WELLESLEY ISLAND — A pair of old hockey rivals had one last faceoff on the golf course Wednesday.
South Jefferson senior Ryan Blevins beat Thousand Islands senior Tyler Turgeon on the first playoff hole to win the Frontier League golf championship on the Old Course at Thousand Islands Country Club.
The duo has known each other since before they were teens because they’ve squared off in youth and high school hockey.
“I’ve known him since we were 10, so it’s nice to have that friendship going into the final hole,” said Blevins, who finished sixth in last year’s event.
Both Blevins and Turgeon shot a 5-over-par 76 after 18 holes on a course that has endured plenty of rain during the spring season. The tournament was originally slated for Tuesday, but inclement weather pushed it back a day.
“It was a definitely a big eye-opener coming here from Seven Oaks (where the Section 3 state qualifier was) to here,” Turgeon said. “It was really wet and hard to get a read on the greens.”
Blevins came out firing and shot a 37 on the front nine with solid drives and great use of his wedges, but struggled on the final half to keep Turgeon at bay.
“I ended up hitting two balls into the hazards on the back, and I just started slipping a little, but I was glad I was able to tie it up.”
Turgeon closed with a 37 on the back nine as both turned in their cards early and waited for the other scorecards to come trickling in.
“I just kept grinding it out,” Turgeon said. “I got a couple of bogeys and a couple of birdies.”
The two played similar shots on the par-4 first hole in the playoff. Both had strong drives that were just left of the hole and had to deal with a set of trees in front of the green. Blevins got on the fringe with his shot while Turgeon’s attempt rolled into the bunker. Blevins’ shot was an especially solid one considering he is left-handed.
“The tree was right in my path and the same with Tyler, so I tried to just draw it around the tree a little bit and it seemed to work out a little bit better,” Blevins said.
After another shot, Blevins sank the winning putt for par after Turgeon’s attempt to extend the playoff to a second hole didn’t go in.
“It felt good as soon as I hit it,” Blevins said.
Sam Arrigo of South Lewis finished third while last year’s winner, Matt Barton, placed fourth. Tyler Davison of General Brown took fifth. Joey Melfi of Thousand Islands, Nick Spicer of Watertown, Kacy Lennox of General Brown, Blake Dolan of South Lewis, TI’s Xander Howard and Alexandria’s Trey Thomson rounded out the other top finishers.
Tyler’s twin brother, Thomas, earned the Arnie O’Reilly Sportsmanship Award.
General Brown won the “A/B” Division team title, Thousand Islands took the “C” title and Alexandria won the “D” crown.