We love it. They've (Olympus) been really good all year and we've been right there with them, so it's been fun. —Craig Barlow
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Youth may be a good thing for the Skyline boys golf team.
After the first day of competition, the Eagles find themselves leading the 5A state championship with 303 combined points, four points ahead of favorite Viewmont and five ahead of Region 6 rival Olympus. They did as much relying on a trio of freshmen, led by Simon Kwon, who is the grandson of golfing great Johnny Miller, and a sophomore.
"Maybe these kids are too young to really understand the pressure of a state championship," said Skyline coach Craig Barlow. "We shot the type of score we've been at all year, although we have been a bit better than what we showed, at times. But with the conditions like they were — I'm happy with what we were able to do."
Monday's conditions saw a lot of wind and rain, which shot up scores higher than normal for almost every team competing. Barlow's team seemed to manage the conditions better than most, with Kwon carding a 73 and Tyson Shelley, a 76.
"The greens were really hard, so I'm very happy and maybe a bit surprised that we're able to lead after one day," Barlow said. "I knew we could be in contention, but to lead — I'm very happy with how we golfed today."
Nipping at Skyline's heels is Viewmont, which was led by low-scorer Drew Smith, who carded a 72, and Brendan Thomas, who shot 75.
As for Olympus, it was led by Zack Neff and Sam Parker, each of whom shot 74, with John Fox carding a 75.
"Really happy we got those three really good scores, which weren't easy to get with the conditions being what they were today," said Olympus coach Matt Barnes. "You get four scores in the 70s and you have a chance. So hopefully we can get that fourth score a bit lower tomorrow and have a real chance at this thing."
For Skyline and Olympus, they're used to competing with one another, due to proximity and being in the same region.
"We love it. They've been really good all year and we've been right there with them, so it's been fun," Barlow said. "We're always battling and we'll be battling with them tomorrow, yet again. But then there's Viewmont and a few others. It's going to be interesting to see what happens, but I like where we're at and how we're playing."
Also playing well were Skyridge and Highland, with each team shooting a combined 314, which is low enough to put both teams in the thick of it when the two-day event continues on Tuesday.
5A state golf tournament
Talon's Cove Golf Course, par 72
Team scores (top 10 make cut)
1. Skyline, 303; 2. Viewmont, 307; 3. Olympus, 308; 4. Skyridge, 314; 4. Highland, 314; 6. Alta, 321; 6. Woods Cross, 321; 8. Corner Canyon, 323; 9. Timpview, 329; 10. Bountiful, 330.
72 — Drew Smith, Viewmont
73 — Simon Kwon, Skyline
74 — Zack Neff, Olympus; Sam Parker, Olympus; Oscar Maxfield, Highland; Sam Whisenant, Highland; Grant Wilson, Woods Cross;
75 — Brendan Thomas, Viewmont; John Fox, Olympus; Luke Stout, Bountiful
76 — Tyson Shelley, Skyline; Billy Kener, Murray
77 — Philip Meima, Skyline; Joseph Kim, Skyline; Tanner Davidson, Skyridge; Carter Frisby, Skyridge; Patrick Holmes, Corner Canyon, Zach Hansen, Box Elder