I didn’t play great or anything, but I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, two-putted quite a bit and then took advantage of the good opportunities. —Cole Ponich
LAYTON — Davis golfed without fear on the final day of the 6A state championship.
A great opening day positioned the Darts to make a run at four-time state champion Lone Peak, and they held nothing back when it mattered most on Tuesday at Valley View High School.
“I told my kids the pressure is not on us, just go play, play the course how you know how to play it,” said Davis coach Ben Horne.
That’s exactly what Davis did, with four of the six golfers improving their score from Monday, including three who shot under par.
Leading the way was Cole Ponich, who easily claimed medalist honors as he backed up his first-day 65 with a 68 on Tuesday for a scintillating two-day 11-under.
“I didn’t play great or anything, but I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, two-putted quite a bit and then took advantage of the good opportunities,” said Ponich, who shot the only round in the 60s on Tuesday.
“I wasn’t really worried about myself. Mostly, I was playing for the team all day. We were talking about it the whole morning and last night. We wanted that ‘W’ so bad; that’s all we were talking about.”
As a team, Davis shot a 1-under 287 to finish with a two-day total of 580 to capture its first state championship since 2002. Lone Peak was second with 591, followed by Weber with 600.
“It’s not easy beating Lone Peak. Obviously, they’ve won four straight; they’re a very good program,” said Horne.
Down just four strokes in the team race, the Darts viewed Tuesday’s round as basically a match play against Lone Peak. Davis’s six golfers were grouped in threesomes with a golfer from Lone Peak and Pleasant Grove, and it believed if it could win four of those matches it had a chance.
Davis ended up finishing with a better score in five of the six groups for a 15-shot swing in the team score.
Davis freshmen Jack Sargent and McKay Cook in particular came up huge for the champs. They both shot a 76 on Monday, and then each followed it up with a 1-under 71 on Tuesday to finish in a tie for fifth.
The other score that Davis counted in the best four-of-six scoring was Alex Yu’s 77. He shot an 81 on Monday.
“These other kids that maybe don’t get all the limelight, they got it today. I’m very proud of him,” said Horne
Zach Jones led second-place Lone Peak on Tuesday with a 2-under 70, finishing in a second place tie overall with Weber’s Connor Howe at 139.
Howe was looking to become just the fifth three-time individual state champ in state history, and was within striking distance just three strokes behind Ponich after Day 1. He bogeyed his first two holes on Tuesday, however, and was never really in the running for that elusive three-peat.
Pleasant Grove’s Gavin Smith finished fourth with a score of 145.
6A state golf tournament
Valley View Golf Course, par 72
1. Davis, 580; 2. Lone Peak, 591; 3. Weber, 600; 4. Bingham, 605; 5 (tie). Pleasant Grove, American Fork, 615; 7. Clearfield; 8. Fremont.
133 — Cole Ponich, Davis (65-68)
139 — Zach Jones, Lone Peak (69-70), Connor Howe, Weber (68-71)
145 — Gavin Smith, Pleasant Grove (69-76)
147 — Jack Sargent, Davis (76-71), McKay Cook, Davis (76-71)
148 — Josh Rooker, Lone Peak (71-77)
150 — Hunter Howe, Weber (78-72), David Conway, American Fork (74-76), Tanner McMillan, Clearfield (73-77)
151 — Chandler Thompson, American Fork (78-73), Cameron Skiby, Fremont (74-77)
152 — Max Brenchley, Lone Peak (73-79), Parker Reese, Lone Peak (76-76)
153 — Derek Leetham, Pleasant Grove (77-76), Caden Dunn, Westlake (75-78)
154 — Isaac Layne, Weber (77-77), Jordan Bingham, Bingham (75-79), Tristan Fuller, Bingham (78-76)
155 — Dylan Ramsay, Lone Peak (76-79), Ethan Fowlks, Bingham (82-73), Bryson Hirabayashi, Clearfield (81-74)