May, Masconomet rule roost
NORTHBOROUGH - With all eyes on Charlie May, the Masconomet junior calmly rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to clinch the Division 2 state individual championship yesterday at Juniper Hill Golf Course.
May’s Chieftains took home team honors as well with a score of 298, edging Hudson by four strokes for the program’s first state title.
“The team title meant a lot more to me,’’ said May. “I was really happy about that and it was just icing on the cake for me to win individually.’’
May, who started on a roll and was 3 under after five holes, finished with a 2-under-par 68.
“I didn’t want to collapse,’’ said May, who finished third last week at the North sectional. “So I knew I had to play well down the stretch to give our team a shot to win, and I finished par, par, par.’’
After 18 holes there was a three-way tie atop the leaderboard between May, Jack McDonald of Plymouth North, and Pentucket’s Jason Steele.
Steele was first to tee off in the playoff, planting his ball safely in the middle of the fairway. May then crushed his drive 20 yards past Steele’s. McDonald, who chose to go with a fairway wood, mis-hit his drive and wound up well short of his competitors.
McDonald was well short of the green on his second shot, effectively taking him out of contention. Steele knocked his blind approach to 35 feet. And May, from 98 yards, flushed his wedge to 10 feet.
After Steele missed his putt and tapped in for par, May made good on his putt and raised his hands in triumph as his team mobbed him.
“I knew I had to take advantage of the situation,’’ said May. “I didn’t want it to go to extra holes. I thought to myself, ‘This is an opportunity of a lifetime, [don’t] let it pass you by,’ and I made the putt.’’
“[May’s] been phenomenal all year for us,’’ said Masconomet coach Ben Hodges. “He’s been our top golfer and in my mind one of the best golfers in the state and he definitely proved that today against some of the best competition in the state.
“He just has ice water in his veins. Even in that playoff hole, he was probably the only one that wasn’t nervous, and that includes his mom and I.’’
Last year’s champion, Peter French of Franklin, carded a 74 to tie for eighth.
The Chieftains also received strong rounds from Zach Staub (74), George May (75), and Matt Peacock (81).
“There’s a hallway at Masconomet that only has state championship banners, they don’t celebrate second place,’’ said Hodges. “It’s something that I think all these guys have had on their mind. They wanted to get their names up there on that banner and that’s what they did today.’’
Concord-Carlisle finished third with a score of 304, led by Andrew Webster’s 73 and Ryan Harris’s 75. Pentucket rounded out the top four at 305. Defending Division 2 champion Duxbury finished fifth at 306.