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Lee takes 2nd at state tourney

October 25, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - If it weren't for a star from Eleanor Roosevelt, Smithsburg sophomore Haeun Lee could have been rising up for the Maryland girls state championship crown.

Caroline Sweet emphatically staked her claim as the best girls golfer in the state by ignoring the rainy conditions to shoot a 5-under-par 68 on Wednesday for a two-round total of 6-under-par 140 to easily win the state title at the University of Maryland Golf Course. Both totals set girls tournament records.

Lee was one of the players Sweet left in the rearview mirror with her 10-shot victory. Lee tied Lauren Smith of Arundel for second place.

Lee posted a 1-over-par 74 for a two-day 150 total in her first appearance at the state tournament. She had an even-par 36 on the front nine before adding a 38 on the back over the 5,500-yard, par-73 layout.

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"The rain bothered me so it was a little tougher today," said Lee, who managed a pair of birdies but let some scoring opportunities drift away.

"I had at least three other opportunities for birdies, but I missed some putts that I didn't miss the first day," she said. "I probably could have shot a 72 or better today."

Nonetheless, Lee's performance on her first appearance on a major stage was outstanding- she was the top girls finisher in the 1A/2A field. It was a performance that sets the stage to be a favorite for 2008.

North Hagerstown freshman Becky Gossard had a second straight 86 for a respectable 152 in her state debut to place 16th in the field of 33.

In the boys division, Williamsport senior Andrew Duff doubled up on his opening 4-over-par 76 for a total of 152 to tie for 21st in a field of 92 boys from all four classifications.

Duff was happy with his ball-striking, but like Tuesday, he had trouble with the putter on Bermuda greens, costing him many strokes over the boys 6,600-yard layout.

"Three three-putts and they were mid-range putts," he said. "You try to lag putts, you crash and go long or you think you've crushed them and come up short. I just couldn't get the speed. It probably cost me four or five strokes."

However, Duff was satisfied with the end result of his prep career.

"I had fun here, all year and for four years," he said. "I said my goal was to shoot around 150 and I did. I've got nothing to be ashamed of."

Neither do Williamsport's Dustin Starliper and North Hagerstown's Tyler Fairley, two seniors making their first state appearances.

Starliper had a creditable 81 Wednesday in tough conditions for a 163 while Fairley struggled with an 89 after his opening 82 for a 171 total.

Middletown sophomore Alex Hoffman claimed the boys individual state title in a playoff over Brandon Powers of Bel Air.

Hoffman shot a 2-under-par 70 and then went out and won the title with a par on the second extra hole.

"I came back and practiced my putting Tuesday night and I did so much better today," said Hoffman. "I came out today expecting to win. Putting was the key."

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