4A state golf: Lady Thunder finish 3rd, fall short in bid for 10th straight state title

Desert Hills golfers after placing third at the 4A state tournament, Provo, Utah, May 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Desert Hills High Athletics, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The 10th time wasn’t the charm for the Desert Hills High School girls golf team, which finished in third place at the 4A state tournament Thursday.

Top 11 individual medalists, in order, after the 4A state girls golf tournament, Provo, Utah, May 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Steve Sherman, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Lady Thunder’s remarkable streak of nine straight state titles came to an end at Provo’s East Bay Golf Course, as Ridgeline followed its opening day score of 336 on Wednesday with a 326 on Thursday to win the tournament by 13 strokes. Runner-up Park City finished with a two-day total of 675, while third-place Desert Hills ended up with a 683.

Desert Hills had shot an uncharacteristically high 355 the first day, putting them 18 strokes behind Ridgeline at the halfway point.

Desert Hills head coach Todd Meyer said he then gave his players what he called his “Ben Crenshaw speech,” trying to rally his team much in the same way Crenshaw did when the U.S. came from behind to win the 1999 Ryder Cup.

“I told them, you know, 18 shots can be made up,” Meyer said. “I just kind of threw a number at them and told them what we’d have to shoot. I told them 325. You get 325 and that would give us a chance. Well, we shot 329 today, but Ridgeline played really well again and shot 326.”

Bailia Milne of Pine View and Keslee Sherman of Canyon View at the 4A state girls golf tournament, Provo, Utah, May 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Steve Sherman, St. George News / Cedar City News

Meyer said the Thunder’s second-day score of 329 was his team’s best one-round score this season.

“We shot 22 shots better on the front nine,” he said, adding that one of his golfers, Kelsey Ranson, followed her first-day score of 91 with a 79 on Thursday, a remarkable 12-stroke improvement.

Meyer said in spite of the loss, he has high hopes for the team’s prospects for next year, especially since the Thunder are losing only one senior, Kellie Nance, to graduation.

“I told them, when we get (the title) back next year, it’s going to be sweeter, given we’ve had it forever,” he said. “After the state tournament, those girls that hadn’t played before, there’s going to be a bad taste in their mouth. I think that’s going to definitely make them want it more.”

“We didn’t play with heart the first day, but we played with heart today. That’s kind of what I’ve been trying to get out of them all year. But it gets really hard when you’re not getting challenged in your region and you just take winning for granted, I guess.”

Also from Region 9, Dixie placed fifth in the team standings with a score of 708, while Cedar finished eighth with a score of 763. Click here for complete final scores and standings.

Additionally, the golfers with the 10 best state tournament scores were named individual state medalists. They included three golfers from Region 9: Annabelle Millard of Dixie was fourth overall with a score of 152, Bailia Milne of Pine View was fifth with 156 and Abby Leitze of Desert Hills was seventh with 161. Also, Keslee Sherman of Canyon View, who competed solo at state, finished just out of the medalist rankings, placing 12th overall with a score of 166.

Top 11 team scores, girls golf 4A state tournament

  1. Ridgeline 336-326-662
  2. Park City 342-333-675
  3. Desert Hills 354-329-683
  4. Uintah 359-344-703
  5. Dixie 358-350-708
  6. Lehi 369-347-716
  7. Bear River 368-376-744
  8. Cedar 390-373-763
  9. Bonneville 381-387-768
  10. Stansbury 391-392-783
  11. Juan Diego 391-413-804

Top 11 individual scores, girls golf 4A state tournament

  1. Lila Galea’i, Lehi 70-68-138
  2. Alexis Wilson, Ridgeline 72-75-147
  3. Grace Donahue, Park City 75-75-150
  4. Annabelle Millard, Dixie 79-73-152
  5. Bailia Milne, Pine View 77-79-156
  6. Maicee Smuin, Uintah 79-79-158
  7. Abby Leitze, Desert Hills 84-77-161
  8. Mak Tenhoeve, Ridgeline 83-79-162
  9. (three-way tie) McKenzie Schow, Park City 84-79-163; Meghan Pierce, Uintah 81-82-163; and Rheagen Hartfiel, Bear River 82-81-163.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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