As Collegiate’s Ian Trebilcock analyzed his 25-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole of the Class 3A golf championships, he kept seeing the line as straight.
But because of the awkward pin placements on nearly every hole at Cherry Oaks Golf Course, he knew that just wasn’t possible.
Trebilcock’s competitor, Hesston’s Titus Ewert, had a tricky six-footer left for par, so all Trebilcock wanted to do was two-putt and hope for an Ewert miss.
As he stood over the ball, Trebilcock felt the slightest break to the left on his putt. He trusted the line and walked in the birdie putt to win medalist honors.
Both Trebilcock and Ewert shot 1-under 71, one shot clear of Collegiate’s Cameron Chugg.
The Spartans won the team title, shooting a season best 302, 15 strokes better than Hesston.
“I felt the break in my feet,” Trebilcock said. “I was trying to get it close, obviously, but after I adjusted the line, I trusted it and it went in.”
The opening three holes at Cherry Oaks are three of the five most difficult holes on the course, according to handicap. All Trebilcock wanted to do was survive those holes and he knew he could post a low score.
After making back-to-back bogeys on two and three, Trebilcock birdied both par fives — Nos. 4 and 9 — for a frontside 36.
“I was still confident after the first three holes,” Trebilcock said. “I didn’t let those early bogeys get to my head.”
Trebilcock’s only blemish on the back nine was a three-putt bogey on 11. He answered with a birdie on the par 3 14th, where he stuck his tee shot to three feet, and a long birdie putt on 16.
But the stress wasn’t over for Trebilcock.
He made a par-saving putt from five feet on 17 and then another from three feet on 18.
“I just tried to control myself and not think about how I needed to finish,” Trebilcock said. “I’ve been close in tournaments in the past and I have let my emotions get to me. I controlled them today.”
After nine holes, Ewert wasn’t even in the mix for medalist honors. He made four bogeys on the front nine and just one birdie. On the back nine, however, all of the putts started to fall.
He one-putted the first five holes on the inward nine, which included two birdies. He closed birdie-birdie to first post 71.
“I hit the ball well the entire round, but I just made the putts on the back nine,” Ewert said. “Coming off the 18 green, I figured I had a chance.”
In the playoff, Ewert found the fairway with his drive, while Trebilcock landed in the right rough.
With nearly 200 yards for his second shot, Ewert went short and left on his approach and then came up short on his pitch shot.
Trebilcock played his approach shot from 175 yards out to the right, avoiding the long slope on the left side of the green.
“There were several greens where I knew I couldn’t go dead at the flag,” Trebilcock said. “On this course, that strategy helped.”
This was Collegiate’s 18th state title, but first in Class 3A since 2011.
“Given the conditions, I thought we could shoot something like this,” Collegiate coach Kevin Reed said. “Cameron and Ian have been solid all year, it was just nice to have a couple other guys step up and play well today.”
1. Collegiate 302 (Ian Trebilcock 71, Cameron Chugg 72, Jack Larson 78, Kendall Reed 81), 2. Hesston 317 (Travis Ewert 71, Matt Thayne 76, Jack Barnhart 80, Trey Denno 90), 3. Sabetha 323 (Kevin Herbster 77, Tyler Ulrich 80, Connor Epple 83, Derek Halls 83). 4. Phillipsburg 340, 5. Thomas More Prep 344, 6. Kansas City Christian 349, 7. Cheney 360, 8. Caney Valley 366, 9. Fredonia 368, 10. Cimmaron 369, 11. Osage City 396, 12. Council Grove 405
1. Ian Trebilcock, Collegiate 71, 2. Titus Ewert, Hesston 71, 3. Cameron Chugg, Collegiate 72, 4. Brenden Miller, Hutchinson Trinity, 76, 5. Matt Thayne, Hesston 76, 6. Michael Dusin, Phillipsburg 77, 7. Luke Streeter, KC Christian 77, 8. Brooks Brown, Salina Sacred Heart 77, 9. Kevin Herbster, Sabetha 77, 10. Matt Percy, Central Heights 78, 11. Isaiah Grover, Cheney 78, 12. Jack Larson, Collegiate 78, 13. Jack Barnhart, Hesston 80, 14. Tyler Ulrich, Sabetha 80, 15. Matthew Keener, Elllsworth 81, 16. Kendall Reed, Collegiate 81, 17. Charlie Pfeifer, Cimmaron 81, 18. Brayden Showalter, Holcomb 81, 19. Nathan Gamache, Halstead 81, 20. Max Megaffin, TMP 82, 21. Duncan Fort, Osage City 82, Wesley Leach, Jayhawk-Linn 82