Chris Garceau earned his nickname for a reason. Unfortunately for Iona Prep, it learned why the hardest way possible with a city title at stake.
“The kids call him ‘Wedges,’ ” Stepinac golf coach Matt Hogan said. “From 50 yards in, you might as well go and place the ball on the green.”
With his match in extra holes, the Stepinac junior flopped a downhill pitch from the rough to a foot for a tap-in par. The up-and-down finished a thrilling 3-2 win for the Crusaders over rival Iona Prep Wednesday at Knollwood Country Club and earned the program its first CHSAA title since 1997.
Championship. pic.twitter.com/XRAIh8XUhX— StepinacGolf (@StepinacGolf) May 25, 2016
The teams had split the first four matches, including one that wasn’t decided until the final hole. Garceau actually trailed Iona Prep’s Mark Trotta by two holes going into No. 17, but he won the last two to extend the match. With all the other matches complete, Garceau’s par on the ensuing hole gave Stepinac the title.
“It was all the way down to the wire,” Hogan said. “It was unbelievable. We had two matches that went all the way to the 18th and two matches that finished earlier. They won one early, we won one early. They won one late, we won one late.”
Stepinac’s Chris Collins and J.P. Collins won their matches while Iona Prep’s Matt Minerva and Ken Nixon won theirs. Minerva, a freshman, narrowly edged Stepinac senior Paul Terminello 1-up in a meeting of No. 1s.
The teams split two matches during the regular season. Iona Prep won 3-2 at Winged Foot and Stepinac returned the favor, 3-2, at Sleepy Hollow with Garceau winning the final match.
Stepinac 3, Iona Prep 2
At Knollwood Country Club
Matt Minerva (IP) d. Paul Terminello, 1-up
Chris Collins (AS) d. Sebastian Naibaho, 4 and 3
Ken Nixon (IP) d. Brendan Cooney, 6 and 4
J.P. Collins (AS) d. Ted Gerrity, 4 and 3
Chris Garceau (AS) d. Mark Trotta, 19 holes