MANTI — Layton Christian’s Jaece Stokes missed out on medalists honors at last spring’s 1A state golf tournament by just a few strokes, but five months later he’s closing in on a 2A title.

Stokes fired a 2-under 70 on the first day of the 2A state tournament at Palisades Golf Course on Wednesday to open up a four-shot lead over Gunnison’s Mason Powell. Manti’s Kody Quarnberg sits in third after shooting a 77, with South Summit's Weston Wheeler in fourth with a 78.

The chase for the 2A team title is shaping up to be a two-team race between Grand and Manti, with two-time defending champion Beaver a distant 27 strokes behind.

Grand holds a narrow Day 1 lead after shooting a 340, with Manti right behind at 341. Brayden Ward posted Grand’s top score Wednesday with a 78. Jace Woodard and Tyson Saggboy each shot 86 for the Red Devils.

Defending 1A state champion Layton Christian sits in third with a 352.

2A Golf State Championships

Day 1

At Palisade Golf Course

Team scores

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1. Grand, 340; 2. Manti, 341; 3. Layton Christian, 352; 4 (tie). Rowland Hall, South Summit, 353; 6. Emery, 359; 7. Gunnison, 363; 8 (tie). Beaver, Waterford, 367.

Individual scores

70 — Jaece Stokes, Layton Christian

74 — Mason Powell, Gunnison

77 — Kody Quarnberg, Manti

78 — Weston Wheeler, South Summit

78 — Brayden Ward, Grand

82 — Hudson Chappel, American Leadership

83 — Joe Barton, Manti

84 — Sage Herron, Waterford

85 — Jordan Fuller, Emery

85 — Nick Norton, Layton Christian

85 — Quin Wagstaff, Beaver

85 — So Joseph, Rockwell

85 — Nick Norton, Layton Christian