WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State senior Ryan Koczela (Bridgewater, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) won a four-hole playoff to earn the individual title and led the Owls men's golf team to the team title at the 2019 Elms College Blazer Invitational played at the Ledges Golf Course and Westover Golf Course on Saturday and Sunday.
Koczela shot 70-73-143 (-1) for the tournament, tying with Springfield College's Mike Strong. The two engaged in a sudden death playoff, which Koczela won by birdieing the fourth playoff hole (The Ledges' ninth) to win the title. Koczela's 2-under par 70 on Sunday was the low round of the day and gave him a 1-stroke lead entering the final round.
Westfield shot a solid team score of 597 to win by five strokes. The Owls won their third straight tournament this year, and fourth in a row dating back to last spring.
The Owls' Matteo Godek (Feeding Hills, Mass./Agawam) shot 78-70-148 to finish third, and fired the field's low round of the day on Monday. J.J. Newcombe (Bellingham, Mass./Blackstone Valley) finished 79-71-150 to tie for fourth.
The Owls will next play in the MASCAC Championships on Oct. 5-6 at Wachussett Country Club in West Boylston, a challenging yet vintage Donald Ross-designed course, against an expanded field of nine teams, as the MASCAC absorbed several schools from the former NECC conference.
Westfield will be one of the favorites for the tournament. The Owls were picked second in the league's preseason poll and just posted a five-stroke win over Springfield, the top pick in the poll, this week at the Blazer Invitational. Westfield won the last MASCAC championship, held in fall of 2018 at Blackstone National. Godek was the co-medalist with a 77 on a tough weather day.