St. Dominic golfer Mickey Brennan should be used to this by now, but heading to a playoff always tests his nerves.
The senior lost in a playoff two years ago at the CHSAA state tournament and then avenged that defeat by winning in a playoff last year.
It happened again Wednesday at the league tournament.
Brennan, the St. Dominic captain, didn’t let his nerves get the best of him as he beat Chaminade’s Angelo Bonvino by one stroke on the first playoff hole to win the CHSAA boys golf title at Eisenhower Red. They each shot 6-over-par 78.
Chaminade won the team title with 408 points. St. Anthony’s was second with 422.
“This is my third time, and it’s still hard,” Brennan said. “My heart’s still pumping, my legs are still shaking.”
But Brennan’s experience came into play. As he and Bonvino prepared to tee off on the 18th hole for the tiebreaker, Brennan said he considered using his 2-iron.
“I felt that hitting a 2-iron with a little nerves, the short face, that’s a heavy shot,” Brennan said. “So I thought just pull out the driver and swing it as hard as I can.”
It was a perfect decision. His drive went straight down the fairway, about 300 yards toward the 419-yard hole. Brennan then used his 4-iron to get onto the green. He narrowly missed his first putt but converted his second to defeat Bonvino, whose potential tying shot hit the lip.
The victory added yet another milestone to the senior’s resume. Though he was the CHSAA state champion last year and reached the federation tournament as a freshman and sophomore, he had never won the league title.
“I wanted to prove myself as a freshman and sophomore and now that I’ve played well in big events like that, I’m done proving,” Brennan said. “I just want to go out and do the best I can. I want to make a legacy for myself, and I want to win as much as I can and pass that on to St. Dom’s players that want to see success in the game.”
Chaminade’s Matt Heslin was named CHSAA Player of the Year. Heslin, All-League honorees Bonvino, Sean Leyden and Tom Theodorou of Chaminade, St. Anthony’s Pat Curley and Pat Geier, Holy Trinity’s Liam Boyle, Kellenberg’s Ryan Mullaly and St. Dominic’s Brennan all earned automatic bids to the CHSAA state tournament to be held Friday, June 2 at James Baird State Park in Pleasant Valley, near Poughkeepsie.
With qualifying scores, Kellenberg’s Mark Roder, St. Anthony’s Mike Peters and John Kawakami, Chaminade’s Austin Hill, Charlie Myers, Dan Shea and John Kenlon and St. Mary’s Steve Martocci also earned trips to the state tournament.