Some said the final putt of Zach Jones’ round was 63 feet, but Jones said it was 70 feet, so let’s take his word for it.
Jones, from Lone Peak, was leading the 6A individual tournament by one stroke over Cole Ponich of Davis High School as they stood on the tee box of No. 18 at TalonsCove in Saratoga Springs on Thursday afternoon.
The two friends had battled all day, especially on the back nine.
The previous two holes saw Jones drive the green on No. 16 before he drained a 25-foot eagle putt. Ponich missed the 16th green and used a flop shot to get up and down for birdie.
On the par-3 17th, Jones found the left side of the green, but was 20-30 feet from the hole. Ponich knocked his tee shot inside Jones. After a miss by Jones, Ponich made his second birdie in a row, setting up the showdown on the final hole.
“I knew that he was going to make a run,” Jones said.
Both golfers found the 18th fairway. Ponich hit first being 160 yards from the pin, his ball coming to rest 2 feet from the hole.
“That was one of the most clutch shots I’ve hit,” Ponich said.
With a birdie for the Davis standout all but guaranteed, the pressure shifted to Jones.
Jones’ second shot found the front of the green, 70 feet from the cup.
“Walking up the green, I didn’t think he was going to be that close,” Jones said. “When I saw he was that close, I knew I had to make the putt.”
“It was a triple breaker,” Jones said of his winning putt. “It went right at the start, then left in the middle and then barely came back right toward the end. It was on line off the face (of the putter), so I had a good chance if it got there, and it went in.”
That’s Lone Peak H.S. Zac Jones’ 60-foot birdie bomb on the 18th hole at @TalonsCove to win the @uhsaa 6A Boys State Championship. Jones’ 68-68 -136 beat Cole Ponich by 1 for medalist. Lone Peak won state title @Harmonwrites @tribkurt @sorny8 @JaredrLloyd 🎥: @artdirector_g pic.twitter.com/vziEKDB4mu— Randy Dodson (@RandyatFairways) October 4, 2018
Jones’ made putt gave him a back-to-back rounds of 68, and sparked a celebration from the Lone Peak team and supporters, as they knew the Knights had sealed up the 6A boys golf team state championship, as well as the top finisher in Jones.
“Davis beat us last year,” Jones said. “We have been working hard and looking forward to this all year. So when that putt went in, and I knew that we had won the team title and I had won the individual, it was surreal.”
The Lone Peak golf team returned to the top of 6A, winning by 28 strokes over the defending champion Davis Darts.
“It was a team effort today,” Lone Peak head coach Rob Stanger said. “We had four golfers at par or better.”
Along with Jones’ 4-under-par 68, Taft Lewis and Parker Reece shot 71s and Caleb Norton finished with an even-par 72.
“This team has great chemistry, all the guys get along great,” Stanger said of the 2018 Knights’ golf team. “Zach (Jones) being a senior and Taft (Lewis) being a junior, they made a great environment on this team that was fun.”
American Fork finished in fourth (620), and Pleasant Grove finished fifth (629).