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Woods Cross Wins 4A Golf Title
High school golf: Peyton Hastings leads Woods Cross to 4A title
By Chris Peterson
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011 11:34 p.m. MDT
SPRINGVILLE — Golf may be greater parts mental than it is physical, but one definitely needs to have both under control to be successful.
Family and friends of Woods Cross junior Peyton Hastings certainly knew that both factors work for him, but after he beat the field at the 4A Utah state high school championship tournament Tuesday, everyone is aware of that fact.
Hastings, who brought a one-stroke lead over Hillcrest’s Seokwon Jeon into Day 2 at Hobble Creek Golf Course, finished with a two day total of 137, two better than Jeon.
“It just feels really good,” Hastings said. “Everyone wants to win, but I don’t know if you expect it. I just wanted to come in and play good.”
Hastings, who finished fifth at last year’s state tournament and was the Region 6 medalist this season, followed up his first-round, four-under par 67 performance with a 70 on Tuesday.
Hastings wore his game face the entire tournament — intent on completing his mission — all the while joking with his fellow competitors and being polite to all others he talked with.
Combine that with his fit, athletic and powerful swing, and the left-hander proved to be a foe that no one could beat.
“(Peyton) is an outstanding player,” Woods Cross coach James Sheldon said. “He lives and breathes golf. He’s a kid that comes home from school, does his homework and goes to the course and golf.”
Hastings’ efforts, plus a strong showing by teammate Spencer Hale (147), helped the Wildcats to the team title, posting a two-day total of 599 to beat out second-place Highland (609).
“It’s just really nice to see all their hard work and dedication pay off,” Sheldon said. “They didn’t give up; they kept playing hard all season long.”
With a two-stroke lead, play was delayed on the 17th green when there was a question of whether or not Hastings’ ball marker — which had fallen out of his pocket — had hit and moved his golf ball.
The players were split 2-and-2 on whether it had hit the ball, so an official interviewed each and made a ruling that no penalty would be assessed.
Instead of getting rattled from the incident, Sheldon said Hastings took it all in stride, and there was no indication it affected him at all.
“He just got right in there (at the 18th tee) and hit it right down the middle and birdied the hole,” Sheldon said.
The team title was the first-ever golf championship for Woods Cross, something that Hastings said he was proud to be a part of.
“It’s great to be on such a good team,” he said. “We’re happy to have done so well.”
Sheldon said the future is bright — for both Hastings and the Wildcats.
“The scary part, at least for the other teams, is that he’s still got another year,” Sheldon said. “And we’ve got some other guys that can really step up as well.”
Kai Ruiz of Maple Mountain and Travis Norseth of Skyline finished tied for third, followed by Hale and Bonneville’s Nick Smith, who were tied for fifth place.
Timpview and Maple Mountain finished in a tie for third place in the team standings.
4A Golf Championship
At Hobble Creek Golf Course
Final team scores—1. Woods Cross, 599; 2. Highland, 609; 3. (tie) Timpview, Maple Mountain, 618; 5. Skyline, 634.
Top individual scores— 1. Peyton Hastings (Woods Cross), 67-70—137; 2. Seokwon Jeon (Hillcrest), 68-71—139; 3. (tie) Kai Ruiz (Maple Mountain), 74-72—146, Travis Norseth (Skyline), 71-75—146; 5. (tie) Nick Smith (Bonneville), 71-76—147, Spencer Hale (Woods Cross), 76-71—147; 7. (tie) Matt Loosle (Highland), 72-76—148, C.J. Lee (Timpiew), 74-74—148