Just ask Lassiter's Bart Baukenert.
Baukenert, the Trojans' No. 6 golfer, struggled to a 101 in Tuesday's Region 5AAAAA championship at Cobblestone Golf Course. But he sank a 15-foot par putt on the fourth playoff hole help Lassiter beat Walton and clinch the Trojans their first region title in the program's history.
Lassiter and Walton had completed the par-71, 6,272-yard course with identical team scores of 310 to qualify for the Class AAAAA state championship, which will be held May 2 at the Summit Chase Country Club in Snellville, but the east Cobb rivals still went into a playoff to determine who would take home the title.
Walton fell behind over the first three playoff holes, but got help from Blake Yoder and Zack Weld to extend the rounds.
Just like the team totals over the first 18 holes, the four lowest individual scores combined to give a team total for each playoff hole. The teams continued play as long as they tied a hole.
Weld's birdie putt on the par-4 10th hole forced the second playoff hole, and Yoder's par on the 11th and subsequent birdie on No. 10 sent the competition to a fourth playoff.
This time, Walton took the early lead after Tanner Landry parred No. 11 and David Yowell, John Yi and Justin Cobkit all bogeyed. Lassiter's Michael Toler and Brody Judd parred the hole, but Max Weyrick and Adam Wright each had double bogeys.
The Trojans' No. 5 golfer, Parker Usry salvaged a par on No. 11, while Weld set himself up for an easy birdie. Weld's birdie attempt wasn't needed, however, as Baukenert drained a 15-foot putt up over a slope on the 410-yard No. 11 hole to clinch the title for the Trojans.
"I didn't think at all that I would be in this situation to win the region championship for my team," said Baukenert, who nearly missed making the cut in regulation after carding a 16-over par 52 over the front nine, narrowly making the cut of 56.
"My teammates told me that I needed to pull through, and that my score counted, too, so I decided that I'd try to help them out a little bit. I double-bogeyed on the first two playoff holes, so my scores didn't count and that brought me down, but everybody's always telling me to keep my head up and try to pull through.
"I just had to play my best shots and focus and see what I could do after that. I got par the next time around on No. 10, and par again on No. 11 to win it for my team. It feels great."
Lassiter will be making its first appearance in the state playoffs, while Walton returns for the first time since 2008. Etowah (317) was third, followed by Marietta (323), Woodstock (324), Cherokee (363) and Wheeler (388).
"Winning this title just builds on what we're trying to accomplish," Lassiter coach Butch Burden said. "Last year, we set the standard by winning our first tournament, and this year our goal was to make it to state. Winning region is just icing on the cake. We got contributions from all of the kids. It goes a long way when your No. 5 and 6 guys are still playing strong at the end to kind of put us over the hump and get us there. It's an awesome win.
"The boys worked hard. We have six sophomores and one junior, and all of those guys have bought into what we're trying to do. It paid off for them."
Lassiter used Weyrick's 75 and scores from Toler (77), Wright (78) and Judd (80) to produce its 310 team total. Yi (74), Yowell (78), Cobkit (79) and Landry (79) were used for Walton.
"Four playoff holes is pretty amazing," Walton coach Mike Davidson said. "The kids really came out. Lassiter fought tooth-and-nail, and our kids fought right back. Our No. 5 and No. 6 players held us through those last playoffs holes, so it was exciting and it was a great day of golf.
"It's big for us to be back in the state tournament. We pride ourselves on that. We finished well at the region. We don't like that runner-up stuff, but both (Walton and Lassiter) get to go to state, and that's where the true competition comes out. This was a great tournament (Tuesday)."
Woodstock's Will Brackett fired a 73 to earn medalist honors, while Yi and Etowah's David Sullivan (74) tied for second. Weyrick (75) placed fourth, with Toler (77) and Marietta's Tate Foster (77) tying for fifth.
Woodstock's Richard Sunnegardh tied Yowell (78), Marietta's Parks Brown (78) and Wright (78) for seventh. Three other players, Marietta's Zach Foster (79) and Walton teammates Cobkit (79) and Landry (79), also shot under 80. Patrick Wheeler (90) had the lowest score for Wheeler.