Low scorers Saturday at Helfrich and Fendrich got to go home early in the qualifier for the Evansville Courier & Press Men’s City Golf Tournament.
Ethan Harper shot a 3-under par 67 at soggy Fendrich for medal honors there, while five players — Mitchell Jackson, Austin Enright, Blake Merrill, Dustin Jourdan and Jordan Dant — finished with a 3-over total of 74 at Helfrich to tie for low score there.
But the real fun started when it became clear the final spots in the field for the City that begins Saturday Aug. 1 at Fendrich would be decided by playoff at both courses.
At Helfrich five players shot 80 with only three spots left there among the 17 at the hilly West Side course.
Meanwhile, Fendrich had six players shoot 78 with only two of the 45 spots left for the taking. That playoff would take awhile.
Helfrich was a different matter, though. After Robbie Kent, Jr., Keith Bagby, Ryan Magruber, Vernon Stevens II and Michael McAtee all finished at 80, they went to the first tee around 5 p.m. to play for three spots.
Then Kent, Bagby and Magruder all parred the first hole to qualify as both Stevens and McAtee faced bogey.
At Fendrich the six players who went to the 10th tee after 6 p.m. included Rodney Buchanan, Kyle Powell, Ryan Schulz, Glen Fehr, Barrett Fisher and Matt Whitmore going for the final two spots in the field.
After Powell and Schulz bogeyed 10 against pars for the others, four players remained going to the par-3 11th.
Then Buchanan, Fehr and Fisher all missed the green and bogeyed as Whitmore notched a routine par to capture his spot in the tourney.
That left three players vying for the final spot facing the par-4 12th. Then they all missed the green and bogeyed.
At 13, Fehr and Fisher both missed the green, but Fisher managed par to tie Buchanan, who hit the green and two-putted.
Next, when it looked like the playoff might go to a record 6th hole at 14, Buchanan drained an 18-foot birdie to end the drama.
“I was ready to go home,” said a relieved Buchanan walking off the green.
After the tournament begins at Fendrich Aug. 1, it moves to Helfrich for round two on Aug. 2. Then the low 40 and ties move to Rolling Hills and Evansville Country Club for the final two rounds Aug. 8-9.