That’s what it took to decide a winner at Monday’s CHSAA girls golf state championship at Silver Lake Golf Course in Staten Island.
St. Anthony’s Kaitlyn Browne and Our Lady of Mercy’s Victoria Dowling were all squared at 9-over-par 79 after 18 holes, and headed to the par-4 17th for a sudden-death playoff.
“Once I found out I was tied, my initial thought was to just maintain the mentality that I had throughout the back nine,” Browne said. “I wanted to keep my confidence up and play smart.”
Each golfer double-bogeyed the 17th. They moved to the par-5 18th for a second playoff hole. At the 18th, Browne was able to get on the green in three and tapped in for bogey to win the CHSAA individual state title and defeat Dowling, who double-bogeyed.
“It took a lot to get here and it took a lot of people, too,” Browne said. “My coaches, family and friends have all supported me and I’m so thankful for them. I also really want to thank the members and caddies at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton for allowing me to train on their course.”
Dowling, who finished second to St. Anthony’s Allison Amoruso in a playoff at the CHSAA league championship May 14, said, “This season was really an eye-opener for me. I have confidence now that I can actually play and compete with all these talented girls.”
Browne trailed by a stroke heading to the final hole in regulation and needed a birdie to keep her hopes alive.
She hit her tee shot down the righthand side and got a favorable bounce from the cart path, as her ball landed in the fairway. She put her second shot on the green, giving her a chance at eagle to win the championship. The eagle putt just missed, but she was able to make birdie and force the playoff.
Browne and Dowling helped lead the Diocese of Rockville Centre contingent to a first-place finish in the team portion of the championship with a score of 432. Amoruso, Chanel Hudson (St. Anthony’s), Claire Galante (Kellenberg) and Olivia Callahan (Kellenberg) were the other four members of the team.
“My Dad got me into the sport when I was 5 years old, so I have been playing for almost 10 years,” Browne said. “He always pushed me to do better, took so much time out of his life and really made me what I am today. This wouldn’t have been possible without him.”