STILLWATER — Last year, Max McGreevy had to kill time on the putting green while waiting to see if he had done enough to capture medalist honors at the Class 6A boys golf state tournament.
This year, the Edmond Santa Fe senior had to fight to defend his title.
After Tuesday's final round resulted in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard, McGreevy defeated Edmond North's Nick Heinen with a birdie on the second playoff hole to repeat as state champion on a dramatic afternoon at Karsten Creek.
“I can tell how much I've improved (as a senior) by the scores I've put down this year,” McGreevy said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself, even though I probably didn't need to. I'm proud of myself that I could get through it.
“… (Heinen) told me to make (the winning putt) right when I started to set my ball down. I just tried to not go as fast as I could, so I could kind of relax and enjoy the moment. Everybody cheering at the end, it's just a great feeling when it finally goes in.”
McGreevy, Heinen and Norman North's Thomas Johnson all finished with a 2-under 214. Johnson was eliminated after he failed to birdie on the first playoff hole before McGreevy and Heinen lined up to play the par-5 18 again.
After both players chipped onto the green on their third shot, Heinen missed his putt before McGreevy sank his to clinch the victory.
“They're both longer than me off the tee,” McGreevy said of Heinen and Johnson. “I knew they could both reach the hole. I was just trying to stay in my zone and not let their shots affect me and just kind of play how I want to play and let the outcome come.”
Getting to that playoff featured some drama, too.
Johnson, whose performance Tuesday capped a breakout sophomore season, rallied from a poor start to shoot 5-under on his final 10 holes. McGreevy, meanwhile, knew he was one shot back of Heinen when he teed off on 17 and figured he would need to make a birdie on one of the final holes.
“I just kept giving myself chances,” McGreevy said, “and knew that if (Heinen) didn't make a mistake, that I could give myself a chance to catch up to him. It just so happened he made a bogey on 17 and gave me a chance.”
There was little suspense surrounding the team competition, however, as Edmond North won its ninth consecutive championship with a final score of 884, which was 27 strokes ahead of second-place Jenks.