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Familiar name, different face

Andrea Grier emerges from shadows of sisters Ashley, Alicia

Andrea Grier emerges from shadows of sisters Ashley, Alicia

August 16, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Andrea Grier gave herself a nice going-away present before beginning college life.

Grier, who will head to Pfeiffer (N.C.) University on Wednesday, fashioned a dazzling 2-under-par 70 to win the 16-18 age division title Monday at the Tri-State Junior Championship at Beaver Creek Country Club.

Tyler Straub won the 14-15 division with a 6-over-par 78 and Zach Weber used a par on the first hole of a playoff to defeat Jonathan Blubaugh for the 12-13 title after each shot an 86 in regulation.

In the shadow of older sister Ashley and the victories piled up this year by younger sister Alicia, Andrea Grier is much happier with her late-season progress.

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"This is such a nice way to finish," said Grier, who posted a WACO junior tournament win at Beaver Creek two weeks ago. "I'm finally starting to get there. I knew I could be good. I've just had to go out and put a little more effort into it."

Grier posted five birdies to offset a pair of bogeys to win by three shots over defending champion Kevin Reiber. In the shotgun format, her card read 36-34, with two of her birdies coming on two of her last three holes.

Her key birdies came on a pair of par-3s - the 141-yard 14th hole, where she drained a 30-foot putt, and the 155-yard 16th, where she made a 12-foot putt.

"I was making putts today," said Grier, who also rolled in a 30-foot putt on No. 1, her third hole of the round. "I just wanted to get to eliminating the high numbers with consistency. I'd have three bad holes in a round and that's what I've eliminated."

Her performance is also believed to have tied the Beaver Creek women's record from the red tees, set by Ashley Grier in 2002.

Reiber, as he did for two days in the WACO Open, continued to fight a balky putter. His drive on the par-4, 380-yard 18th ended up five feet in front of the green, but he settled for a par.

"Putting ... the story of my life," Reiber said after finishing a 39-34 card. "It's been that way for three straight days. I haven't made anything over 10 feet."

Even Clayton Rotz had difficulties on the front nine, starting 6-over on the first four holes and finishing with a 45 on his front nine before coming in with a 36.

"That's how I like to prepare for the (U.S.) Amateur," Rotz said tongue-in-cheek.

At the conclusion of the awards ceremonies, Andrew Duff, a rising sophomore at Williamsport, was named the Tri-State Golfer of the Year, presented to the individual who best exemplifies sportsmanship and leadership qualities.

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