Timpanogos won the last Region 7 match held at Sleepy Ridge Wednesday but Lehi took home the ultimate prize as the top team over the season of competition.
Lehi built up an early lead, but when its top golfer Helaman Ofahengaue went down with an injury at the Utah State Amateur, the Pioneers struggled a bit in the last four matches. But Lehi’s early dominance was enough for the Pioneers to claim the Region 7 gold trophy because Helaman’s younger brother KJ Ofahengaue stepped up to lead the team and be the top medalist golfer in the league.
“Helaman going down really hurt us in the last four matches,” Lehi head coach Jason Ingersoll said. “KJ led us. He’s a big leader on our team, and it was a pleasure to watch him step up and become the top medalist.”
Ingersoll said Helaman Ofahengaue will be back to compete at the 5A state tournament which will be held October 5-6 at Soldier Hollow, which will make the Pioneers a formidable force.
KJ Ofahengaue was the individual medalist as well at the Sleepy Ridge event on Wednesday, shooting an even par 72.
“I played really well today,” KJ Ofahengaue said. “I had six birdies and an eagle but I just couldn’t hold on to them (and fell back to even par).”
KJ Ofahengaue was still very happy not only with his round but his overall performance in the region season.
“It feels great,” KJ Ofahengaue said. “There’s a lot of competition. Thanks to my Dad and my teammates for pushing me and my favorite coach, Coach Ingy (Ingersoll).”
Another key golfer for the Pioneers was Sean Ackley, who was one of the top 12 medalists recognized by the region. Ackley was the individual medalist two weeks ago at Thanksgiving Point where both Ofahengaue brothers missed the match to compete at the Utah State Amateur.
Ackley finished seventh overall. Other key Lehi team members were Hunter Day, Jaxs Oviatt, Cooper Wight, and McQuire Madsen.
Timpanogos shot the low round at Sleepy Ridge, which helped them secure the other automatic qualifier team position for the 5A state tournament. Each league will get two automatic team qualifiers for eight of the 5A teams. The other eight team qualifiers will be based on a scoring average so Alta, Timpview, and possibly Orem have legitimate shots to make the 16-team field.
Timpanogos golfers Gavin Scott and Carter Papke both fired a 1-over par 73 Wednesday while teammate Noah Moody was one shot behind with a 74. Timpanogos’s most consistent golfer on the season, Joey Hadfield, shot an 80.
All four of these Timberwolf golfers were recognized as individual medalists as Hadfield was fourth overall, Scott fifth, Moody sixth and Papke tenth.
Timpanogos head coach Kim Nelson is very pleased with where his team is heading as it goes into the state tournament.
“We won the last three (events),” Nelson said. “The kids have worked hard and got better as we went and you can’t ask for much more than that.”
Nelson said it was definitely good to finish on their home course and stay ahead of Alta, who the Timberwolves had passed two matches ago in the overall team score.
Alta finished just ahead of Timpview for third place but the Thunderbirds have looked stronger in recent matches.
A critical performance was turned in by Timpview freshman Jimmy Hanamaikai, who posted a 3-over par 75 to vault him into 12th place in the medalist standings and earn an automatic qualifying position at the state tournament as an individual if Timpview fails to qualify as a team.
Hanamaikai’s teammate Nathan Gardner shot a 73 at Sleepy Ridge and earned second place overall in the medalist honors and tied for second as well at Sleepy Ridge, while Zack Francom’s score of 82 was good enough for him to earn an 11th place finish overall.
There was also a spectacular moment by Alta’s Elijah Smith who earned an albatross score of two on the Par 5 second hole. Smith also birdied No. 1 to shoot 4-under in that 2-hole stretch. Smith shot a 1-over par 73 to tie for second place overall at the Sleepy Ridge event.
Orem’s Austin Westfall finished tied with Hanamaikai for 12th overall in the medalist standings earning an automatic state qualifier position.
Sleepy Ridge results: 1. Timpanogos, 300. 2. Lehi, 307. 3. Timpview, 310. 4. Alta, 312. 5. Orem, 334. 6. Mountain Ridge, 352. 7. Mountain View, 428.
Top 10 golfers Sleepy Ridge: 1. KJ Ofahengaue (Lehi), 72. T-2. Nate Giles (Timpview), Carter Papke (Timpanogos), Gavin Scott (Timpanogos) and Elijah Smith (Alta), 73. 6. Noah Moody (Timpanogos), 74. 7. Jimmy Hanamaikai (Timpview), 75. 8. Jaxs Oviatt (Lehi), 77. 9. Sean Ackley (Lehi), 78. 10. Aurelius Mlynar (Alta), 79.
Top Teams Overall: 1. Lehi, 1,836. 2. Timpanogos, 1,860. 3. Alta, 1,882. 4. Timpview, 1,890. 5. Orem, 2,008. 6. Mountain Ridge, 2,017. 7. Mountain View, 2,586.
Top 12 medalists (automatic state qualifiers): 1. KJ Ofahengaue (Lehi), 72.0. 2. Nate Giles (Timpview), 75.6, 3. Tyler Fraser (Alta), 76.3. 4. Joey Hadfield (Timpanogos), 76.9. 5. Gavin Scott (Timpanogos), 77.7. 6. Noah Moody (Timpanogos), 78.6. 7. Sean Ackley (Lehi), 79.1. 8. Aurelius Mlynar (Alta), 79.9. 9. Fischer Bradley (Alta), 80.0. 10. Carter Papke (Timpanogos), 80.4. 11. Zack Francom (Timpview), 80.9. T-12. Jimmy Hanamaikai (Timpview) and Austin Westfall (Orem), 81.9.