The Park City Miners have enjoyed a stranglehold on Utah's Class 3A boys golf scene over the past five years
That grip appears to be tightening.
Park City shot a 303 on the first day of the Class 3A boys state golf tournament to open a 16-stroke lead Wednesday at Roosevelt Golf Course. The Miners are in position to capture their fifth consecutive state title.
"It's never the same old thing. It's always exciting," Park City coach George Murphy said. "It's kind of a neat thing that that's the expectation. [Winning the state championship] is kind of a tradition, and our guys want to live up to that."
Justin Shluker, who won the individual state title last year, shot the best round of the day with a 73, good enough to give him a two-stroke lead heading into Thursday's second and final round.
"I just knew I had to stay patient with it because there's a lot of golf to be played," Shluker said. "I knew if I stayed patient, there were still birdies on the back nine. If you play decent on the front, you can score well on the back, and that's what I did."
Union is in second after shooting a 319, while Pine View (328), Spanish Fork (329), Wasatch (329) and Desert Hills (330) all are within three strokes of third place.
Juab's Dalton Jackson (75) is second behind Shluker, and Park City's Harry Hanskat (76), Union's Kaden McDonald (76) and Juan Diego's Ryan Lowe (76) also are within striking distance.
The golfers had to battle through gusty winds for much of the afternoon after a calm morning.
Murphy said the Miners called on their experience in previous state tournaments to handle the conditions, which allowed them to build their lead.
"The front nine was pretty calm, but then it just started blowing, probably 30 to 40 mph winds," Murphy said. "It was crazy, but we hung in there, and four out of our six were able to post scores in the 70s."
Park City: 303
Pine View: 328
Spanish Fork: 329
Desert Hills: 30
Juan Diego: 335
Snow Canyon: 337
North Sanpete: 345
Bear River: 345
Top 10 individuals
Justin Shluker, Park City: 73
Dalton Jackson, Juab: 75
Harry Hanskat, Park City: 76
Kaden McDonald, Union: 76
Ryan Lowe, Juan Diego: 76
Mitchell Schow, Park City: 77
Jalen Roberts, Park City: 77
Dakota Denver, Union: 77
Hayden Hayward, Pine View: 78
Robbi Etzel, Carbon: 78