Kyle Holley's heart raced "about 160 beats a minute," he said, when he held his driver in a sudden-death playoff in the Region 4-A/AA golf tournament Monday.
Sarah Dolmovich had the same nerves as she stood over a six-foot putt on the 18th hole at Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.
They didn't need to be so nervous, but that's the pressure of playoff golf.
Holley won the playoff and earned medalist honors while helping Notre Dame cruise to the team victory and a spot in the state tournament next Tuesday and Wednesday at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester.
Dolmovich missed her putt, but it didn't matter. Her Signal Mountain team won as well and can try to defend its Class A/AA state championship.
"I could feel a good round coming, because when I was practicing the other day, everything seemed to be going well for me," said Holley, who shot a 1-over-par 73 and beat Peyton Broyles of Jackson County in the playoff with a par. "I chipped so well today. It was like a foot away every time."
The Irish combined to shoot 310 and beat runner-up Signal Mountain by 18 strokes in a tournament delayed by rain for about an hour. The Irish's David Weeks was third at 75, Patrick Armor shot 79 and Todd Krum had an 83.
The Signal Mountain boys were led by Blake Boerger, who shot 79 and advanced to the state as an individual by winning in a playoff.
"I've shot in the 90s and the 80s this year, and this is the first time all year I broke 80," Boerger said. "It's cool to have my best round at regions."
Dolmovich's teammate, Andi Fisher, knows the feeling of playing her best in the playoffs. The junior who plays in the Lady Eagles' third spot had their second-best score Monday. Fisher shot an 11-over 83 and finished fourth.
"I had a lot of fun," said Fisher, who added that she has approached golf more as a pastime than a competitive sport until the last few weeks. "Playing better made me have even more fun."
Emily Miller of Livingston Academy was the medalist with a 74, Dolmovich was second with a 79 and Notre Dame's Maddie Everts was third with an 81 and advanced along with Miller to the state.
"It seemed that Andi was always in the back and looking up until recently, and for her score to count is a huge boost for her," said Signal Mountain coach Wes Moore, whose team's 162 beat Livingston by eight shots. "Her game may go to the next level."
Holley's score certainly improved in a week. He shot an 85 at Willowbrook in the district tournament last week.
"He's been streaky all season," Irish coach Jeff Fisher said. "But he was on today. To shoot 85, then come back and be medalist is pretty impressive."
Contact David Uchiyama at email@example.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchSports.