Peru junior Cameron Smith shot a 2-over par 73, then won a five-way playoff to secure the final individual advancing spot in Thursday’s Warsaw Boys Golf Regional at Stonehenge G.C.
Smith’s ball found its way into a greenside bunker on the first playoff hole, while the other four players were on or around the green. Smith dropped his pin shot within a couple feet of the hole, allowing him to get up and down for par. No other player was able to match Smith, giving the Bengal Tiger passage to the state finals.
“That was huge for Cameron,” Peru coach Doug Muzillo said. “On the last [regulation] hole, he had to make a birdie to get to 73 to get to the playoff, and got up and down for a great birdie. All five [in the playoff] knew they were fighting for that last spot, and he was the only one to make par to move on, so that’s huge.”
Peru shot a 344 as a team, with Kyle Emilio and Austin Finicle carding 88s and Braden Bates adding a 95.
“Obviously our goal was to get [to state] as a team, but we only have one senior, so the other guys see what it’s going to take,” Muzillo said. “Cam is showing the way with his performance [Thursday]. He’s going to get to go down to the state finals and represent us, so we’re excited about that.”
NorthWood won the regional title with 305 strokes. No. 6-ranked Fort Wayne Dwenger shot a 308 to capture runner-up honors, and Homestead secured the final advancing team spot with a 310. Peru was 17th in the 18-team field.
The state finals were scheduled for Tuesday at the Legends Golf Club in Franklin.
Western carded a 315 to win the Peru Sectional on June 9 at Rock Hollow G.C. Kokomo (326) and Peru (335) were second and third.
The top three teams advanced to the Warsaw Regional.
Smith led Peru with a 76, while Emelio added an 82, Finicle an 88 and Badry an 89.