EXETER — That wasn’t a gopher tearing up the Fox Hill Country Club Golf Course.
It was the upstart tandem of Lorenzo and Billy Medico.
Forget about watching the birdies.
How about hitting a blind eagle?
Billy Medico eagled the 12th hole Saturday, his cousin Lorenzo Medico flew an impressive approach shot through the tree line to set up par on No. 16 and the tandem played their way to the John Allan semifinals by staving off 2016 tourney champs Dave Kluger and Eric Williams on the final hole of the quarterfinals.
“We knew it’d be really, really tough to beat them,” Lorenzo Medico said. “We were making a joke on number one, we said, ‘Comical shooting from Caddyshack.’ So far, that’s what’s happened.”
Now, they’re in a final four field of match play with a couple of past Allan champs.
Rick Laneski — who won the 2012 Allan title playing with current web.com regular Brandon Matthews — teamed with current partner Eric Plisko to knock out Mariano Medico — Lorenzo’s brother — and his godfather Jamie Anzalone in the first round, then downed Mike Crossin and Evan Joyce in the quarterfinals.
Laneski and Plisko will face John Mikiewicz and Tom Biscotti in Sunday’s semifinals, while Team Medico will match up with Mike Hannagan and Tyler McGarry in the morning semifinals. Mikiewicz and Biscotti won back-to-back Allan titles in 2013 and 2014 and went to the finals in 2016 — the last time the Allan held a match play format — before falling to Kluger and Williams on the final hole of the championship match.
“I think experience pays off, for sure,” said Mikiewicz, whose team began by knocking off Brenden Carroll and Nick Paone before coming back in the afternoon to handle Bill Burke and Christian Davis, 5 and 4 in a dominating quarterfinal. “It was a consistent day. In the quarterfinals, we played better than we did in the morning. We hit about every green in regulation, so we were looking at birdie putts on every hole.”
The Medicos spotted an eagle.
Well, in truth, they didn’t actually see it.
But they sure heard it, when Billy Medico’s high, 95-foot uphill second shot on the 12th hole landed softly and dropped straight into the cup, causing a raucous cheer among the gallery.
“No, we never saw it,” Billy Medico laughed.
He said it wasn’t until he saw one of his cousins waving, another one screaming and the crowd roaring that he realized he converted an eagle.
The head-turning shot followed Lorenzo Medico’s 30-foot uphill chip for birdie to end a five-hole playoff Friday and put the Medico team into the championship flight.
“That was better,” Lorenzo said of Billy’s eagle. “That was a world-class golf shot by my cousin. He played amazing golf.”
Lorenzo Medico wasn’t bad, either.
Also known as Larry, he snuck a 155-yard approach shot between a bunch of leafy trees and onto the edge of the green on No. 16, setting up par to keep Team Medico in a two-hole lead.
“My shot on 12 got us going,” said Billy Medico, making his first appearance in the Allan. “Larry played great. On 14 and 15, he was phenomenal. We played great this morning. The entire tournament has been him and I picking each other up.”
But Kluger and Williams picked up the pace.
They made up ground by making par on 17, setting up a dramatic finish on the final hole.
“Worried with a golfer like Eric Williams and Kluger? Sure,” Lorenzo Medico said. “We had so much confidence from that first day, we believed in each other.”
After going five playoff holes just to make the 16-team field Friday, the Medicos didn’t want to take any extra shots Saturday.
So Billy Medico chipped a shot from the fringe of the green and curved it within a foot of the hole, then made par to end the quarterfinals 1-up.
“On that chip, just (tried) to keep it below the hole,” said Billy Medico, who admitted to feeling pressure on the final putt. “I had my head down and stroked it. Larry and I knew we had a 2-hole lead starting on 17. We knew we needed to make one par. We said we’ve got to make a 4.”
They did, and their magical carpet ride through the Allan continued.
“We’re going to try,” Lorenzo Medico said, “to keep riding that wave.”
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski