Mohawk Valley Community College freshman Dante Migliore delivered when he need it most during Friday’s final round of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Golf Championship at Chautaugua Golf Club.
Migliore birdied the par-4 18th to tie Chase Cole, and then made a remarkable eagle on the fifth hole of their sudden-death playoff to win the title.
“It feels great,” Migliore said. “It’s one of the best days of my life.”
After tying the first four playoff holes, Migliore hit a long drive on the 506-yard par-5 5th. His next shot was even better as his 5-iron from 215 yards out finished to within 12 feet of the pin. Cole hit his tee ball way left and had to chip out. However, Cole responded by sticking his third to within eight feet to make Migliore earn the victory.
The Frankfort-Schuyler graduate answered the call by drilling his eagle putt for the championship.
“It felt good,” Migliore said. “I said to myself ‘I just have to trust my putter.’”
Migliore and Cole (Georgia Northwestern) shot matching 4-under 68s during the final 18 of the four-round tournament to post totals of 289. Cole and Migliore began the day tied for second, two strokes back of leader Jacob Bartley of Vincennes University. Bartley shot 74 during his final round and finished in solo third with a 293 total. It wasn’t a total loss for Bartley, who led Vincennes to the team championship.
Migliore led the tournament in birdies with 18 and in par-4 scoring at 4.16. He was just behind Cole in par-5 scoring at 4.55 and had nearly everything going in the final round. As good as he was during his high school career; Migliore’s game has been stellar over the last few months.
“As soon as college started I feel like a completely different player,” Migliore said. “I never really struck ball this well and I’m also putting as well as I ever have in my career.”
This was the biggest win of Migliore’s career, surpassing his victory last month at the Region III Golf Championship at Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. He also joins Twin Ponds Golf & Country Club professional, Gary Grabinski (1990), as champions from MVCC.
West Canada Valley graduate Bobby Davenport (MVCC) shot 74 Friday to finish with a 318 total and a tie for 35th. Onondaga Community College’s Sam Tornatore (Whitesboro) finished in 39th with a 319 total.