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A familiar scene played out Sunday at Fendrich Golf Course: Robin Rubrecht hoisted the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship trophy.
"Don't worry about getting a picture," joked third-place finisher Dave Bates. "We can use one from the last couple of years."
Rubrecht became the first player in the tournament's 15-year history to three-peat and is the first four-time champion. He also won in 2010.
But this one was different. Certainly more dramatic.
Rubrecht, 62, edged 57-year-old George Nord on the second playoff hole after both golfers traded clutch shots down the stretch. They tied at 2-under 139 for the 36-hole tournament, which held its first round Saturday at Helfrich Hills Golf Course.
Bates finished at 2-over 143 and Troy Schreiber placed fourth at 144.
The final-group fireworks began on the 17th hole, after Rubrecht bogeyed No. 16 to decrease his lead to one shot. Both players drove the green on 17 — a 278-yard par 4.
Nord poured in a 45-foot putt for eagle, while Rubrecht missed a 15-footer and settled for birdie. That tied the pair at 1-under heading to No. 18.
"I was just hanging close to Robin," Nord said. "We were making pars basically and I said, 'I got to do something here.'"
Both players missed the fairway on the par-4 18th. Nord went left and had to carry his second shot over a tree to leave it 15 feet from the cup. Rubrecht went right and took the opposite route with his approach shot, punching it beneath a tree and running it to 6 feet above the hole.
"It was not a hard shot because I had plenty of green to work with and I felt comfortable with the shot," Rubrecht said. "A lot of it comes with experience and practice. Just being in this position before, you don't get too excited and ramped up, and you're able to hit the shot that you want to hit."
Rubrecht appeared to be in better position, but Nord canned his 15-foot birdie putt to put the pressure back on Rubrecht. He calmly buried the putt.
"I'm glad that it ended the way it did as far as the (18th) hole," he said. "Last year I lost the (Indiana Senior Amateur Championship) in the same kind of way.
"A guy chipped in on a playoff hole for birdie and I missed a 6-footer, so I thought about that on 18. 'I'm not gonna do that.' I felt comfortable with the putt."
Nord had his best opportunity to win on the first playoff hole, but missed an 8-foot birdie chance. Both players recorded pars and moved on to the par-3 11th. Nord flubbed his tee shot short of the green and couldn't match Rubrecht's par.
"It was on line but I just left it a couple inches short," Nord said of his putt on the first playoff hole. "That was my opportunity to put Robin away."
Rubrecht said he plays tournament golf because he enjoys both competition and the preparation for competition. He couldn't ask for a better battle than he got Sunday.
"George played just such great golf today and it's a shame that there's got to be a second place in a case like this, but it was really a lot of fun," Rubrecht said.
"It was a good, fun last six holes," Nord said. "We both were shooting good golf."
2002: Brad Coole
2003: Dave DeLong
2004: Dave DeLong
2005: Joe Hahn
2006: Paul Gentry
2007: Dave DeLong
2008: John Kaposta
2009: Jim Cheaney
2010: Robin Rubrecht
2011: John Kaposta
2012: Tim Heath
2013: Mike Finnin
2014: Robin Rubrecht
2015: Robin Rubrecht
2016: Robin Rubrecht