St. Joseph’s Ryan Guzzo reached the Division 2 boys golf state finals in dramatic fashion.

The sophomore will now get to enjoy the rewards as he competes the 36-hole tournament, which begins today and runs through Saturday at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West Course.

Also competing as teams are Dowagiac in Division 3 and Lake Michigan Catholic in Division 4.

Guzzo shot a 76 at last Thursday’s regional at Four Lakes Country Club in Edwardsburg. He birdied three of his last four holes to reach a playoff against Lakeshore’s Davis Longyear for the last spot. Guzzo made par on the first playoff hole, and Longyear was unable to convert his par putt.

“He played well down the stretch, he got in and he got a spot,” St. Joseph coach Ernie Watson said. “It was very exciting for both of them to get in the playoff for sure.”

Watson said that he thinks Guzzo is capable of a finish in the top 25.

“We’re hoping for something in the mid-70s,” Watson said. “If he can do that for two days, I think he can get in the top 20 or 25.”

Regardless of the results, Watson expects this to be a valuable experience for Guzzo.

“Ryan has the ability to go (to state) every year,” Watson said. “He has a gift to play golf. He has to get it between his ears that he can do it. He’s got golf talent for sure.”

Lake Michigan Catholic qualified out of a difficult Division 4 regional that included perennial powers Kalamazoo Hackett and Kalamazoo Christian. They’ll compete at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University.

The Lakers shot 368 at regional.

Will Latham led the way with an 86 and Charles LaSata shot 89.

Dowagiac qualified as a team for the Division 3 finals, which will be held at the Katke Golf Course at Ferris State University.

The Chieftains shot 363 at regional, led by Drew Phillips (84) and Matt Mosier (89).

Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders