A chip and a putt.
That was the difference in deciding a winner between Andrew McGoldrick and Dean Muratore at Monday’s NSCHSAA boys golf league tournament on Eisenhower Red.
The St. Anthony’s teammates each hit their second shot behind the green on the par-4 18th, the first hole of a sudden death playoff. McGoldrick was the first to play his third shot. He landed a beautiful chip within a foot or two of the hole and proceeded to tap in for par. Muratore’s chip rolled past the hole, and his ensuing par putt slid beyond the cup, giving McGoldrick the NSCHSAA individual title.
“The lie was pretty good. I took a sand wedge out of my bag and knew I just had to get it going because it was downhill,” said McGoldrick of his chip. “I probably carried it five yards, and gravity took it the rest of the way.”
McGoldrick and Muratore each shot 1-over-par (73) in regulation.
McGoldrick birdied the ninth hole to finish even (36) through the front nine, but after a double bogey on 10, doubt started to creep in.
“I thought I was out of it,” the junior said. “However, after I birded the 11th, I saw that I was only a few shots back of Dean. I tried playing it a bit safer and finished the round with seven consecutive pars.”
Muratore, a freshman, made four birdies on the front to shoot 4-under (32), but bogeyed five holes on the back and carded a 41.
“I gave myself a lot of makeable putts on the front nine, and on the back, I had the same putts and they just didn’t drop,” Muratore said. “It’s a game of inches. I wish some things could have worked out a little bit better, but it happens. Overall, I was very pleased with how I played.”
McGoldrick and Muratore helped St. Anthony’s earn its first NSCHSAA team title since 2012. The Friars finished with a team total of 383. Chaminade, winners of eight straight titles, placed second with a 396.
McGoldrick was competing in the league tournament for the second time. He struggled in 2019 and was unable to play as a sophomore because the pandemic canceled his season.
“It was a big moment for me. I think during my freshman year I shot a 93 at this tournament,” McGoldrick said. “I played on this course in a two-day tournament last summer and shot a 77 in both rounds. I also had a practice round here last Tuesday, was 2-under through 11 and shot another 77. So, I knew I could play well here.”