When Brady Pevarnik sank a tricky downhill 15-foot putt on the 18th hole at the Westmoreland County Coaches' Association golf tournament Thursday at Latrobe Elks Golf Club, he felt confident he had won.
Even though the Latrobe junior wasn't in the same group with 2016 champion Palmer Jackson, he knew the Franklin Regional junior didn't birdie his final hole and left an opening.
In fact, Jackson's bogey on the final hole opened the door for Pevarnik to win the tournament after a second-place finish in 2015 and third-place finish in '16.
Pevarnik, who pumped his right fist after sinking the slick putt and then slapped hands with Greensburg Salem sophomore Jeff Mankins, shot a 2-under-par 70, which tied the tournament record set by Jackson in 2016.
Three birdies on the front nine led to his win.
“I played well all day, but I think my putting saved me,” Pevarnik said. “I didn't hit it great off the tee, but I hit my irons well and I hit my wedges really good. It wasn't a great round but enough to win, which is awesome.”
Pevarnik knew he was tied with Jackson heading to the final hole (No. 18). He pulled his shot to the left and had to punch back to the fairway. His third shot landed 60 feet above the cup, and he left his first attempt 15 feet short.
“That second putt I made was really big,” Pevarnik said. “Luckily, that putt was to win. I probably played my ‘C' game, and to win the county is pretty cool.”
Jackson's third shot to No. 18, which was pin high to the left of the green, came up about 20 feet short.
His birdie putt trickled past the cup, picked up momentum and ended up off the green. He chipped and sank a 4-footer for a bogey. He finished at 1-under 71.
“I be honest with you, missing the green with my second shot is what cost me.” Jackson said. “It wasn't great; I had an iron to a par-5 and pulled it left.
“I knew if I got past the hole it would go off the green, and I knew I couldn't leave it short because I'd have a downhill putt. There was mud on the ball on my pitch, but I thought I could still make the putt. I just got too aggressive.”
While Jackson was disappointed with the second-place finish, he was pleased to help his Franklin Regional teammates win a second consecutive team title.
“I wanted to win, but I knew Brady would be tough to beat in Latrobe,” Jackson said. “The team winning back-to-back years is pretty cool.
“It's something I and the rest of the team take pride in, knowing we can beat all of Westmoreland County and still have a tough time winning our section.”
Franklin Regional finished with a 398. Other Panthers to earn medals were Chuck Traggesser in fifth (77) and Clayton Skoff in eighth (79).
The top 10 golfers received medals. The bronze medal for third went Norwin's Sal Cerilli (76). Southmoreland's Josh Redding was fourth (77), Latrobe's Michael Sherid was sixth (78), Greensburg Central Catholic's Zach Boote was seventh (78), Southmoreland's Ryan Lemmon ninth (79) and Mankins 10th (80).
Ties were broken by matching scorecards. Mankins edged Mt. Pleasant's Tim Pisula, who was 11th, and Penn-Trafford's Cade Patterson, who was 12th.
Latrobe placed second with a 405. The Division II team champion was Kiski School with a 443.