Mickelsen leads Hawks to third place in state golf tourney
Jun 28, 2018 02:14PM
By Ron Bevan
Alta’s Cora Mickelsen closed out her high school career with a second-place finish in the girls golf tournament. Alta finished third overall as a team. (Photo by Ron Bevan/City Journals)
By Ron Bevan | [email protected]
The course may be marked in yards, but a golf championship is usually decided by an inch here or an inch there.
So it was for this year’s state 5A girls golf tournament. Alta’s Cora Mickelsen missed becoming a two-time state champion by one stroke, settling instead for a tie for second place. Mickelsen’s two-round, 5 over par 149 was just one stroke shy of Bountiful golfer Jobi Einerson’s 148 in the tournament, held May 14–15 at Glenmoor Golf Course. She tied with Corner Canyon’s Jamie Connell.
“Mickelsen had a putt catch the lip of the cup and roll out on 16. If she had dropped that shot, she was at least tied for the state title,” Alta coach Gary Schneiter said.
Mickelsen led Alta to a third-place finish as a team, in a format where the top four scores of six team golfers each day are taken to determine the final team tally.
Besides Mickelsen, Alta sent Lori Hwang, Whitney Dana, Summer Cook, Haylie Heale and Parker Nolan to the tournament.
Corner Canyon ended up as this year’s team champion, with Bountiful second followed by Alta.
The Hawks moved back to the 5A ranks this season after several years of playing as a 4A school. Although she wasn’t the defending 5A champion, Mickelsen still carried her credentials as a returning champion after last season’s performance. As a junior, she blistered the opening day with a 2 under par 68 and matched the score the next day to beat her closest competitor by nine strokes. Mickelsen’s two-day total of 136 last season set a new state high school record, and she came into this season as the 5A favorite, as last year’s champion moved up to the new 6A ranks.
Mickelsen proved to be the player to beat the first day of this year’s tournament by turning in the only even par 72 score of all competitors both days.
“She plays very even keeled. Even when things aren’t going the best, she doesn’t get rattled,” Schneiter said of Mickelsen. “She has the ability to put whatever may have happened on one hole behind her and go out and play her best on the next.”
Her stellar match play all season, along with her score at region as well as state, proved enough for her to be named Alta’s female Athlete of the Year, an honor given to only one athlete out of all the different girls sports teams. She is moving on to play for Boise State next season.
Losing a player like Mickelsen can sometimes spell disaster for a high school team. She has led the team all four years and been a medalist at the state tournament since she was a freshman.
But Alta’s girls program has been in the hunt for a state title since it became a sanctioned sport by the Utah High School Athletics Association.
“Alta’s coaches have a lot of connections and a way of getting younger players interested in golf,” Mickelsen said. “There is always a lot of interest at the school in joining our team.
Alta is looking to Hwang as the heir apparent to lead next year’s Hawks.