Corner Canyon girls golf aiming for ‘three-peat’
May 07, 2018 03:19PM
● By Catherine Garrett
The Corner Canyon girls golf team have won all of their tournaments so far this season by an average of 42 strokes as the Chargers aim for a third straight state title. (Photo courtesy Alexis Gagon)
By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]
Corner Canyon golf coach Ryan Kartchner has been trying to “grow golf” in the area since taking over the Chargers program a few years ago. In his first year, he had six girls total on his squad and added four more — three who were brand new to the sport — by the next season. With 14 in the lineup in 2016, his team won state by 19 strokes. Last season, Corner Canyon defended its 4A title with a 30-stroke victory.
This year, the Chargers had 29 girls on the initial roster — and a standing-room only crowd at the pre-season team meeting with parents — to begin the season.
“That’s what winning will do,” Kartchner said. “We’re seeing a lot of girls that really want to try golf because of the success their friends are having. It’s fun to see. It’s all about growing golf.”
Kartchner said he is excited about his returning players and the addition of freshman Savannah Romney. “She’s the best in her age group around the area. We certainly got even better with her on our team,” Kartchner said. “Plus, our JV team is as good as a lot of varsity squads around the state.”
Kartchner works with each player individually, helping them establish a handicap and understanding how to use stats of putts and yardage to set goals for improvement. He also teaches the basics of golf and the rules of the game, mixing in fun and food. “It’s the only way I can get them to listen to a boring rules seminar,” Kartchner said. “It’s my job to make sure that the girls first and foremost are having fun. Golf is a very frustrating game, but it’s also very addicting and something fun that you can play your whole life.”
Also on the 2018 squad are Abbey Aamodt, Kali Barlow, Emma Catmull, Cristiana Ciasca, Anica Coesens, Jamie Connell, Kaitlyn Deen, Alexis Erickson, Daisy Griffiths, Brinlee Horsley, Brooklyn Horsley, Andi Humble, Ambree Judd, Makenna Kartchner, Megan Muir, Kinley Oliver, Jessica Parker, Kendall Pogue, Savannah Romney, Ashlyn Rutherford, Julianna Smith, Trisha Tanner, Suzie Taylor, Afton Walker, Ellie Whitehead and Emma Winfree.
“There’s a great camaraderie among the girls on the team,” Kartchner said. “They enjoy being together on and off the golf course.”
Kartchner is being assisted on the coaching staff by Alexa Gagon.
So far this season, Corner Canyon won a region tournament at Mountain View Mar. 14 by 24 strokes with all six varsity players shooting in the 30s for the rain-shortened nine-hole event.
On Mar. 21 at East Bay, the Chargers shot a 299 to second place Alta’s 358. Corner Canyon was back at Mountain View Mar. 28 and came in first place by 44 strokes. On Apr. 11 at Pebblebrook, Connell shot a 3-under-par to lead the Chargers to a 39-shot win over second place Alta.
“Our team has done great so far,” Kartchner said.
Corner Canyon got a preview of the 5A state championship site with an Apr. 18 tournament at Glenmoor, a “hard course with many hazards and out of bounds areas,” according to Kartchner. The Chargers placed first by 25 shots over Alta, but Kartchner said the tournament was his squad’s most difficult test of the season so far. “All of the girls except one had their highest score so far this year,” he said. “Having said that, my girls persevered and we did still pull off the win.”
Other region tournaments Corner Canyon is scheduled to play in are at Stonebridge May 2 and Wasatch May 9 before the 5A state tournament at Glenmoor May 14-15.