Prep golf: Weber’s Connor Howe shoots for rare state three-peat

Connor Howe’s best score in a competitive round of golf is 62. He shot it as a Weber High sophomore to set a state tournament record and win the first of his two state titles.

He also shot the same score last week at a preseason invitational in Syracuse.

The calendar just turned to August and Howe already is in midseason form.

That 10-under-par round is one the senior hopes can propel him to a third state title. He would be just the fifth golfer in UHSAA history to be a three-time medalist at season’s end, and the first since 2004 to achieve the feat.

“I feel like my game is turning a corner right now and I’m starting to feel a lot better,” said Howe, a 17-year-old who already has committed to play after graduation at Georgia Tech. “I feel like if I go out there and everything’s going my way, there’s no telling how low I can go.”

CONNOR HOWE <br>• Weber High senior aims to become just the fifth three-time state champion in UHSAA history. <br>• The 17-year-old holds the state tournament record with a round of 62 as s sophomore in 2015. <br>• Howe, who shot 62 last week in a preseason event, has committed to play at Georgia Tech and has aspirations of playing on the PGA Tour.

He’ll surely be on the short list of favorites when the season winds down at Valley View Golf Course in Layton. Also on that list will be Lone Peak’s Elijah Turner, whom Howe beat in a playoff last season, and Davis High’s Cole Ponich, who shot a 59 as a freshman two years ago.

Weber coach Kory Woodland called Howe’s resume arguably the best his program ever has turned out and said his success over the past two years almost certainly is a sign of things to come in the future.

“You don’t want to say this guy’s definitely going to be a [PGA] Tour pro, but if there’s anyone who is the blueprint of a guy who is going to make a living doing this, it’s Connor,” said Woodland, in his 14th season as coach of the Warriors’ boys program.

“He just carries himself already like a Tour presence. It’s really quite fascinating to see. He’s got great posture and a great demeanor. He’s rock solid.”

Since securing his second state title last October at Soldier Hollow — something just 13 others have accomplished, including his swing mentor, Boyd Summerhays — Howe has traveled the country for American Junior Golf Association events in Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, California and Arizona.

He also made the round of 32 at the Utah State Amateur last month in Ogden.

Howe, who chose Georgia Tech over Stanford, Washington, UCLA, Utah, BYU and others, and his twin brother, Hunter, grew up around the game with their father, Chad, but both played other sports as well.

It wasn’t until Howe was 13 when he left baseball, then basketball, then soccer, to dedicate his time to the links.

“I always felt like I was a decent player growing up,” Howe said. “It wasn’t my No. 1 thing as a kid, but I always played it. I quit basketball two years ago to focus on golf because I thought it was kind of my thing.”

Evidence indicates he made the right choice. It’s time for Howe to “throw darts,” as Woodland puts it, for another season at Weber then at Georgia Tech, a school that produced PGA Tour veterans Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar, among others.

Then comes the ultimate goal of playing – and winning – on the PGA Tour.

PREP BOYS’ GOLF <br>Class 6A <br>Defending team champion • New classification <br>2017 state tournament • Oct. 2 and 3 at Valley View in Layton <br>Class 5A <br>Defending team champion • Lone Peak <br>2017 state tournament • Oct. 2 and 3 at TalonsCove in Saratoga Springs<br>Class 4A <br>Defending team champion • Salem Hills <br>2017 state tournament • Oct. 4 and 5 at Sky Mountain in Hurricane <br>Class 3A <br>Defending team champion • Park City <br>2017 state tournament • Oct. 4 and 5 at Cove View in Richfield <br>Class 2A <br>Defending team champion • Grand County <br>2017 state tournament • Sept. 27 and 28 at Cedar Ridge in Cedar City <br>PREP GIRLS’ TENNIS <br>Class 6A <br>Defending team champion • New classification <br>2017 state tournament • Oct. 4 and 6 at Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park <br>Class 5A <br>Defending team champion • Davis <br>2017 state tournament • Oct. 5 and 6 at Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park <br>Class 4A <br>Defending team champion • Olympus <br>2017 state tournament • Sept. 28 and 29 at Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park <br>Class 3A <br>Defending team champion • Park City <br>2017 state tournament • Sept. 28 and 29 at Salt Lake City’s Liberty Park <br>Class 2A <br>Defending team champion • Waterford <br>2017 state tournament • Teams no longer compete in 2A

from The Salt Lake Tribune


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