Matt Gade, Deseret News
HIGHLAND — Lone Peak's boys golf team dominated its competition during the regular season. When it mattered most, the Knights did it again.
Lone Peak capped its undefeated season with a convincing win Tuesday at the 5A state golf championships held at Alpine Country Club.
The Knights shot a combined 591 over two days — a full 14 shots clear of both Viewmont and Syracuse, who tied for second place.
“It feels amazing. I can’t even describe it,” said Lone Peak’s Connor Copeland. “This team worked so hard all year and we had a big chip on our shoulder coming into the tournament, but that’s now gone and we’re state champions. It feels amazing.”
Copeland himself had two chips on his shoulder entering the final day of competition. The first was courtesy of Brighton, which edged out Lone Peak in a sudden-death playoff last year to take the title. The second was placed there by himself after shooting a lackluster 78 during the first day of this year's competition.
His score earned him the first tee time Tuesday, and he responded just like his coach wanted — and his team needed.
“Connor has been so solid for us all year and I knew he’d respond the way we needed him to,” said Lone Peak coach Rob Stanger. “He got off to a very good start and really paced our team and drove everyone to play their best. I’d go back to the players behind him and tell them that Connor is now 1 shot under par or 2 shots under par, and that really got all of them going since all our players are so competitive.”
Ultimately, Copeland carded a 72 in blustery and subsequent poor scoring conditions Tuesday at Alpine Country Club. Cameron Webb added a 73 and Berkley Stulce a 74 to help secure the championship.
“We’ve had such a deep and consistent team and that showed today, just like it has all year,” Stanger said. “This team really had a desire to improve after coming so close last year and that really drove us this year. I can’t say enough about the kids and the time they put in.”
Last year saw the Knights finish just one putt away from a state title. They made sure it was not nearly as close this time around.
"We all wanted to make sure not to come up short this year and it really motivated us seeing how close we were last year," Copeland said. "All our hard work paid off and it was a complete team effort."
Viewmont took second place after winning a one-hole playoff from Syracuse. The Vikes were led by Kelton Hirsch, who carded a 70 on the final day to take the 5A individual title with a combined score of 143.
"I've put in a lot of hard work the last two years and it feels great to finally get it done," Hirsch said. "Last year I had a disappointing showing, so I wanted to make a good run at it this year."
Hirsch entered the final day four shots off the lead held by West's Austin Banz, who shot a 69 the first day. The deficit caused Hirsch to not think much about the individual title until reaching the 18th tee.
"I didn't think I'd be even close coming in," Hirsch said. "I just thought the guys would come in lower than they did today, so it was a complete surprise that I had a two-shot lead heading into the final hole. I was definitely surprised, but excited."
Tuesday's final results
Lone Peak — 591
Viewmont — 605
Syracuse — 605
Davis — 612
Brighton — 613
American Fork — 617
Bingham — 626
West — 635
Pleasant Grove — 652
Layton — 652
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