Ward Melville’s Gerry Mackedon played his best golf when it mattered most Thursday, and was rewarded with a pair of championships.
Mackedon clinched the Suffolk individual boys golf title, shooting a 145 over two rounds at Rock Hill Golf Club, and also led Ward Melville to its second straight team championship. The senior shot a 1-under-par 70 on Tuesday, and a 75 on Thursday, needing a late push on the back nine to beat out Sayville’s Michael Nadeau, who was second with a 147.
Nadeau birdied the par-3 13th hole to draw even with Mackedon, but Mackedon shot a 1-under-par 19 over the final five holes, compared to Nadeau’s 21 strokes.
“I didn’t start off well. I wasn’t hitting the ball well,” said Mackedon, who shot a 4-over 39 on the front nine and an even-par 36 on the back. “I found a way to hang on and finish stronger than I started.”
Two of Mackedon’s three birdies on Thursday came on the back nine, including one on the par-5 15th hole, which gave him a one-stroke lead over Nadeau.
“Senior year, to finally be able to get it done, it feels good,” said Mackedon, who will play for St. John’s University next season.
“I’m extremely proud of Gerry,” Patriots coach Bob Spira said. “He’s been on the team for six years, and made the state team four years in a row. I couldn’t ask for a better golfer than Gerry.”
The Patriots, who had a team score of 784 to beat Sayville by 17 strokes, also got a boost from Matt Mirocco, who tied for sixth with a 150 and qualified for the state tournament for the first time.
“Matt missed the cut for states last year and the year before that by one stroke, so we were really rooting for Matt to get in there,” Spira said.
Kevin Moore (160), Palmer VanTuyl (164), Ethan Vatske (167) and Connor McGee (170) also contributed for Ward Melville, which will look to win a second consecutive Long Island Championship on Wednesday against Manhasset at Bethpage Black.
“Hopefully we do it again and go back-to-back,” said Mirocco, who will play for Iona next season. “It should be fun.”
Harborfields’ Andre Chi (148), Southampton’s Christian Oakley (148), Huntington’s Tyler Gerbavsits (149), Sayville’s Brendan Smith (150), Port Jefferson’s Shane DeVincenzo (152) and Sachem’s Noah Doucette (153) also qualified for the state tournament at Cornell University, which begins June 5.