Butler senior Hunter Swidzinski figured he had nothing to lose heading into the final round of the PIAA Class 3A golf championship Tuesday. All he did was shoot the best round of his life.
Swidzinski shot an 8-under-par 64 and then won a three-hole playoff to claim the title and become the school’s first winner.
Swidzinski sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to edge WPIAL champion Nick Turowski of Penn-Trafford. Swidzinski, Turowski and Plum’s Wes Lorish finished the 36-hole tournament at Penn State’s Blue Course tied at 7-under.
Lorish was eliminated on the first playoff hole. Turowski missed a birdie on the second playoff hole, but Swidzinski did not miss on the next hole.
“It’s incredible,” Swidzinski said. “After my round on Monday, I knew it would be tough so I gave it my all.”
He sank an 18-foot putt for eagle on the final hole and then had to sit around for more than 45 minutes for the rest of the field to finish.
Turowski and Lorish needed birdies on the final hole to force a three-way tie.
“I figured I’d finish in the top three when the round started,” Swidzinski said. “My drive was good. My short game was good. But my putter was a lot better Tuesday than on Monday.”
Swidzinski finished sixth last year.
Turowski said he didn’t know if he should be upset or not.
“I gave it my all,” Turowski said after shooting a 4-under 68. “I just missed a couple opportunities.”
He missed a two-foot putt for par on No. 16 and then left a birdie putt just short on No. 17 and on the second playoff hole.
“I was frustrated after a bogey on No. 1,” Turowski said. “I was trying for a bogey-free round. I also got a little nervous over a putt on No. 17. I gave it my best.”