Sometimes, a coach can’t help but wonder whether his team can rise to a challenge.
The Longhorn golf team traveled to Snowflake Golf Course on Tuesday held together by Band-Aids and hope, with two of its top six golfers recovering from surgery.
But when it counted, the team’s hard work paid off. Three golfers that struggled last week cut 26 shots off their previous scores on the same course.
All three shot season-low scores, including Ben Myer (39), Austin Moss (41) and Tod McCarthy (43).
In addition, the reliable Dean Harpe and Mitchell McGuire both shot even-par 36s on a gusty afternoon and joined Myers in posting state-qualifying scores. McGuire, a freshman, had his lowest score of the season.
Those efforts helped propel the Horns to their second state qualifier and a first-place finish in the six-team match. PHS won all three of its events, beating 12 opponents.
Payson shot 152, Show Low 158, Lakeside Blue Ridge 160 and Snowflake 169. Holbrook and Heber Mogollon didn’t post the required four scores.
Matthew Myer was the junior varsity team medalist with a 55, while Jordan Jones, John Hughes and Reese Weaver all carded 63. Myer and Jones were playing in their second match and Hughes and Weaver in their first.
Mason Ridley and Clayton White should return to action on Tuesday when the Longhorns return to Snowflake GC for a third time.
“It will be great to have the whole team back with Mason and Clayton back in the fold,” said PHS coach Denny Morse, who said his pride in this team goes beyond what’s on their scorecards.
“I am proud of the team, not just in the quality of play, but for the character they display wherever they go,” the coach said.
Dean Harpe, Payson 36
Mitchell McGuire, Payson 36
John Fiore, Blue Ridge 38
J.R. Ferguson, Show Low 38
Cody Goza, Blue Ridge 38
Ian Crowe, Show Low 39
Matt Johnson, Blue Ridge 39
Ben Myer, Payson 39
Garson Hatch, Snowflake 40
Skylar Kourey, Show Low 40
Bailey Travers, Mogollon 40