(Note: The Utah High School Athletic Association uses a Modified Stableford scoring system, which awards points based on scores for each hole. For example, par on a hole earns five points, an eagle gains seven points and a bogie earns four points.)
In 2013, just four years ago, Emery High School started its girls golf team. On Thursday afternoon at Mountain View Golf Course in West Jordan, the Spartans celebrated their first 2A high school girls golf state title in school history.
“I’d say it’s more of an accumulation of hard work for four years. We have five seniors on this team, and we’ve come in third, third, second and now finally first,” said Emery High girls golf coach Tom Hansen.
Emery finished in first place with a team Modified Stableford score of 285. The runners-up were Rowland Hall — the 2015 and 2016 2A state champions — with a score of 276 and third-place Beaver, which scored 263 points.
Leading the way for the Spartans were Sydnee Guymon and Taijah Price, who finished fourth and fifth, respectably, in individual play. Both Guymon, who scored 77 Modified Stableford points and Price, who scored 75 points, were in the top six and were awarded medals for their performances. Price’s best hole was on No. 16, which she birdied.
Rowland Hall’s Maddie Kwan won the individual title, scoring 83 Modified Stableford points.
The sky was overcast and wild and cold weather plagued the course all day Thursday but Emery was prepared for the weather.
“It made it a little bit hard, but it was good,” Hansen said. “We had played the course (Wednesday) in the cold and I think that made a difference. (The Spartans) knew what to expect. The course was in really good shape, it was nice to play, so it was good. They were used to it a little bit.”
“Tom (Hansen) always says in practice that, ‘We are hardcore,’” Price said. “So, no matter what, we practice in whatever weather, so it didn’t really affect me at all.”
Unlike the tournaments for other high school classifications in Utah, which are spread out over two days, the 2A state tournament is only one round, which can put extra pressure on each team to have a perfect round.
“They have to step up in one day,” Hansen said. “When you know all the pressure is on you, it’s nice to have been here before, and I think those five girls that have been here the last three years they knew that and they decided that they’ve seen it before and experienced enough to push through the adversity and the pressure. It didn’t affect them I think as much this year as it has in years past.”
When Emery, after a long day of golf, found out they had won the 2A state title, they huddled around their new trophy, displaying No. 1 fingers for clicking cameras.
“I was just so excited,” Price said.
Her coach shared the same sentiment.
“I was just excited,” Hansen said, with a smile.
The Spartans’ road to the championship was no cake walk, though.
“They worked through a lot of adversity. Our No. 1 golfer (Guymon) had a dog bark in her backswing, then she had a two-stroke penalty for fixing the cup — just silly little things, and we still battled through it,” Hansen said. “They overcame a lot of adversity today. It’s kind of a cold day, but they did well.”
For Emery, it was about time that it won the title.
“We’ve worked our guts off to be where we are and we deserve this,” Price said.
Team Scores (Modified Stableford System)
1. Emery, 285; 2. Rowland Hall, 276; 3. Beaver, 263; 4. Grand, 259; 5. Delta, 252; 6. Providence Hall, 234; 7. South Sevier, 186; 8. Millard, 174; 9. South Summit, 131; 10. Layton Christian Academy, 124; 11. Waterford, 132, 12. Manti, 110; 13. San Juan, 105.
Individual Scores (Modified Stableford System)
83 — Maddie Kwan, Rowland Hall
79 — Zaria Thompson, Rowland Hall; Hayven Willden, Beaver
77 — Sydnee Guymon, Emery
75 — Taijah Price, Emery
71 — Kayshlyn Wright, Beaver; Joppy Bamrungmuang, Grand
69 — Shayla Patton, Delta
68 — Lainee Jensen, Emery; Sara Day, Grand
67 — Kaylin Beams, Delta; Eliza Huefner, Waterford
66 — Brinley Henrie, Delta
65 — Sarah Swasey, Emery; Jamie Day, Grand
64 — Shania Atkin, Beaver; Morgan McDougal, Providence Hall; Allee Ramage, South Sevier
63 — Sydney Timothy
62 — Brooklyn Armstrong; Providence Hall