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Carbon High golfers gain valuable experience at State Tournament

Robbi Etzel
Dillen Ward tees off on the fifth hole during a home meet back in August.

Sun Advocate sports reporter

It's one thing to advance to the 3A State Tournament.

It's another thing to perform at a high level with a group of talented players from all over class 3A each hoping to walk away with individual and team honors.

For Carbon High Head Coach Tom King, being one of the 16 teams to make it to the tournament was an accomplishment the team can be happy with.

"The team moved from sixth place in region last year to second place behind Spanish Fork this year," said King in a phone interview Monday morning. "It was definitely a positive season for us and I'd give the team a B-plus overall for their play."

This year the 3A State Tournament was held over two days last week in Roosevelt. The Dinos had previously played in Roosevelt back on Aug. 15 and were familiar with the course. But not everything always goes according to plan.

The Dinos as a team finished last out of 16 teams at the tournament after scoring a cumulative score of 350. The cut was at 337, King said.

"Our magic number all season long has been to shoot 320 each time out," he explained. "The boys played pretty poor on the first day and had a tough time dealing with some blowing wind on the back nine."

Robbi Etzel led the team with a 78 on the first day. Nick Rukavina shot a 90 followed by Dillen Ward and Blake Bean with 91 each and Dallas Anselmo and Freston Smith both finishing with a 93.

Etzel was the only member of the team to continue playing into day two. After shooting a 78 on day one, Etzel followed that up by shooting an 86 on day two with a bit of controversy involved.

The scorekeeper wrote down a wrong score on a hole where Etzel finished with a score of six. The scorekeeper wrote down an eight and when Etzel signed his scorecard after his day was finished he was left with the higher score.

King said he was lucky that the scorekeeper did not put a lower score on the sheet which would have resulted in Etzel getting disqualified.

"He (Etzel) played well enough to shoot in the mid-70s," King said.

While the results at the tournament were not was King was hoping for, he believes the experience this season will help the four juniors going into next season as well as the young upcoming golfers on the squad.

"All of the boys want to improve going into next season, so the expectations for them to play better will begin to go up as well," he said. "We've got to strive to win our region and win the state tournament each year."

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