NIPTON, Calif. — Matthew Manganello’s family threw their hats on the green and exclaimed “hat trick!” after the Eldorado freshman made his third straight birdie Wednesday.
Then, he added another one for good measure.
Manganello used a stretch of four consecutive birdies on his back nine to force a playoff, and he went on to defeat Coronado’s Grant McKay on the second extra hole to take medalist honors at the Division I Sunrise Region boys golf tournament.
Manganello, who trailed by six strokes entering the final round, is the first Eldorado player to win a region golf title.
He shot 1-under-par 70 and was the only player from the region to break par at Primm Valley Golf Club’s Lakes Course. Manganello and McKay finished at 7-over 150 for the tournament.
“The first (playoff) hole, I couldn’t believe I had enough to come back and be in the tie,” Manganello said. “I just finished it out strong. It felt really good, and I stayed confident.”
Coronado had five of the top seven finishers and captured its third consecutive region team title. The Cougars shot 33-over 388 and posted a two-round total of 779. Foothill (870) was second followed by Silverado (937).
The top two teams and the top five individuals from nonqualifying teams advance to the Division I state tournament, which opens Tuesday at Reflection Bay Golf Club.
“It’s always nice to win a championship,” Coronado coach Joe Sawaia said. “Clearly, we didn’t play our best golf, but it was good enough. … But this isn’t the one you’re after. You’re after the next one. That’s kind of what we’ve been about at Coronado for a long time. Hopefully we can improve the things we need to improve.”
Manganello’s charge on the back nine began after he posted double bogey on his 13th hole. He grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie on his 17th hole and made a tough par putt on his final hole to remain in contention.
McKay caught a break on his 17th hole when he scrambled for par after getting relief when his pitch shot landed in a sprinkler hole short of the green. However, he was unable to save par on his 18th hole after his tee shot went in the bunker.
Manganello missed a short birdie putt on the first playoff hole and then drained a slick 6-footer for par on the second hole, the par-3 No. 9, to earn the victory.
“I had to come out here and play properly and make the shots I needed to make, and I did,” Manganello said.
Coronado’s Ethan Bozner was third at 156, and teammate Jalen Hodges finished fourth at 157. Dylan Fritz and Jake Hurlburt shared fifth place at 158 with Liberty’s Jayrick Cadelina-Canyete.
“I’m happy for Grant, having a chance there at the playoff,” Sawaia said. “That would have been nice to get that done, but you’ve got to tip your hat to Matthew, the kind of round he played today.”