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MIAA Division 1 golf

Pandelena takes crown in playoff

Nick Pandelena of St. John’s Prep shot a 1-under 71 at Glen Ellen CC, then won on the first playoff hole. Nick Pandelena of St. John’s Prep shot a 1-under 71 at Glen Ellen CC, then won on the first playoff hole.
By Ryan Mooney
Globe Correspondent / November 11, 2011

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MILLIS - Nick Pandelena of St. John’s Prep won a three-man playoff to take the Division 1 individual competition, and St. John’s (Shrewsbury) won its fourth state championship in six years at Glen Ellen Country Club yesterday.

After 18 holes, Pandelena, Keeghan Lavin (St. John’s Shrewsbury), and Joe Leavitt (Central Catholic) were tied after each shot 1-under-par 71.

Pandelena sank a 10-foot par putt on the first playoff hole, No. 1, a 431-yard, par-4, and walked away with the first-place trophy after Lavin and Leavitt each bogeyed.

“I was kind of hoping to go first because I figured I could get out there and hit a good one and put a little pressure on them,’’ Pandelena said.

When it came time to putt, Pandelena’s confidence did not waver.

“I was just thinking I’ve made plenty of these before so I can do it again,’’ he said of the putt for par - even though his birdie attempt was long. “I had the line because I had already seen it from the first putt I hit that went by the hole, so I knew the line and just had to make a good stroke.’’

The senior was happy to walk away with first place for himself in his last high school tournament.

“It would have been nice to walk away with a win as a team my last year, but it’s pretty cool to win individuals,’’ Pandelena said.

St. John’s (Shrewsbury), which finished the regular season 18-2, was represented by Lavin (71), Thomas Henderson (75), Dan Woodbury (76), Nick Direda (80), Joe Plante (80), and Dan Lynch (81). Their combined score of 302 was five strokes better than Pandelena and St. John’s Prep.

“I’m just so proud of these guys, they worked hard,’’ Pioneers coach Bill Prendiville said.

“This is what they set for themselves as a goal from the beginning of the year, so I can’t be more pleased.’’

BC High (308), Billerica (310), and Shrewsbury and Barnstable (316) rounded out the top five.

“It was not a good beginning; one of our teammates was late getting to the bus, so it wasn’t a good start,’’ said Lynch. “But when we all showed up, we were just all ready to play. The goal all season was to win, and I think we did that pretty well today.’’