ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Despite a steady rain growing heavier and heavier, neither Marshall Meisel of Wake Forest nor Western New York native Anthony Delisanti of Valparaiso University wanted to stop playing.
The two phenoms went shot for shot in a sudden-death playoff to try and win the 82nd Monroe Invitational. It would take something special to secure a victory, and on the 6th playoff hole, Meisel did just that.
Just off the side of the green on an uphill lie, Meisel’s chip took two bounces and dropped in the hole, giving him a birdie and the championship.
“I actually had a great feeling. On those shots, you can kind of be aggressive on it because it’s going to go high and not too far past the hole,” said Meisel. “I had a good read on it and I hit it, I thought I hit it a little too hard. But it was on a great line and the second hop went right in the hole.”
A playoff seemed unlikely down the stretch. Meisel’s pitch on 14 from about 25 yards out hit the flagstick, giving him a par and a three-shot lead on the field. But Meisel, who entered the final round with a one-shot lead, bogeyed the 15th hole.
He kept a two-shot lead for most of the afternoon until Delisanti birdied 17 and rolled in an impressive birdie putt on the 18th to finish the tournament at -9. Meisel parred his final three holes to go into a playoff.
Each player made par on the first four playoff holes, the two playing 18 and 10 over and over again. On the fifth playoff hole, Delisanti stuck an iron from the fairway to just a few feet away. Meisel was in a much more difficult position, sitting in a fairway bunker with some trees in his way. However, he mustered up a tremendous shot to the back right pin position and made birdie as well from about five feet away.
After Meisel’s chip-in, Delisanti had a lengthy birdie putt to try and match his birdie on the 6th playoff hole, but it would not drop to give Meisel the win.
“This is definitely the biggest tournament I’ve ever won. The way that I played all week, the way I handled myself, I was really proud of that,” said Meisel. “Obviously, the playoff, the finish, and the chip-in to win was just unbelievable.”
What made the win even more special for Meisel was that his girlfriend Kate was caddying for him for the first time.
“She did an awesome job. She was there for moral support. Especially the second and third rounds, she kept me in it. I was happy to have her out there,” said Meisel.