The defending 4A golf champion Timpview Thunderbirds found themselves in second place behind Maple Mountain after the opening Region 8 golf tournament. And after strong performances in the last two tournaments, the Thunderbirds have risen to the top of the Region 8 golf world.

Timpview shot a 296 at the Region 8 meet held at Fox Hollow and followed that with a 300 at Spanish Oaks this past Monday. The Thunderbirds trailed Maple Mountain by 11 strokes after the first match held at The Reserve at East Bay where the Golden Eagles set a school record by shooting 277, or 11-under par.

But Maple Mountain fired a 313 at Fox Hollow, then shot 313 at Spanish Oaks and now trails Timpview by 18 strokes. In fact, Spanish Fork actually bested Maple Mountain at Spanish Oaks with a 311 mark. The Dons stand in third place 16 strokes behind second-place Maple Mountain.

At Fox Hollow, Timpview's Jackson Rawle was the medalist as he posted a 1-under score on the par 72 layout. Teammates Spencer Lillywhite fired a 73 while brother Josh marked a 74 to lead the Thunderbird charge. The third brother of the Lillywhite clan, John, posted a 78.

At Spanish Oaks, Spanish Fork's Benson Rhees and Springville's Mason Murphy were actually the medalists as they posted even par scores of 72.

Maple Mountain's Kai Ruiz still is the region overall leader with a 213 total. Ruiz was the medalist in the first Region 8 match with a 7-under 65 and posted scores of 73 and 75 respectively in the last two region matches.

Ruiz leads Spencer Lillywhite by a single stroke while Ruiz's Maple Mountain teammate Alex Crandall has been consistent and boasts a solid 217 total. One stroke behind Crandall are Timpview golfers Rawle and Josh Lillywhite.

The next Region 8 golf match will be held Wednesday, Aug. 27, at Soldiers Hollow in Midway. The golfers will tee off on the Silver Course at 11 a.m.

Region 8 standings after three matches: 1. Timpview 882; 2. Maple Mountain 900; 3. Spanish Fork 916; 4. Salem Hills 974; 5. Wasatch 977; 6. Springville 1052; 7. Provo 1,141.

Top Region 8 individuals after three matches: 1. Kai Ruiz (Maple Mountain) 213; 2. Spencer Lillywhite (Timpview) 214; 3. Alex Crandall (Maple Mountain) 217; T-4. Josh Lillywhite (Timpview) 218, and Jackson Rawle (Timpview) 218; 6. Mason Murphy (Springville) 219; 7. Benson Rhees (Spanish Fork) 220; T-8 Dan Briggs (Wasatch) 227, and Mark Mortensen (Maple Mountain) 227; 10. Jayden Bates (Spanish Fork) 230.

Brian Preece is a freelance writer who specializes in prep sports.