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Course gets the best of area prep golfers

October 29, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - There was an interesting "Tiger-esque" charge taking place on the University of Maryland Golf Course on Thursday, but none of the excitement involved area golfers as the Maryland state golf championship concluded.

While local golfers were busy trying to scrape out reasonable individual scores, and while Walkersville was trying to claim its fourth team crown, Baltimore City College's Wilbert Lynn III stole the show with an unbelievable closing charge to win the individual crown.

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase senior, six strokes behind first-round leader Dennis Kwon of Walter Johnson with nine holes left, excited the onlooking crowd with consecutive birdies on holes 15 through 18 for a final-round 2-under-par 69 and a 140 total, one stroke better than Kwon over the 6,271-yard layout.

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Walkersville, which last won the Class 1A/2A team title in 2000, could not make a charge, finishing 11 strokes behind Parkside.

Junior Josh Williford had a 38-40-78 to lead the Lions, while senior Greg Nelson came in with an 85, Bryan Abbamonte an 86 and Gordon Ackland a 90.

"It was a frustrating day because I had so many birdie putt opportunities," said Williford after he finished his second state appearance. "I thought this year would be the year."

Lions coach George Baltic watched his team win various titles throughout the season, but it wasn't to be at states.

"The main factor was the speed of the greens and they just didn't hold from the fairways," Baltic said. "I'm pleased with the season and we've got a solid team coming back."

One golfer pleased with Thursday's outcome was Smithsburg sophomore Alicia Grier, who rebounded from an 85 Wednesday with a 6-over 77 for a 162 total, good for seventh place in the girls division - won by Stephanie Connelly of Northeast with a 2-over 144.

Grier was 5-over after her first six holes but righted the ship and played the last 12 holes in 1-over, including birdies on the par-5, 465-yard 16th and par-4, 280-yard 17th - the same two holes she birdied Wednesday.

"It was all putting," she said. "I hit my driver well and after the first six holes I didn't waste any putts."

Older sister Andrea did not fare as well, finishing 13th with a two-day total of 171 after a final round of 87 in her third and final trip to the state tournament.

Middletown's Kristen Waeber, the only other area girl in the tourney, finished at 173 for 15th place following her own final-round 87.

The top area boys score was 154 by Frederick's Chris Clipp, good for 19th place. He shot a 78 Thursday.

Joining Williford in 32nd place was Catoctin's Derrick Thompson at 158 after he shot a solid 4-over 75 in his third trip to - and best showing at - the state meet.

"It's been a long time coming but I finally played well," Thompson said. "I just went out and relaxed. This was a tough course we played."

Williamsport's Logan Hintze was the top Washington County finisher with 160 for two rounds after another 80 put him in a tie for 42nd; Catoctin's Pat Clark, sick before his round started, shot 84 for a 162 and 51st; Middletown's Tyler Ausherman posted an 83 for 163 and a tie for 54th; Catoctin's Ian Cuddahee shot an 81 Thursday for 164 and a tie for 60th; Nelson's final-round 85 left him at 165 and put him in a tie for 62nd; Ackland finished 69th at 171; Smithsburg's Brandon Sheaffer battled a sore right shoulder and shot an 89 Thursday for 171 to tie with Ackland; and Abbamonte had a 172 for 73rd.

Ausherman, a sophomore for the Knights, summed up many of the moods of local golfers with his second-day performance.

"It was about the same ... stupid mistakes, but it was an experience," he said.

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