FRANKLIN, Ind. -- It was like Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickelson, only in this case, it was five-person high school teams doing battle.
Leading by three shots heading into Wednesday's final round of the IHSAA boys golf state finals, Avon found itself in a stroke-for-stroke battle with Evansville North at The Legends of Indiana Golf Club. Finally, the Orioles picked up a couple of shots over the final three holes to pull out a two-stroke victory and claim their first state title in any sport.
"I knew we were playing right neck-and-neck," Avon coach Brent Sailor said. "They would make a bogey and then turn around and make a birdie. We'd gain a stroke on one guy, and we'd lose another stroke on another. It was kind of back and forth."
The Orioles' score of 587 tied the 36-hole state record set by Richmond in 2003. Cathedral fired a 562 last season on a course that was shortened because of flooding, disallowing the would-be record.
Avon, which finished second with a 584 last year, followed its 293 in Tuesday's opening round with a 294 Wednesday. The Orioles placed three players among the top 10 individuals, led by sophomore Patrick Rodgers, whose 2-under 142 tied for second.
"We've been working real hard this year to get this title," said Orioles senior Andrew Wegeng, who tied for seventh at 146. "This was our goal, and I'm glad to help. . . . We didn't need to push. We just wanted to play solid and have another round like we did (Tuesday)."
Wegeng and senior Jonathan Jozefowski each shot 72 in the final round. Jozefowski's career best prior to the state tournament was a 79. He carded a 76 Tuesday, then bettered that by four shots Wednesday to finish in a tie for ninth at 148.
"I've been close all year, and I'm just happy finally I got it all together," Jozefowski said. "I'm just happy I saved it for the last round of my career."
Avon junior David Janney tied for 18th with a 151.
Last year's state champ Cathedral used a 302 to move from a tie for sixth to third. Senior Brad Gehl fired a final-round 69 to move into a tie for ninth at 148, while senior Corey Ziedonis, last year's state medalist, tied for 15th at 149.
"We had a big hill to climb," Cathedral coach Joe Vollmer said. "Both Avon and Evansville North played solid both days, which is what it takes to win this championship. We did the best we could, but it just wasn't our week. We just picked a bad time to shoot one of our weaker scores."
Hamilton Southeastern was in third place Tuesday, only six shots out of the lead following an opening-round 299. But the Royals shot 315 Wednesday to fall to fifth at 614. Junior Parker Sheppard tied for ninth individually with a 148.
"We really seemed to struggle," Southeastern coach David Young said. "We started our first few holes attacking pins and were on it, and then once we hit about halfway through our first nine today, we just really started having trouble left and right. "
Brebeuf Jesuit was in fifth after a 302 on Tuesday but carded a 320 Wednesday and fell to eighth at 622. Senior Hayden Koplow tied for 25th with a 152.
Mishawaka Marian senior Adam Sumrall fired a final-round 66 and won individual medalist honors with a 140. Sumrall also won the IHSAA mental attitude award.
Roncalli sophomore Andrew Fogg used a 70 on Wednesday to move up to fourth with a 144, and Lebanon senior John Frisby was one shot back in a tie for fifth. Center Grove freshman Zach Muench finished 17th with a 150, and sophomore teammate Tyler Evans tied for 18th at 151. Lapel senior Brodie Williams tied for 28th at 153.