Hawks win Stigberg Memorial on final hole

Woodland’s Josh Hassan tees off on the first hole during the 37th annual Jack Stigberg Memorial Tournament on Wednesday at Farmingbury Hills Golf Course in Wolcott. – STEVEN VALENTI/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WOLCOTT — Julian Perino had to go for it. So he went for it and got it.

Perino and Woodland golf teammate Josh Hassan captured the 37th annual Jack Stigberg Memorial Tournament on Wednesday at Farmingbury Hills Golf Course, and they did it with a flourish on the final hole.

Perino and Hassan combined for an even-par score of 70 in the best-ball event and won by two shots over Platt Tech’s Matt Allan and Ryan Solkoske, by four over Gilbert’s Conor Bailey and Hillson Lui, the defending champions, and by four over Torrington’s John Ledda and Carson Sparks.

The drama focused on Woodland’s 18th hole.

In the shotgun format, the Hawks started play on the fourth hole, so No. 3 was their 18th hole. To add a bit more pressure, Woodland and Platt Tech were in the same foursome.

Each player knew what was at stake.

Farmingbury’s third is a 310-yard par-four. The green is driveable, but small and protected by bunkers. Perino went for it, anyway.

“It’s a downhill par-four, and I knew we had to go for it,” Perino said. “We were 1-over, and we had to birdie the hole. I picked up the driver and hit it as hard as I could. It went dead straight, landed in the middle of the green and set me up for an 8-foot eagle putt.”

Perino missed the eagle, tapped in for birdie and clinched the title for the Hawks.

Battling Platt Tech head-to-head helped both teams post solid scores.

“We’d see them hit great shots, and we knew we had to come back and hit great shots, and we did that,” Hassan said. “And when (Perino) had a bad hole, I’d pick it up and vice-versa.”

Allan said, “We were all pretty close throughout the day, and it came down to the last shots. We made shots, but they made better ones.”

Solkoske added, “We all played great today, and that made me play better. We all played better.”

The Woodland edge, he added, was off the tee.

“(Woodland) got off the tee on every hole,” he said.

Woodland has finished in third place, second, and has now won the championship, in three of the last four Stigberg tournaments.