Needham High junior Jake Shuman could also make a splash in Monday’s Division 1 final, especially if he can catch some luck with his new belly putter.
Shuman, who shot a 70 to post the best score at the Division 1 South sectional at Brookmeadow Country Club, and was a Globe All-Scholastic as a freshman in 2010, switched to the belly putter last year.
“He’s been using that and trying to improve,” said Needham coach Adam Cole . “I think he’s comfortable with it. When he misses, he doesn’t miss by much.”
Cole wonders, though, how long Shuman and others will be able to use the long putters, with a ruling from the US Golf Association on their status expected at the end of this year.
Brookline lines up bid for Cinderella story
The Brookline High golf team underachieved this fall with an 11-5 record, according to coach Bill Camelio , but qualified for the Division 1 state final by taking second in the South sectional thanks to strong performances by seniors Jack Corcoran , Jacob Dana, and Jim Wronoski , who have all had standout seasons.
While Camelio said it will take a “perfect storm” for Brookline to win it all on Monday (as his team did in 2010), he echoed the sentiment of many public school golf coaches when he said third place (behind Catholic powerhouses St. John’s Prep and Boston College High) would still be considered a win.
“I tell the kids that in the beginning of the season,” the coach said. “Third through sixth is like winning it. Even to qualify — that’s huge.”
Jason Mastrodonato can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.