(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.)
Monday afternoon was a great day to be a Bingham Miner.
In the first round of the 5A girls’ golf state tournament at Davis County Golf Course in Fruit Heights, Utah, the Miners posted the top team score, with 348, and Bingham’s Tess Blair had the top individual score, with 93.
On an overcast day, Bingham’s mood in the clubhouse turned sunny after seeing its score placed atop the leaderboard after day one.
On the Miners’ heels are defending 5A champions Lone Peak (337 points) and Davis (322 points).
“We’re really, really proud of Tess (Blair), she’s got a great work ethic, she’s been working hard all year long and so we’re really proud of her,” said Bingham co-coach Brett Boberg.
That said, Boberg commented that Blair could have done even better.
“What’s scary is she (Blair) could have gone even lower (in her stroke count). She was seven under at one point and then the wind picked up and the whole field kind of came back down,” Boberg said. “We’re proud of what she did today and we’re proud of the team.”
Blair’s best hole of the afternoon came when she eagled the par-5, No. 3 hole.
“That was pretty awesome. I’ve never done that before,” Blair said of her eagle.
The harder back nine, combined with the wind, brought down Blair’s score.
“It (the wind) picked up a little bit on the back nine and I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, but now I know what to expect for tomorrow,” Blair said. “On the back side, it gets a little bit tighter, but that’s about it.”
Having an entire season come down to one tournament can add a lot of pressure to golfers, but Boberg trusts his team, which has worked all year to stay composed in big moments.
“We’ve been working on this all year long, that it’s more about the process and not the results,” Boberg said. “We’re going to do the same thing every shot, no matter if it’s a practice round before the season begins or the state finals.”
Blair, who played in the state tournament last year, finishing fourth in the induvial standings, leans on her experience to take some of the pressure off of her.
“I think there was a lot of pressure, but learning from last year, I realized that putting pressure on yourself doesn’t make you better,” Blair said. “You just have to let it go, and I did that this year and the score showed it.”
Even though the Miners had a stellar first round, Boberg knows that there is a lot of golf yet to be played.
“We know it’s just day one, and anything can happen and we’re not going to take anything for granted,” Boberg said. “We’re just going to come out and try and do the exact same thing tomorrow.”
The final round of the 5A girl’s high school state tournament resumes Tuesday morning at Davis County Golf Course. The first group starts at 8:30 a.m. and the last group tees off at 10:30 a.m.
(Top 10 made cut, Modified Stableford scoring)
1. Bingham, 348; 2. Lone Peak, 337; 3. Davis, 322; 4. Brighton, 300; 5. Westlake, 292; 6. Fremont, 290; 7. Northridge, 285; 8. Pleasant Grove, 284; 9. Weber, 278; 10. Herriman, 277; 11. Layton, 276; 12. Viewmont, 276; 13. West, 270; 14. Skyview, 269; 15. Cottonwood, 258; 16. Copper Hills, 225.
(Modified Stableford scoring)
93 — Tess Blair, Bingham
91 — Caylyn Ponich, Davis
89 — Carissa Graft, Bingham
88— Alina Vannarath, Westlake
87— Jenique Jacobs, Bingham; Abbey Porter, Lone Peak
85— Whitney Banz, West
84— Maddie Moss, Lone Peak
83– Maegen Nitta, Lone Peak; Lauren Taylor, Lone Peak
82— Brooklyn Halliday, Davis; BreAnn Neil, Fremont; Samantha Schulties, Lone Peak; Libby Ward, Syracuse
81— Elizabeth Walker, Brighton; Abbi Cowan, Northridge
79— Kelsie Higbee, Lone Peak; Ameleya Angilau, Bingham; Isabelle Motto, Pleasant Grove; Bryn Anderson, Lehi