By Phil Anastasia
It was a scintillating ending to a sensational season.
Washington Township senior Joe Russo set a tournament record with a five-under 65 to take the individual title and lead the Minutemen to the team title in the Gloucester County golf tournament on Thursday at Pitman Golf Course.
"I had played the course before and I was confident," Russo said. "But I never expected to shoot a 65."
Russo led Washington Township to an overpowering performance. The Minutemen went 1-2-3-4 as fellow seniors Matt Graziano (70), Mark Graziano (74) and Mark Gormley (75) followed Russo on the leaderboard.
"For us to cap our senior year that way is just extraordinary," Russo said.
Washington Township coach Shane Snyder said Russo is "tournament-tested" and tends to play his best golf in the biggest events.
Thursday's victory was Russo's third tournament title of his senior season, along with the Carl Arena and South Jersey Group 4.
Russo shot a 31 on the front nine with five pars and four birdies.
He made a pair of bogeys on the back nine but also birdied the 17th and eagled the par 5 15th.
Russo, who plans to continue his golf career at Wilmington University, said the 65 was his best round in high school golf. He had shot a 65 at par 71 Laurel Creek in a non-high school event.
"To have my lowest high school round in my last tournament, you really couldn't ask for anything more than that," Russo said.
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