Haverhill senior Aiden Azevedo dropped a 6-foot putt for par on the first playoff hole to edge reigning champion James Robbins of North Andover for the Merrimack Valley Conference individual title Thursday at Mount Pleasant Golf Club in Lowell.
The pair were tied at 2-under-par 70 through 18 holes after Robbins, a senior, birdied the 17th and 18th holes to rally from three strokes behind. His 20-foot putt on 18 forced the playoff back on the 18th.
In the playoff, Azevedo landed his shot out of the bunker 6 feet from the pin before holing out. Robbins bogeyed the playoff.
“I just told myself to stay in it one hole at a time and just go from there,” Azevedo said of his first individual title at the MVC Championship. “I’ve had a lot of playoff losses, but I just told myself today that today’s the day.”
Azevedo, said Haverhill coach Kevin Murphy, “regrouped and came up big on the playoff hole. I was really happy for him to get it done.”
But with 2-under 70 finish, Robbins helped propel North Andover (223) to a 15-stroke win over Andover (238) for team honors. Freshmen Max Johnson (75) and Brendan Burke (78)were stellar too for coach Nick Antonelli’s squad.
“It’s nice having a couple horses that you can lean on, like James and Max, that are capable of going low,” Antonelli said. “That frees up the rest of the lineup to play their own game.”
The Scarlet Knights, who placed second in the league behind regular-season champion Haverhill, will play in Division 2 North tournament Tuesday at Bradford Country Club in Haverhill.
Christoper Williams can be reached at email@example.com.