After a grueling 62 holes of golf over two days in the summer heat, Andrew Davis summed up the essence of match play best.
"This is a marathon," he said. "It was definitely exhausting."
Davis, a senior this fall at Eastern York, defeated recent West York graduate Trevor Sweitzer, 3&2, to win the York County Junior Golf Association's George Barton Match Play Championship at Springwood Golf Club.
Davis advanced to the final by defeating Central York's Connor Bacha, 3&2. Sweitzer was in the championship match thanks to a solid 7&6 victory against Spring Grove's Luke Hoffnagle to start the day.
Part of surviving any competitive "marathon" is enduring the ebbs and flows. That was exactly what Davis had to do in order to take home the title, battling through struggles of his own while holding off a furious comeback effort from Sweitzer.
With the match all-square after 12 holes, Davis seized an opportunity on the par-4 fourth hole — the match began on the back nine — when Sweitzer's approach shot missed the green to the left and settled near a tree.
With an impeded swing path, Sweitzer was not able to chip onto the green until his fourth shot.
Davis, who had pitched his approach to within 15 feet, two-putted for par and a 1-up lead through 13 holes.
From there, Davis rode the momentum and captured two of the next three holes to close out the match.
"I didn't do bad," Sweitzer said of his efforts. "I felt like I was playing decent coming into the turn. I don't know, I just couldn't get any putts rolling."
Davis, the tournament's No. 5 seed, had built a 3-up lead after the first seven holes before Sweitzer, the No. 11 seed, began a comeback. Sweitzer's approach shot on the par-4 17th hit the pin and settled to within four feet. After a Davis miss, Sweitzer drained the birdie putt to cut Davis' lead to two.
Sweitzer would trail by one at the turn after Davis' tee shot on No. 18 went out of bounds, eventually resulting in Davis conceding the hole to Sweitzer.
After giving one back to Davis on the par-5 first hole, Sweitzer took advantage of more trouble for Davis on the second hole and again trailed by one.
A solid up-and-down for Sweitzer at the par-3 third had the match all-square after 12 holes when Davis missed his putt for par.
"I came out here and just tried to play my game and tried to stay positive, and it worked out," Davis said. "I was hitting the ball pretty solid off the tee and just trying to hit greens. Match play, it all depends what your opponent does, I wasn't really playing as much for score as I was just trying to win holes."
More golf: Wednesday's victory isn't even the midway point for Davis' marathon golf week.
He plans to play in a recreational league Thursday, before taking on the 36-hole qualifier for the Cool Creek Golf Club championship this weekend.
"This just the beginning," Davis said of his victory. "So hopefully I can make it through and play well in all those events."
Lee takes girls' title: On the girls' side, Julianne Lee defeated Kendel Abrams, 5&3, to cap a dominant run through the girls' bracket for her third straight YCJGA match play crown. Earlier in the day, Lee dispatched Victoria Downey 8&6.
Abrams was in the final courtesy of a 2-up victory against Alexandra Lowder.
The YCJGA Junior War of the Roses team will be announced at the league's awards banquet on Aug. 6.
— Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com