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Area golfers get return tee time at state meet

October 24, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

COLLEGE PARK, Md. ? For Williamsport's Andrew Duff and Smithsburg's Haeun Lee, it was a matter of signing a correct scorecard knowing they would return for the final round of the Maryland State Golf Championship after each posted a 76 on Tuesday.

For North Hagerstown's Tyler Fairley and Becky Gossard and Williamsport's Dustin Starliper, it was a matter of signing their card and then waiting for nearly an hour before the final cut was determined.

When the announcement came, Fairley and Starliper each had survived the first-round cut with cards of 82 and Gossard made it to the girls finale with an 86.

While Duff and Lee each had pre-tournament goals of shooting 75 or better, they still are in sight of the leaders for the individual title, which will come from players in all four classifications.

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Starting from the first hole in the shotgun format, Duff hit the ball well from tee to green but battled a faulty putter. He had four 3-putts in his round of 37-39, 4-over par over the 6,300-yard boys layout and managed two birdies.

"I hit the ball well, but I just couldn't get the speed of the greens," said Duff. "Three of the four 3-putts I should have made and I shoot 73. But I'll be back."

Duff is six shots behind the overall leader, Bel Air's Brandon Powers, who shot a 70 on Monday when the 3A/4A schools played. Middletown's Alex Hoffman shot a 1-under-par 71 Tuesday for the best 1A/2A score.

While Duff was in his second state tournament, Fairley and Starliper were first-timers.

Fairley shot 42-40 and Starliper reversed those numbers.

"It was a tough day for me," said Fairley. "I had some good shots and some bad ones. I made it harder on myself."

Starliper adjusted well after a miserable first shot of the day on the 17th tee.

"I was so nervous," he said, looking back on his tee shot he referred to as "an airball that went 100 yards."

He settled down, but said he couldn't string together anything consistent throughout the round.

Lee had the second-best 1A/2A girls round, one shot behind Rising Sun's Casey VanDyke. They'll be gunning for the overall leader, Eleanor Roosevelt's Caroline Sweet, who shot a 1-under-par 72 on Monday.

"The winds bothered me and made it tough club selection," said Lee, who started her round on No. 10 and opened with a 2-over 39.

After a bogey at her 11th hole, she nailed down two straight birdies to get to 1 over, but found trouble on her 15th and 16th holes (Nos. 6 and 7) of the round. After a bogey on 6, she battled to save a double bogey, taking a drop from her tee ball that went into the woods.

"Some of the holes are long par 4s for me and my irons were really bad today," said Lee. "The Bermuda grass is tough. I don't like it."

Gossard, with a 42-44 on her card, smiled when she found out she made the cut.

"That's exciting," she said. "I thought I played good, I just couldn't putt. I could have been smarter out there."

The girls played 5,500 yards on the University of Maryland layout. Play resumes today with a shotgun format at 9 a.m.

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