GEORGETOWN — When 18 holes weren’t enough to decide the Division 1 boys’ golf individual champion, they played one more. And then another.
It was on the 20th hole of the day at Black Swan Country Club that Needham senior Jake Shuman got the upper hand for good when he sunk a 5-foot putt for birdie on the par-5 second hole to edge Lincoln-Sudbury sophomore Matt Organisak.
The win marked back-to-back titles for the Duke commit.
“It’s a little bit cooler than last year,” Shuman said. “I knew coming into this that winning it for the second time would be special. Doing it in a little bit more of a dramatic fashion is special.”
Shuman, Organisak, and St. John’s Prep sophomore Steven Dilisio all finished at even-par 72.
After Dilisio’s par putt rolled just left of the cup on the first playoff hole, Shuman and Organisak advanced to the second hole to determine the winner.
Both had strong drives, but Organisak’s second shot just clipped a tree branch that stood tall 30 yards in front of the green. Shuman used an eight-iron on his second shot to lift the ball above the trees and onto the back of the green.
Two putts later, the title was his.
“The playoff, I used a little bit of my experience to get a little upper hand, them being younger and me playing a bunch of tournaments,” Shuman said, adding he had played in some playoffs this summer in the American Junior Golf Association.
Shuman and Organisak were battling in the same group all day and both had dramatic 18th holes to force the playoff. Originally, Shuman couldn’t find his tee shot and nearly had to retake it before a teammate found his ball on the 10th fairway, which was to the left of the 18th hole. His approach shot helped him recover for birdie, making Organisak’s 45-foot birdie putt even bigger when it dropped in.
“That was really cool,” Shuman said. “We were feeding off each other, never getting too high, never getting too low.”
Thanks to Dilisio’s low score, St. John’s Prep finished in a first-place tie with Xaverian at 312. The tiebreaker, using the team’s fifth-lowest score, gave the Eagles the team championship.
Senior Justin Serowik, sophomore James Turner, and freshman Mark Turner all shot 80, while senior captain Jeff O’Connor’s 82 was the difference.
“One score under 80 usually isn’t enough, but today given the conditions, the wind out there was difficult,” said Prep coach Larry O’Neill. “Having three guys shoot 80, that’s all we needed today, thank goodness.”
After Xaverian and St. John’s Prep split their regular-season series, O’Neill said he knew Monday’s finish would be tight.
Once all the scores were tallied on a bulletin board, the Eagles breathed a sigh of relief.
“I actually thought we lost right when the four scores went up for each team,” O’Connor said. “After we did more math and found out we tied, we got pretty excited because we knew we won.”
Central Catholic’s Tyler Nelson finished fourth overall with a 73, including a hole in one.