LAYTON — The temperature went up at the 6A boys golf tournament at Valley View, and so did Lone Peak’s scores.
Sometimes, that’s golf.
The Knights — looking to win their fifth straight state title — couldn’t hold off a red-hot Davis team in the final round of the tournament on Tuesday, finishing second behind the Darts on a cool but sunny day in Layton.
Davis, which won its first state boys golf title since 2002, trailed Lone Peak by four strokes after a weather-delayed first round. But Cole Ponich shot a four-under par 68 on Tuesday and Jake Sargent and McKay Cook both carded 71’s in the final round to help secure Davis’s state crown.
After winning the past four Class 5A team titles, Lone Peak came close to claiming the state’s first 6A championship but couldn’t quite pull it off
“The last four were pretty good,” Lone Peak coach Rob Stanger said. “Before that run, Lone Peak lost in a playoff. So we’ve gotten second, then four wins in a row, then second place. It’s the standard that these guys play at. Davis is phenomenal team and played great. We had an off day. It happens in sports, and it’s part of the game.”
Ponich finished with a two-day total of 133, six strokes better than Lone Peak’s Zach Jones and last year’s individual medalist, Weber’s Conner Howe. Ponich was steady on Tuesday, parring eight straight holes and striking a birdie on 11 to get out to 3-under and earn some distance on the field.
“Cole is a great putter,” Stanger said. “He’s got a lot of game.”
Lone Peak overcame the rough weather on Monday to get out to that four-stroke lead, but couldn’t put a good enough stretch together on the second day to keep Davis in the rear-view mirror. The Darts shot 287 as a team on Tuesday, 15 strokes better than the Knights.
“In golf it can be the subtle things,” Stanger said. “You could have a couple of putts lip out, or you could have the ball have a little bit of a bounce or the ball bites a little on you. If I knew what it was then I could write a best-selling book but it just isn’t that black and white. Were just disappointed that we didn’t come with our best game.”
Stanger will return juniors Jones and Josh Rooker next season, along with sophomore Taft Lewis and freshman Parker Reese.
“Down at Alpine Country Club we’ve got a great junior program,” Stanger said. “We’ve got five freshmen this year who have tremendous potential and we pick up three really good eighth graders. For the guys on this year’s team, this will be good for them to experience what it feels like to not win a state championship. Second place is still a huge accomplishment.”
The Knights will have to get over their disappointment soon. Lone Peak won the Honda National Invitational in Florida last year and will make the trip south again next week to defend its title.
“I think we’re going to work hard to keep getting better as a team,” Jones said. “We’ve got some young kids coming up. We’ll go to Florida and try to get some redemption.”
Pleasant Grove, led by Gavin Smith’s fourth place finish (69-76—145) ended up tied with American Fork for fifth in the team standings. David Conway tied at eighth (74-76—150) for the Cavemen.
Five local athletes were announced as members of the first Class 6A Academic All-State team: Chandler and Hunter Thompson of American Fork and Jackson Brown, Abraham Robinson and Thomas Wilhite of Pleasant Grove.