Class 4A boys' golf • Timpview's C.J. Lee recovers from poor start to win individual title.
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Logan • Timpview's C.J. Lee wasn't having such a good day Thursday at Logan Golf and Country Club.
The clubhouse leader struggled to 5 over through eight holes, including an ugly triple bogey on No. 7. The senior was stressing out about his slim lead in the Class 4A state tournament, but he took a deep breath.
"I knew my lead was in jeopardy," he said. "The last thing I wanted to do was give up."
A back nine full of birdies helped Lee hold on to the lead against his top rival, Maple Mountain sophomore Kai Ruiz, to win the 4A state championship. But while Lee exhaled as Ruiz wrapped up his day, Maple Mountain still got to celebrate its first golf championship in school history.
In a field where every program in the Day 1 top five saw its scores rise, the Golden Eagles dropped off the least to edge Bonneville by five strokes with a 608. Maple Mountain led a Region 8-stacked top five, with Orem, Timpview and Timpanogos rounding out the top five. Murray was tied for fifth.
"I wanted to be medalist, but our team winning is awesome," Ruiz said. "I think it shows that golf in Utah County is really good. It's this competitive all year, and I think it makes us all better."
Ruiz was one of three scoring golfers who showed improvement in Day 2 for Maple Mountain, along with Mark Mortensen and Tait Erickson.
The scores helped stave off Bonneville, who had its top four golfers shoot under 80.
Senior Nick Smith led the Lakers over the two days, despite adding a few shots Thursday.
Although the wind was down and the temperature wasn't quite as chilly as expected, several teams couldn't follow their Day 1 performances.
Although Smith acknowledged that it seemed that many of the competitors were having off-days, he still was happy to return to Bonneville with a trophy.
"I'm proud of the way we played," he said. "We never did give up."
No one's pride might compare to Lee's, who said he was planning on framing his scorecard.
"When I made my last few putts, I was trembling a lot today," he said. "It's great to finally do it."
Murray and Woods Cross both improved on their Day 1 team scores, moving up to fifth and seventh, respectively.
Class 4A team scores
Maple Mountain • 302-306608
Bonneville • 304-309613
Orem • 305-310615
Timpview • 307-315622
Timpanogos • 304-330634
Murray • 322-312634
Woods Cross • 319-316635
Highland • 318-319637
Olympus • 322-319641
Roy • 326-317643
East • 321-327648
Class 4A individual Top 10
C.J. Lee, Timpview • 68-74142
Kai Ruiz, Maple Mountain • 72-71143
Peyton Hastings, Woods Cross • 71-74145
Trey Madsen, Orem • 72-74146
Justin Kim, Logan • 73-75148
Nick Smith, Bonneville • 72-77149
Riley Archibald, Sky View • 72-78150
Matt Loosle, Highland • 74-77151
Kolton Remund, Maple Mountain • 71-81152
Carson Park, Bonneville • 77-75152
Niko Roumpos, Murray • 75-77152