I was overwhelmed because I knew that my team had done well. Just looking at their faces and seeing the smiles, I felt good, so that’s kind of why I got a bit emotional. —Lone Peak’s Lauren Taylor
TAYLORSVILLE — After a great performance in round one of the state tournament on Monday, Lone Peak’s Lauren Taylor turned in an even better performance on the final day of the 6A girls state golf tournament Tuesday afternoon at Meadow Brook Golf Course.
Taylor, who shot 69 the previous day, turned in a 66 on Tuesday — and did it while she was sick.
“I actually was feeling pretty sick today and so I kind of was praying that I would get through the round. I knew that I was playing really well so I knew that I had to be close. I got to a point where I was kind of getting ahead of myself thinking, ‘Oh, it’s got to be really close,’ so I had to take a step back and just play it one hole at a time, one shot at a time,” Taylor said.
Lone Peak head coach Gina Higbee was impressed by Taylor’s performance.
“Lauren is great. She was really in the zone today. She has worked extremely hard, and she did great today. She never, ever gives up, no matter what is happening, she never gives up and just keeps on going. She’s excited about it and I’m very excited and proud of her,” Higbee said.
Taylor’s round helped Lone Peak win the inaugural 6A girls state golf championship as the Knights finished with a score of 592. Davis finished second with a score of 605 and Bingham placed third with a score of 622.
All the teams gathered in the clubhouse after the round, waiting for the scores to be posted. As it became apparent that Lone Peak was going to win, the team burst into screams, hugging each other as confetti fell around them.
“We had an idea at the last couple holes that we were looking really, really good, and even right here on the 18th green, it looked like we were going to win, because we’ve been adding up everybody’s scores, but we certainly didn’t want to celebrate until the score went up on the board, and that’s when it was final,” Higbee said.
Ashley Higbee, Gina’s daughter, shot 79 on the day. For Gina, winning a state championship with her daughter made the day even sweeter.
“It makes it that much cooler. As cool as it is, it just is the icing on the cake. When she came in with a great round today, that really contributed to the scoreboard in there, that fourth score, so it really makes it more exciting,” Higbee said.
Bingham’s Tess Blair took top individual honors for the second straight year, as Blair posted 69 on the final day after shooting 65 the previous day for a total of 134 — beating Taylor by just one stroke. Finishing third in the individual results was Caylyn Ponich, who shot 138.
Taylor was emotional as she came off the course after the 18th hole, knowing that Lone Peak had just clinched the championship.
“I was overwhelmed because I knew that my team had done well. Just looking at their faces and seeing the smiles, I felt good, so that’s kind of why I got a bit emotional. We’ve worked really hard, really hard this season, and I don’t think we’ve ever wanted it more than we did this year,” Taylor said.
Taylor remarked that there was no other group of girls that she would rather win a title with.
“I have never felt closer to a group of people before. I love my team. Coming into here I kind of said to them, because I was lucky enough to be a team captain this year, I said to them, ‘To win a championship at all is fun, it doesn’t really matter what team you’re with, but there’s no other team I would rather lose with than these girls,’ because I know that no matter what, their arms are going to be surrounded around each other,” Taylor said.
TEAM SCORES (Total for tournament)
1. Lone Peak, 592; 2. Davis, 605; 3, Bingham, 622; 4. Pleasant Grove, 682; 5. Westlake, 688; 6. Weber, 697; 7. Northridge, 702; 8. Fremont, 743; 9. Herriman, 758; 10. Riverton, 793.
INDIVIDUAL SCORES (Total for tournament)
134 — Tess Blair, Bingham
135 — Lauren Taylor, Lone Peak
138 — Caylyn Ponich, Davis
141 — Alina Vannarath, Westlake
144 — Maddie Moss, Lone Peak; Brooklyn Halliday, Davis; Carissa Graft, Bingham
146 — Abbey Porter, Lone Peak
157 — Katelyn Day, Davis
161 — Shelby Eubank, Pleasant Grove; Alicia Littlefield, Weber; Halle Parkin, Riverton.