EXETER — So certain was Lorenzo Medico about his ability to nail what seemed to be an impossible shot, he ordered his playing partner to take the pin out of the cup.
Well, the self-assured part may be overstating things a bit.
But Medico did get a feeling something special was about to happen.
“I said, ‘This is our hole. This is the one to win,’ ” Medico said.
Then he put his team in the championship field.
Pulling out a magical moment most associated with his better-known brother Mariano, Medico chipped in a dazzling, 30-foot uphill shot for birdie Friday to end a five-hole playoff and lock down the final spot for he and his teammate and cousin Billy Medico in the 16-team John Allan Tournament championship flight on an electric qualifying day at Fox Hill Country Club.
“It took everything we had to get that last spot,” Medico said.
And then some.
While the team of Bob Santarelli and Stephen Hudacek cruised into Saturday’s first round of play by leading the field with a 64, six teams shot 72 and were forced into a playoff for three remaining spots in the championship rounds.
Two teams fell out of contention following the first playoff hole.
The team of Mariano Medico — who led Holy Redeemer to a state silver medal and then the school’s first-ever PIAA championship in any sport as a senior — and his godfather Jamie Anzalone secured their spot along with Brian Lombardo and Mike Lazevnick when both teams made birdies on the second playoff hole.
“No better way to make it to Saturday than my brother and I both winning in a playoff,” Mariano Medico said.
His brother had to work a little longer, though.
Fighting through the final three holes of a five-hole playoff with the team of Joe Mantione and Mark Jones, everything pointed toward Team Medico headed to No. 6.
Both Billy Medico and Mark Jones were set up on the green for par shots, while Lorenzo Medico — who started No. 5 with a strong and straight drive — watched his approach shot bounce off the fifth green and settle at the bottom of a hill well away from the hole.
That’s when Lorenzo Medico called to his cousin to take the flag out of the cup.
“I knew we needed to make it to win,” Lorenzo Medico said. “I saw the shot and yelled to pull the pin. With the pin in, it would have rattled off.”
Instead, Lorenzo Medico pulled out a 60-degree lob wedge, lofted a soft shot that dropped about three yards inside the edge of the green and began slowly rolling on a slight downward slope straight into the hole.
A spot in Saturday’s first round was secured for the Medicos when the ball disappeared in the cup.
“Unreal,” exclaimed Mariano Medico, who was watching and applauding his brother. “Saying to pull the pin out of the cup and something magical happened. It’s crazy. We’ve got all of our support, my family’s here cheering us.”
Now,it’s a family affair on the course for the Medicos.
“It’s really sweet right now,” Lorenzo Medico said.
Until his clinching chip, Lorenzo Medico wasn’t having an eye-popping playoff round.
“No I was not,” Lorenzo Medico said. “I had a decent first hole.”
After that, his playoff play was pretty spotty.
“Larry and I, all day we picked each other up,” said Billy Medico, who is golfing with Lorenzo Medico for the first time in the Allan. “I was out of 1, he picked me up, then played 2 well. I picked him up on 3 and 4. We were ready.”
Now, the Medicos are ready to join a field that also includes defending champions Joe Carroll and Pat Mitchell and the two-time past Allan championship tandem of John Mikiewicz and Tom Biscotti — after both teams qualified by shooting 69.
“When he saw I was that close, he went for it,” Billy said of Lorenzo. “I’ll tell you what, I know he’s capable of it. I think after that, we feel very confident going into (Saturday).”
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski