For Dale Cagnolatti, winning the W.T. “Bill” Carpenter Memorial Individual Tournament at the Morehouse Country Club was a matter of redemption, revenge and relief all rolled into one.
A three-time runner-up, Cagnolatti defeated Chase Bostick in a two-hole playoff Sunday afternoon to win the event for the first time.
Fittingly, Cagnolatti's victory was a close call as he was tied with Bostick at 147 after 36 holes, two strokes ahead of two-time defending champion Bob Cooper.
“I've gotten beat on the last hole three times over the last six years,” Cagnolatti said. “Today, I won on the last hole.”
Cagnolatti, an optometrist from Monroe by way of Tallulah, would have to par the 18th hole three consecutive times to seal the tournament.
On the second playoff hole, Cagnolatti's 244-yard tee shot found the middle of the fairway, 112 yards from the cup.
Bostick, meanwhile, hit what proved to be an unnecessary tee shot after his original ball sailed wide left. As it turned out, Bostick's first shot was in bounds. Bostick then put himself in position to win the tournament with a nice recovery shot.
After Cagnolatti sank a short par putt, Bostick's four-foot birdie putt rolled over the left edge of the cup, but would not fall. Bostick's three-foot par putt, which would have forced a third playoff hole wouldn't go down, either.
Cagnolatti had finally won the MCC's most prestigious individual tournament.
“There were over 70 golfers out here today, so there was a lot of good competition,” Cagnolatti said. “It took a lot of luck and a lot of patience.”
Trailing by a stroke on the final hole of regulation, Cagnolatti caught a break when Bostick drove his tee shot out of bounds, leading to a bogey. The gallery actually thought Cagnolatti had won the tournament but Cagnolatti knew otherwise.
“The crowd thought I was one up, but I was keeping Chase's scorecard so I knew we were tied,” Cagnolatti said. “I knew it was going to come down to a playoff after I missed my (birdie) putt.”
Returning to the 18th tee box for the first playoff hole, both players broke even on the par-4, 333-yard hole.
Teeing off first, Bostick pushed his shot wide right, but salvaged par after lofting an incredible second shot onto the green.
Splitting the fairway from the tee, Cagnolatti took a more uneventful route to a par.
First-round leader Cole Williams, who carded the only below-par round of the tournament with a 70 on Saturday, began Sunday's play with a two-stroke advantage over Cooper. Cagnolatti and Bostick made their way into the final group by shooting 73 and 74, respectively, in Saturday's round.
Page 2 of 2 - The lead would change hands quickly. Cooper birdied No. 1 to overtake Williams, who started the second round with a double bogey.
Cagnolatti, who started the day with a pair of pars, birdied No. 3 to move into a three-way tie for the lead with Cooper and Williams.
Saving par on No. 4, Cagnolatti forged into the lead. Bostick's birdie and Cooper's bogey created a three-way tie for second with Williams, one shot off the pace.
Moving to No. 5, Cagnolatti, Bostick and Cooper took pars, while Williams dropped two strokes with his second double bogey of the afternoon.
Cagnolatti extended his lead to two strokes with a birdie on 6.
Bogeys by Cooper on 7 and Bostick on 8 enabled Cagnolatti to open up a three-shot lead.
“I was two-under through eight holes with a three-shot lead and I let it get away,” Cagnolatti said. “My putter let me down for the next nine holes. I just hung on.”
Bostick gained two strokes over the next two holes as Cagnolatti bogeyed No. 9 and Bostick birdied 10.
Cagnolatti regained the three-shot lead when Cooper bogeyed and Bostick double bogeyed 11.
Bostick again closed within a single stroke with a birdie on, while Cagnolatti bogeyed. Cooper carded a par to move within two shots.
Each member of the trio picked up pars on 13 and 14, before Bostick moved into a tie with a birdie on 15.
Cagnolatti bogeyed 16, enabling Bostick to grab the lead.
Bostick maintained a one-stroke lead over Cagnolatti on the 17th hole by miraculously saving par after his tee shot landed in the hazard. After punching the ball out of the knee-high weeds, Bostick hit his third shot onto the green and drained a 22-foot putt. Cooper, meanwhile, fell out of contention as he took a drop after his tee shot rolled to a stop on the concrete drainage out of bounds.
“It was a back-and-forth match,” Cagnolatti said. “Chase made a great putt on 17 to keep the lead.”
Buddy Fisher shot 152 to win the first flight, David Hester captured the second flight with a 153, Sonny Nason won the third flight with 166 and Seth White set the standard in the fourth flight with a 176.
In the senior division, Fayette Jordan was the championship flight winner with 143, while Charles Bentley topped the leader board in the first flight with 157.