Eighteen holes weren't enough to decide the 14-15-year-old division of the Junior Golf Championships at Bradford Country Club on Monday afternoon.
After posting matching 13-over 83s, Haverhill High School teammates Dylan Cody and Scott Farley began a two-player, sudden-death playoff, in which the first player to score better than his opponent would win the tournament.
The first hole, a 353-yard par 4 dogleg left, didn't trouble the incoming sophomores. Two pars.
The second hole, a 290-yard par 4 with trees lining the right side of the green wasn't a problem either. Two more pars.
The third hole, a 135-yard par 3, brought with it the decisive shot, a pulled wedge from Farley that landed literally between a rock and a hard place: a large boulder and the woods. It was unplayable; the two-time champ was forced to take a drop 15 yards to the left of the hole.
"I was just hoping it wouldn't go out of bounds," Farley said.
Cody hit a beautiful draw that landed just feet from the hole, but bounced hard and rolled off the backside of the green.
Farley chipped his third shot 12 feet past the hole, while Cody knocked his second past the flag, and onto the frontside fringe.
Cody recovered, chipping his third to within 2 feet, forcing Farley to nail the 12-footer to continue the playoff.
Cody tapped in his bogey, and took home his first tournament title. Even though it was a playoff, the sophomore says he didn't feel much pressure because he plays with Farley for the Hillies.
"It was friendly competition," he said. "I'm just glad I made it (to the playoff)."
While Cody now calls Atkinson Country Club his home course, he used to play at Bradford Country frequently, and still enjoys the course.
"It's one of my favorite courses," he said. "There are holes that will challenge you, but other holes where you can bounce back."
Cody, who plays on the New England Professional Golf Association, double bogeyed the second hole, putting him at 3 over through three, but managed to ring up four consecutive pars en route to an opening nine score of 42, putting him just one back of Farley at the turn.
"A bad day can turn into a good day here," Cody said. "And that's exactly what happened today."
Alec Brunelle, 11, of Salem, N.H., took home the title Monday morning, shooting a 9-over 44 on the front nine at Bradford.
It wasn't easy, however. Brunelle was down two strokes to eventual second-place finisher Brendan Shirley after four holes, after a three-bogey, one double-bogey start.
"The course played tough today," he said. "It was a challenge, no doubt."
He recovered nicely, though, with three consecutive pars to take the lead after seven. After a Brunelle double bogey and a Shirley triple bogey on eight, Brunelle carried a two-shot lead to the ninth.
Shirley posted a bogey 5 on the 368-yard par four.
Brunelle knew he needed a 6 or better to win. After a beautiful 3-wood off the tee sprinkled to the center of the fairway, Brunelle knocked his second into a hazard, forcing him to take a drop as his third.
"I let the pressure get to me there," he said.
Brunelle, a member at Far Corner Country Club, knocked his fourth onto the green, and putted his fifth to within 10 feet. Then, he slowly rolled his sixth in for the victory, his third tournament victory of the 2010 season.
"I blocked everything out, and I just stayed focused," he said.
The 13.2 handicap has also won tournaments at Oak Hill Country Club in Laconia, N.H., and at Hoodkroft Country Club in Derry, N.H., this season.
I've had a good season, but it's not over yet," he said.
The round of the day belonged to Mark Kissel, who carved his way to an even par 70, three shots ahead of second-place finisher and defending champion Craig Farley.
"I just tried to have fun," he said. "I putted well, and I hit some good wedges."
Having played at Bradford Country Club just once over the past three years, Kissel opened his round with a par on 10 and a bogey on 11. Then, he settled down, shooting an even par 28 over the remaining seven holes.
"My short game was definitely the key," the Hampstead resident said.
Kissel's home course is Hoodkroft in Derry, but holds his best round at Windham Country Club, in Windham, N.H.
"I shot a 67 there," he said. "5 under."
Heading to the University of Rhode Island next week, Kissel said he intends to try out for the golf team, a D-1 program with a strong reputation.
In the meantime, he's going to enjoy this — his first tournament victory — with friends and family before he leaves for school on Sunday.
s"It was definitely a goal of mine to win a tournament this summer," he said. "I'm very happy."
Monday's tournament was open to junior members of Haverhill-area clubs and local residents between the ages of 11 and 17.
How they finished
Age division 11-13
1. Alec Brunelle 44
2. Brendan Shirley 45
3. Sean Bellemore 52
T4. Danny Beaton, 53
T4 Joshua Goldstein, 53
T4 Elijah Harris 53
7. Dano Mahoney 56
Age Division 14-15
1. Dylan Cody 83 *won playoff third extra hole
2. Scott Farley 83
T3 Ryan Paris, 86
T3 Ryan Mahoney 86
5. Jeff Funk 90
6. Tom Funk 94
7. Alex Demarais 102
8. Jack Gorman 104
9. Cam D'Ambrosio 130
Age division 16-17
1. Mark Kissel 70
2. Craig Farley 73
3. Ernie Lupi 74
4. Mac Cavanaugh 77
5. Mike Rudd 81
T6 Corey McNamara, 83
T6 Ryan Swanson 83
8. Nick Giannino 86
9. Josh Melewski 88
T10 Gray Marchese , 91
T10 Dan DuBois 91
12. Parker Kelly 97
13. Jack Franklin 98
14. Jared Fudge 111