MIDWAY – After a fourth and fifth place finish at state last year, Pine View and Snow Canyon made some big moves on the first day of the 3A state golf tournament at Soldier Hollow Golf Course on Wednesday.
The Panthers sit in third place after posting an opening round 300, one-shot better than the Warriors who finished with a 301. Park City sits in first with a 281, with Tooele sitting just seven shots back (288).
Noah Schone led the way for Pine View with an incredible 5-under 66 — his lowest tournament score ever. That was good enough for a second place showing among individuals as Park City’s Mitchell Schow — the 2013 and 2014 reigning 3A champion — edged out a one-shot victory to claim to the top spot on the leaderboard with a 65.
“I started off really well,” Schone said. “I birdied the first hole, parred the second, and then came back with an eagle on three. I was able to chip it in and then birdied the fourth hole.”
After Weber’s Connor Howe set a course record (62) on Monday during the 5A tournament, Schone looked well on his way to giving himself a shot at the record.
“Unfortunately I left some putts out there. I’m not disappointed at all with my 66, but I would like to have some of those putts back,” Schone said.
“I’m so proud of Noah,” Pine View coach Darrell Larsen said. “It couldn’t happen to a better kid. Seriously. It means a lot to see the growth that he’s made both as a golfer and as a person.”
Schone’s teammate, Jaden Milne also got off to a hot start as he eagled the par-4 first hole from 130 yards out.
“I didn’t see it go in, but when I heard the crowd cheering I knew I must have done something right,” he said.
It wasn’t long before Milne had the crowd cheering once again with his second eagle of the day.
“I’ve never had two eagles before so that was exciting, I just wish that I had played better down the stretch,” Milne said. “I had a lot of fun today, except for a couple of bad holes. I look forward to bouncing back Thursday and to see what our team can do. We have the firepower to make a run so it should be exciting.”
“Jaden played lights out,” Larsen said. “Two eagles is just phenomenal. Talk about starting the state tournament off the right way on the first hole. That got him rolling and he had a good day. We just got to finish as a team tomorrow.”
Snow Canyon was once again led by Triston Gardner and Brodey Payzant. Gardner fired a two-under par 70 and Payzant added a 72.
“I started off with a double bogey and told himself that I wouldn’t do that the rest of the day,” Gardner said.
And that he did. Gardner kept his promise and played with poise and confidence the rest of the way.
After getting out to a slow start, Payzant was able to battle back to finish at even par.
“ I double-bogeyed on the par-5 third hole,” Payzant said. It was frusterating because that was my favorite hole coming into the tournament. I got caught in a bunker and then three-putted.”
But Payzant didn’t give up and bounced back with a couple of birdies, including a 35 foot putt for eagle on the eighth hole.
Dixie was the only only Region 9 team to make the cut as the Flyers finished in a tie with Juan Diego and Stansbury with a 322.
Kosuke Aoki led Dixie with a 73, Taylor Bottema added an 82, and Max Walsh and Pierce Goodwin had a 83 and 84 respectively.
Desert Hills just missed the cut with a score of 329. The ball didn’t bounce the Thunder way as Desert Hills posted it’s second worst score of the season, and at the worst possible time. Blake Amick led the Thunder with a 77 and Will Stewart fired an 80.
With only four teams eligible to make it to state, Hurricane did have two players represent the Tigers on the individual side. Thomas Christiansen fired a 78, while Christian Morris added an 88.
“I played well on every hole except two and it costed me,” Christiansen said. “My driver and irons felt good all day today and it was fun stepping up and knowing my shots were going to go down the middle of the fairway. I just need to capitalize on my putts now.”
Thursday is the final day of the tournament with tee-times set for 9 a.m.
Top 10 teams
Park City 281, Tooele 288, Pine View 300, Snow Canyon 301, Union 308, Carbon 309, Morgan 320, Dixie 322, Stansbury 322, Juan Diego 322.
Top Individual Scores
Schow 65 (Park City), Schone 66 (Pine View), Jaramillo 67 (Union) Quin 67 (Tooele), Houston 68 (Tooele), Gardner 70 (Snow Canyon), Fleming 70 (Park City), Payzant 72 (Snow Canyon) Hartfiel 72 (Bear River) Lansky 73 (Park City) Aoki 73 (Dixie) Lee 73 (Park City), Boswell 74 (Tooele) White 74 (Juab) Smith 74 (Carbon) Hanskat 75 (Park City) Milne 75 (Pine View) Milburne 75 (Morgan).