Dave Anderson
Carbon's Ryker Smith leads the 3A state golf tournament after shooting a 74 on the first day of competition.
It’s going to come down to who makes the least mistakes. —Morgan head coach Dennis Peterson

RICHFIELD — A five-stroke spread is all that separates the top three teams after the first day of the 3A state tournament at Cove View Golf Course.

Grand leads the pack after Wednesday's rounds, with a team score of 321, followed by Morgan’s 324 and Carbon’s 326.

“I’d love the lead to be more,” said Grand coach Aaron Woodard. “It is what it is with the conditions being what they are.”

High winds and fast greens continued throughout the day, making the links challenging for everyone on the course.

“We just have to concentrate and play our game,” Woodard said.

“I think it was a rough day for everyone,” said Masen Ward, who shot a 79 for Grand’s Red Devils. Teammate Brendon Woodard led the team by carding a 75.

Just three strokes back, Morgan also remains in the hunt for the state trophy.

“It was so frustrating out there today,” said Matthew Milburn, who carded a 79 to help lead Morgan’s Trojans to their second-place position. However, Milburn said he’s not worried headed into the second day of the tournament.

“We played a 300 practice round on this course,” Milburn said. “We just need to go play golf.”

Golfers are hoping for more stable conditions on Thursday, said Morgan coach Dennis Peterson.

“Hopefully it will be better weather and we can go out and play the type of golf we’re capable of,” Peterson said. “It’s going to come down to who makes the least mistakes.”

Carbon’s Ryker Smith shot the low individual score of the day, ending up with a 74.

“I feel like I played solid,” Smith said. Smith’s teammate, Ryan Gagon, shot a 77 to help the Dinos’ effort to secure a good heading into the final rounds of the year.

“Today is about setting yourself up for tomorrow,” said Carbon coach Tom King. “This team has played solid all year long … we’ll be OK as long as we try our hardest and don’t give up.”

Judge Memorial beat Richfield by one stroke in the race for fourth place, posting a team score of 333. Graham Hodell and Simon Chamness both posted 81s to set the pace for Judge.

Richfield ended the day in fifth place, with a 334 team score. Richfield’s Wildcats followed the lead of Layton Allred and Conner Belnap, who both ended the day with 80s.

Team scores (top 8 advanced to Thursday’s championship round)

1. Grand, 321; 2. Morgan, 324; 3. Carbon, 326; 4. Judge Memorial, 333; 5. Richfield, 334; 6. North Sanpete, 339; 7. South Sevier, 342; 8. Union, 353; 9. Delta, 357; 10. Providence Hall, 363; 11. Manti, 364; and 12. Juab, 382.

Individual results

74 — Ryker Smith, Carbon

75 — Brendon Woodard, Grand

77 — Ryan Gagon, Carbon

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78 — Gage Ekker, South Sevier

79 — Easton Hunt, South Sevier

79 — Masen Ward, Grand

79 — Matthew Millburn, Morgan

79 — Nathan Preslar, Morgan

80 — Joseph Garlick, North Sanpete

80 — Layton Allred, Richfield

80 — Conner Belnap, Richfield

81 — Graham Hodell, Judge Memorial

81 — Simon Chamness, Judge Memorial

82 — Brock May, Grantsville

82 — Alec Williams, Grand

83 — Payton Thompson, Richfield

83 — Colton Welsh, Morgan

83 — Holden Welsh, Morgan

83 — Keston Lyon, Manti

83 — River Dillman, North Sanpete