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Andrea Grier's career-best carries extra good taste

August 09, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Andrea Grier couldn't wait to chow down on some pizza following her round in the WACO Junior Championship on Monday.

With an early practice session at Yingling's out of the way before heading to Beaver Creek Country Club, Grier maneuvered her way to a career-best even-par 72 to win the title by one shot over Nick Zaccaria. It was her first major championship of any sort in the Tri-State area.

The Smithsburg graduate placed a delicate chip from in front of the 18th green to within two feet of the cup and dropped in the putt for a par that closed the book on an improbable title.

Until earlier this week, when she shot a 74 to win the Juniors' Fifth Classic event, Grier had been struggling to get out of the 80s most of the summer.

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"I was up at 5:30 and on the range at 6:15," said Grier. "I wasn't comfortable Sunday night on the range, but I knew I couldn't get upset."

Grier's driver worked admirably on the way to a 36 on each nine. She posted birdies on the par-3 155-yard No. 3 and the par-5 490-yard No. 15. The birdie on 15 ended up the final margin as Zaccaria bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17, taking away from the four birdies he posted in his round.

After a solid drive, Grier sent a 6-iron to the greenside bunker, then used the same club for a bump-and-run shot that left her with a 15-foot putt, which she sank for birdie.

"I killed the ball off the tee today," Grier said. "I made some good putts and left a lot of putts on the edge. The way I was hitting the ball off the tee, I thought I could really play today."

Alicia Grier, a rising senior at Smithsburg, was one of the pretournament favorites on the strength of her four victories during the WACO series, but struggled and finished with an 11-over-par 83.

However, she received 110 points in the point standings, giving her 892 total points and the WACO player of the year crown.

Andrea Grier, Zaccaria and Kim Eaton each won a $500 scholarship. Eaton ended third in the final round with a 3-over-par 75.

In the second flight, Dustin Starliper and Kyle Butler each posted an 89 and Starliper was awarded first place on a scorecard tie-breaking procedure. T.J. Socks won the 9-hole title with a 45 and Chris Bradford posted a 32 to win the 6-hole tournament.

Chris Baker, a rising sophomore at St. Maria Goretti, received the Harry Zimmerman Sportsmanship Award.

The Junior Championship kicked off a week-long schedule of activities leading up to the 22nd WACO tournament Saturday and Sunday.

The Chi-Chi qualifier is scheduled for 5:30 today, followed by Wednesday's Pro-Am at 12:30, Thursday's Chi-Chi's Shootout at 5:15, Friday's "Big Daddy" Long Drive at 5 p.m. and Saturday's Cree Shootout and Expedited Putting contest following the completion of the first round.

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