SPRY -- Jeff Poet and John Lowder Jr. spent a lot of time together on Sunday.
The York County Amateur Golf Association players were paired in a grouping with Scott Knouse during the YCAGA Senior Championship at Springwood Golf Club.
After 18 holes, they were tied for the lead after shooting 2-over-par 74s. It seemed like every hole that Poet played well, Lowder didn't, and vice versa. So it didn't seem like it would take long to determine a winner in a playoff.
That assumption was proven wrong -- very wrong.
The duo battled back and forth through eight playoff holes, with neither giving an inch. On the ninth hole, a winner was finally crowned when Poet hit a nice approach shot at the pin and sank his putt for a birdie to claim his first YCAGA Senior title.
Poet pumped his fists after making his championship-winning putt, partly in celebration, but also partly in relief that the longest playoff in YCAGA tournament history was finally over.
"I thought for a second that I might have left it short," Poet said of his winning putt. "But thank goodness it got in."
Poet actually joked with Lowder before their tee shot on No. 9 that one of them was due to make a birdie. The pin placements on most holes Sunday made life difficult on the golfers. Fortunately for Poet, the placement of the pin on No. 9 was on the front of the green.
"Springwood is a very challenging course," he said. "The front pin positions here are rather easy to make birdie. Most courses set them up back, middle, front and they rotate. So No. 9's pin was in the front. I birdied No. 9 the first time I played it in my round."
Poet hit a nice drive into the fairway to start the hole, which set him up for a good finish.
"I hit a really good drive and (my approach) was a perfect distance for me," Poet said. "A 95-yard gap wedge and I had a perfect wedge. John hadn't made a really good shot, so I knew I had a really good chance there."
The fact that it was Poet and Lowder battling each other in a long playoff was something that neither saw coming when they began their tiebreaker.
"What was funny was that during our round today, John and I were totally opposite," Poet said. "I was making pars and he would screw up. Then when I would screw up a hole, he'd make a birdie. We both shot a 74, but if you took our better ball I bet you it would have been a 65 or 66."
While he didn't come out with the trophy he longed for, Lowder had a lot of fun in his first Senior Amateur outing. The Senior is for golfers 50 and over.
"This was pretty interesting for the first time," he said. "I enjoyed it. I had a good day. I got to ride with Jeff all day."
Lowder's most impressive shot of the day unquestionably came in the clutch on No. 18. Lowder had about a 30-foot putt on the edge of the green for par that he sank to put the pressure on Poet, who missed a four-footer.
"I knew I had to make that putt to have any chance," Lowder said. "I just had to hit it hard enough, because it was straight up a hill."
Poet's victory snapped a seven-year stranglehold on the trophy by the duo of Bill Brenner and Knouse. Brenner, who was supposed to complete the Poet, Lowder and Knouse foursome, was the defending champion of the event. Brenner, however, was unable to compete because of back trouble.
The Country Club of York golfer, while winning his first YCAGA Senior title, also won his first YCAGA playoff in this event. He lost a five-way playoff to Knouse in 2006 and lost a one-on-one playoff to Brenner three years ago.
Dale Bievenour won the Super Senior (over 60) division with a 1-over 73.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.