counts at the state tournament, are they confident enough to make it happen? They want to win and have the right mindset for it. They'd like to show that they can do the same thing as the boys (who have won eight straight 3A titles)."
The Miners' next tournament is scheduled for Thursday, April 14, at Union's home course. Park City will host a Region 10 match at Park City Golf Course on Thursday, April 28, beginning at 10 a.m.
Upcoming PCHS Girls' Golf Matches
April 14 -- at Union
April 20 -- at Tooele
April 21 -- at Grantsville
April 28 -- at Park City Golf Course
May 3 -- Region 10 Championship
May 12 -- Region 10 Invitational
May 18-19 -- 3A State Championship