Nicole Thomas walked off the Dinaland Golf Course unsure of her score.
The Dixie senior had just missed a birdie putt on No. 18, and finished with 75. Would it be enough to win?
“I didn’t think I had played well enough at first,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t until I got in there and looked up the other scores that I realized.”
Thomas wrapped up her career with a one-stroke win in the Class 3A golf tournament in Vernal on Monday. She finished a hair ahead of Desert Hills freshman Katie Perkins, who shot a 76 in a competetive group.
Despite coming up short, Perkins did get plenty of satisfaction from leading Desert Hills to its third straight team title in only the fourth year the school has been open. Four Thunder golfers finished with top-10 scores to get a 14-stroke advantage over second-place Spanish Fork.
Perkins thrived in arguably the toughest pairing with Uintah’s Nicole Begay, Ogden’s Xena Motes and Spanish Fork’s Britni Munter — all placed in the top 10.
“It was really nerve-wracking but I tried to treat it as a practice round with the girls,” Perkins said. “We were all pretty confident that our team would do well this year.”
The weather in Vernal was ideal for golf: sunny and relatively wind-free, competitors said.
Thomas, who is signed to play at SUU next year, did hit a rough patch, getting two double bogeys, but recovered with a birdie on the 16th. Coach Eron Deming said she was clearly a bit nervous, but hung on.
“There was a little pressure because she won it her sophomore year,” he said. “I think she would’ve been fine either way, but she’s happy she did it.”
Beside Perkins, senior Sarah Folks also had a strong tournament, shooting a fourth-best 79. Coach Laurie Dyer was excited to have two players shoot in the 70s — something she can’t remember happening before.
“It seems every time we lose players, we get blessed with a few more,” she said.
Begay finished first with a 78, leading the Utes to a third-place finish. Sabrina Naulu and Munter finished back-to-back to push the Dons to second.
3A girls’ golf results
1. Nicole Thomas, Dixie (75)
2. Katie Perkins, Desert Hills (76)
3. Nicole Begay, Uintah (78)
4. Sarah Folks, Desert Hills (79)
5. Xena Motes, Ogden (81)
6. Becca Dorian, Wasatch (82)
Team standings (Stableford scoring)
1. Desert Hills (245)
2. Spanish Fork (231)
3. Uintah (224)