QUENTIN - Cedar Crest senior golfer Ben Feeman calls his freshman teammate Dylan Ramsey, “one of the best putters I’ve ever seen.’’
That’s only part of the reason Ramsey turned in one of the best freshman seasons in L-L history.
But it was Feeman who coaxed home clutch four-footers for pars to edge Ramsey in a sudden-death playoff for the Lancaster-Lebanon League individual golf championship Monday at Fairview Golf Course.
Both players shot one over-par 72s in regulation at windblown Fairview, Cedar Crest’s home course.
L-L League golf championship at Fairview Golf Course [photos]
The postseason for the Lancaster-Lebanon League was held Monday with the league golf championships at Fairview Golf Course in Lebanon County.
The league tournament determines the L-L team and individual champions and qualifiers for the District Three tournament: the low 19 boys scorers in Class AAA and low six in AA qualify, along with every girl who shoots 104 or less.
Manheim Township took the team trophy for Section One. Warwick snagged the Section Two trophy, Lampeter-Strasburg handled Section Three and Pequea Valley grabbed the Section Four trophy.
A freshman won the girls’ individual title for the second straight year, Manheim Township’s Piper Smith shooting 75 to edge last year’s champ, Warwick sophomore Elle Overly, by a single shot.
Pretty good day for the Falcons in the home nest. In addition to Feeman and Ramsey, they got a 77 from Dayton DiBiaso, 79 from Jill Fidler (good for third overall on the girls’ side) and an 80 from Ethan Rader to claim their first league team title since 1999.
Crest’s 300 total was six better than runner-up Manheim Township, which barely edged the Falcons in a season-long battle for the Section One championship.
The league’s Class AA champion, or top qualifier for the District Three tournament in AA, is Winston Thai of Lancaster Country Day, who shot 75 to tie for fifth overall and edge Reagan Flynn of Annville-Cleona by one shot.
The Dutchmen shot 335 to win the AA team title by a surprising 17 shots over Pequea Valley, which beat A-C for the Section Four crown in the regular season.
Early in the going Monday, the girls’ championship settled, as expected, into virtual match play between Smith and Overly, who played together.
Starting on the back nine, Overly birdied the 12th and 14th (their third and fifth holes) to take a one-shot lead. Then she bogeyed 15, 17 and one, as Smith kept reeling off pars.
Smith birdied the third and then parred five straight to take control. Overly birdied the par-5 seventh, but bogeyed the eighth, and Smith barely held on.
“I like playing with Elle - she’s a great player,’’ said Smith. “She definitely forced me to make some putts.’’
Smith won the Lancaster Ladies’ City-County Amateur this summer, but she also acknowledged a crisis of confidence that caused her to quit the game two summers ago.
“I just started believing in myself,’’ she said. “I was a little nervous today because I’m a freshman. I didn’t know what to expect. But I’m happy with the way I played.’’
The boys’ competition was a stampede for a while. Manheim Township’s Andrew Bilson played the first seven holes two under-par, and at one point led by two. Then Bilson played a four-hole stretch four over, at around the time DiBiaso, Cedar Crest’s No. 5 player, suddenly went nuts, going eagle, double-bogey, birdie, birdie, birdie in a five-hole stretch.
For a minute at least, he was tied for the lead. For another minute or so, 10 guys were within a shot of the lead.
By the middle of the back nine, it was down to Feeman, Ramsey, Bilson and Solanco’s Logan Wagner.
Ramsey birdied 13 and 14. Wagner birdied 14. Feeman, finding something with the putter, birdied 14 and 16.
Wagner bogied 15, a tough par-three with a vicious pin location, while Ramsey made a 10-foot par save.
Ramsey missed a six-footer for birdie on the par-17, and went to 18 tied with Feeman, Bilson a shot back.
Everybody parred the final hole, Bilson barely missing a long birdie chip that would have got him in the playoff.
“It was kind of weird playing against (Ramsey),’’ admitted Feeman, who had partnered with Ramsey to win the Lebanon County Better-Ball last month.
“We had to go from friends to enemies for a little bit.’’
Feeman has to get up-and-down for par on the first playoff hole, making a four-footer with perhaps 100 of his peers and their families - camera phones at the ready - looking on.
The second playoff hole was the 365-yard par-4 11th, where Feeman scoffed at the dogleg-right and bombed a drive to within 20 yards of the green. Ramsey’s second shot was short, his chip a bit long, and Feeman sealed it with a par.
“My main goal this year, my senior year, is to make states,’’ Feeman said. “But, everything you play in, you want to win.’’
He’ll get a shot at states at the District Three Tournament, Oct. 7-8 in York County, Class AA at Honey Run and AAA at Briarwood. The low 19 AAA boys, low six AA boys and low seven girls from Monday advanced.