High school boys golf: Timpview's young team takes 4A state title

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013 9:10 p.m. MDT

OGDEN — Almost as impressive as Timpview High's performance in Tuesday's final round of the 4A boys state golf championship was the fact that the Thunderbirds' top four players are all underclassmen.

Yes, that means they'll all be back next year, and three of them will be back the year after that, too.

Can you spell d-y-n-a-s-t-y?

Led by the Lillywhite brothers — sophomore Josh and freshmen twins John and Spencer — Timpview turned in a strong and steady team score of 301 on Tuesday for a two-day total of 613, rallying from a nine-shot deficit after the first day to give the Thunderbirds their first state title since 1991.

Josh Lillywhite led the way with his second straight round of 75 for a 36-hole score of 150. John Lillywhite was next at 76-78 (154), and junior Jackson Rawle bettered his first-round score by a whopping 12 strokes Tuesday, shooting a 2-over-par 73 for a 158 total. Spencer Lillywhite checked in with an 84-75 (159) to round out the T-Birds' top four finishers in the tourney played at the plush Ogden Golf and Country Club course.

"We played a lot better than yesterday," Josh Lillywhite said of the T-Birds, who were in fourth place following Monday's opening round. "Yesterday we had to take an 83 that didn't help, and today we were consistently low.

"Kind of our biggest thing is how deep we are. We took all six of our scores this week and that really helped. We had enough consistency throughout the entire team to play well and win.

"It helped that we were coming from behind and we didn't have as much pressure on us to try and keep the lead, instead of being ahead and trying to hold on," he said. "... We can't wait for next year. Yep, we're excited — can't wait."

Bonneville, led by individual low medalist Carson Park, wound up second in the final standings at 617, just four shots behind Timpview's winning team total. First-round leader Orem faded to third at 619, while defending champion Maple Mountain finished fourth at 631 and Olympus was fifth at 635.

Park shot a second-round 69, a slick 3-under par that was the lowest round of the entire tournament. Coupled with his first-day 73, he finished at 2-under 142 for medalist honors. Maple Mountain's Kai Ruiz was second at 70-74 (144), while Corner Canyon's Rhett Rasmussen and Spanish Fork's Benson Rhees tied for third at 146.

"I played solid on the front," Park said. "I got out to a good start, shot a 33 on the front, and just had all pars on the back. I was driving the ball really well. I wasn't hitting it particularly close, but I was hitting it on the green and making some putts and lagging some putts, especially on the back nine. And when I didn't hit the green, I got up when I had to on the back just to make par.

"I haven't played this course very often. I played it for the first time on Monday of last week, I think, something like that. That's a nice way to go out. I played well today.

"I struggled my freshman and sophomore years (at the state tournament)," Park said. "But last year I took eighth or something like that and played really well during the summer this year, and that kind of set me up for success. I thought our team would've had a better shot than me (to win it). Of course I had confidence in myself, but more in the team."

Instead, it was Timpview's team that put together the top two-day score to take its 11th state title in school history — but the first in more than two decades.

"We played pretty well," said Timpview's eighth-year golf coach, Jeff Ward. "I had my middle four kids that really showed up and played really well. ... The four scores we took today are the four that I've got coming back next year.