MALONE — Peter Malo found his putting stroke in the nick of time.
Malo parred the 18th hole to force a playoff with Matt King and recorded a par on the first extra hole Friday to win the Masters North Championship at the Malone Golf Club’s East Course.
The 56-year-old Montreal resident went back-to-back after winning his first green jacket in 2013.
Only Bobby Hughes in 1997 and 1998 and nine-time Masters North champion Graham Cooke in 2009 and 2010 have won back-to-back titles in the 31-year history of the event.
“I didn’t know that,” Malo said. “Bobby Hughes is a great golfer and what Graham has done speaks for itself. He’s one of my golf buddies. I’m in pretty good company.”
Malo, who carded a 75-77-152 for the two days, ran into some putting trouble on the back nine Friday.
“I just couldn’t get the right reads,” he said. “And I didn’t know where I was sitting on the leaderboard.”
Malo was in the final threesome of the day and, even though he didn’t know it at the time, needed a par on the par-four 18th to force a tie with King, the son of Masters North founder and tournament director Willie King.
“I had about a 35-footer for birdie and a three-footer for par,” Malo said.
Although the heavy wind gusts plagued the golfers for the second day in a row, the expected rain stayed away for the most part until just before the playoff started when it came down pretty good.
“The golf course made a great decision to start the round early (Friday) for everyone,” Malo said. “On my last five holes, the wind blew maybe even harder than it did the entire first day of the tournament.”