SARANAC INN-After 35 holes, nothing had been decided between the top two golfers in Section VII in 2011.
AuSable Valley's John Hickey and Saranac Lake's Michael Phelan stepped up to the 18th tee tied, entering the final hole at the Saranac Inn Golf and Country Club.
Both went shot-for-shot down the fairway and toward the green, where Hickey took the advantage with a close approach, while Phelan was left with a long putt.
"I looked at the putt from three angles and had a great read on it," Phelan said. "It was the longest read that I had all day."
In Phelan's own words, "I had a little too much speed on it, and it didn't drop."
That left Hickey with a short putt for the win.
"My heart was racing," Hickey said about the moments before he drained his only putt on the 18th hole, capturing the 2011 individual title by one stroke with a two-day total of 151.
"My goal was to try and get inside of him with each shot," Hickey said of the final hole. "I left it a little short on the green, but it is better on the 18th to be short than long."
Phelan trailed by six strokes after the first day of team play, which was won by Plattsburgh, who beat the Red Storm by eight strokes, 317-325.
Phelan, who opened play with an 80, fired the low round of the tournament with an even-par 72, at one point being two-under par through 14 holes.
"He gave me a run for my money," Hickey said. "He played an awesome round and he put the pressure on me."
"I came out to play my own game and not worry about what others were doing," Phelan said. "I knew that if I played my game, I could get back into contention."
Hickey and Phelan (152) will represent Section VII at the NYSPHSAA golf championships this weekend, along with Plattsburgh's Ethan Votraw (158), Northeastern Clinton's Nolan Reid (158), Saranac Lake's Patt McHugh (159), Elizabethtown-Lewis' (and MVAC top golfer) Tyler White (160), Plattsburgh's Connor Benoit (162), Plattsburgh's Gus Rietsema (163) and Beekmantown's MacCullen Cope (166).
Saranac Lake golfer Matt Clark pared the opening playoff hole to earn the alternate spot on the Section VII team over Plattsburgh's Lucas Wood.
For White, not many thought that he would fare well after carding an 11 on the opening hole of day two, but the Lion golfer fired a 70 in the remaining 17 holes to finish sixth.
"Leaving the first hole, my only thought was that I was going to hole out on my next shot," White, who birdied the par-three third, said. "I couldn't do any worse than I had just done on that hole, so I guess that it got me going."
For Votraw and McHugh, this will be the fourth time that they have represented their section at the states, while McHugh being a former sectional champion.
"It feels pretty good to be going back," McHugh said. "I played well and didn't take any big numbers here."
"I am really happy to go back," Votraw said. "I am playing pretty consistently right now. I am a little weak in the short game, but I will work on that through the week."
Hickey and Phelan return to the state tournament for the third time, while Rietsema will return for the second time.