Playing in his first York County Amateur Golf Association Mid-Amateur/Summer Classic on Sunday at Honey Run Golf Club was a new experience for Shane Henry.
The former Spring Grove High School standout recently turned 25, which is the minimum age for the Mid-Amateur, which was renamed the Summer Classic to allow younger players to participate as well.
While Shane Henry was new to the event, such was not the case with Matt Henry (no relation). Matt Henry is arguably the No. 1 golfer on the YCAGA Tour, having won the past three Champion of Champions. Matt Henry also won the Mid-Amateur back in 2007, as well as the York County Amateur in 2009 and 2010.
Both Henrys found themselves in a three-way tie, along with Bob Ruby, at 1-under-par 71 after 18 holes. After Ruby dropped out after missing a par putt on the first playoff hole, it came down to the two Henrys to decide a champion.
The younger Henry had a par on the second playoff hole. A moment after making his short par putt, which was less than six inches, Matt Henry missed a six-footer for par. That secured Shane Henry his first-ever YCAGA title.
"It all worked out well today," Shane Henry said. "Just a good time."
While Shane Henry clinched his title on the second playoff hole, it was actually his back nine that allowed him the chance to be in that position. After dropping to 3 over after a bogey on No. 10, he was able to rally to get under par with an outstanding finish, with four birdies over the last five holes.
"I just played a really good back nine," Shane Henry said. "And that's what really helps me out this course (Honey Run). I always play this course really well."
That late stretch made up for a tough start in which he lost his ball on No. 5. Perhaps he should have taken it as a good omen at that point. He managed to save bogey on that hole, dropping him to 1 over.
"Yeah, I thought that would have did me in," he said. "I was playing with some good guys, but I got up and down for a six, which is pretty amazing from where I was."
Shane Henry's strong finish put him in the clubhouse tied with Matt Henry, who played along with Brett Berkheimer and Gary Stewart Jr., who both finished a shot behind at even par (72). Shortly after they hit the clubhouse, they were joined at 71 by Ruby, who was part of the foursome playing behind them.
That set the stage for a playoff with Shane Henry going for his first YCAGA victory against more decorated tour veterans in Matt Henry and Ruby, who has captured a Mid-Amateur, an Amateur and a Champion of Champions.
Shane Henry was able to get close to the pin on the first playoff hole, with Matt Henry on the green with him. Ruby's approach was left on the fringe/rough, but he was able to chip to within 10 feet.
Both Henrys made their par putts, but Ruby left his short, creating a Henry-vs.-Henry showdown.
After slicing his drive to the right, Shane Henry was able to land his approach shot on No. 2 within several feet of the cup. His putt, however, hit a spike mark on its route, leaving the ball just inches from a birdie. That gave Matt Henry, who was left with a 20-footer for birdie, a chance. But the man known for being the longest driver in the area, came up short with his putter.
"My putting wasn't very good today," Matt Henry said. "But I hung in there. Just wasn't very good with the short putts today."
Despite his first-ever YCAGA victory, Shane Henry didn't sound like he would enjoy a long night of celebrating on Sunday.
"Well, we're going out for dinner tonight with my family," he said. "Other than that, just going to bed to get ready to work tomorrow."
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.