A season on the brink of not getting to play for the University of Arizona golf team got a little better for junior Philip Bagdade when he took the weekend off from school to win the Arizona Publinks Championship.
Bagdade beat a scrappy Patrick Geare of Tucson on the fourth playoff hole at Randolph Park North. The 21-year-old college kid called the sudden-death encounter “very nerve-wracking’’ until he holed the winning par putt from 12 feet.
The Publinks is the first of four major championships sponsored by the Arizona Golf Association. Bagdade came from four shots back in Sunday’s final round, closing with a 3-under-par 67 and a winning total of 2-under 208. Geare got to the same number with a 70.
Another junior on the UA golf team, Kenji Hernandez, missed the playoff by a stroke after ending up with a 71. Scottsdale’s Trey Martin was another shot back in fourth place after his 65 turned out to be the day’s best round.
First-round leader Scott Berren of Ahwatukee ended up in a tie for fifth place at 211 following a 73. Austin Quick, a senior at Scottsdale Chaparral who has signed a letter of intent with Arizona State, was alone in seventh place at 2 over on a 74.
Bryan Hoops, who had led the tournament through 36 holes at 3 under 137, faded with a 77 that dropped him into a tie for 11th.
Geare, who was the 2010 AGA co-player of the year in the Masters division, had a chance to win in regulation but made bogey at the final hole to send it into OT. Born and raised in Tucson with a law degree from the University of Arizona, Geare admitted that his somewhat surprising runner-up finish in the season’s first major was bittersweet.