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Markovitz turns tables, beats Baloga in playoff

August 14, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Jim Markovitz chips onto the 15th green during a playoff at the WACO Championship at Beaver Creek Country Club on Sunday. Markovitz beat Chris Baloga on the first playoff hole to win the title.
By Chris Tilley, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — One year ago, Jim Markovitz finished one shot behind champion Chris Baloga.

Fast forward to Sunday, when Markovitz claimed the 28th WACO Championship at Beaver Creek Country Club by one shot over — you guessed it — Baloga.

The two went head-to-head in a playoff that lasted only one hole. Markovitz just missed the green in two on the par-5, 505-yard 15th, chipped to within one foot and knocked in a birdie putt for the victory.

Markovitz, a 23-year-old from Pittsburgh, pushed his tee shot to the right and had to hit with some dirt under his ball from 165 yards, but knocked a 9-iron just past the back pin.

“I was a little pumped and it went a little long,” said Markovitz.

But a deft touch from the rough left him in position for a birdie just after Baloga missed a four-footer for birdie following an all-world chip from well past the green across a cart path.

“I just didn’t commit to the putt and hit it left,” said Baloga, who settled for par and then watched Markovitz.

Markovitz finished his Sunday round at 2-under 70 and Baloga went 4-under 68, both finishing at 140.

First-round co-leader Chuck Thatcher, of Boonsboro, slid to a 75 for a 145. Bernie Deane and Chris Taylor ended in a tie for third at 2-under 142. Taylor shot 4-under 68. Randy Barnes and Alex Hoffman tied for fifth at even-par 144. Ken Kasai, of Middletown, Md., was one shot off the pace starting the final round but shot 78 Sunday to finish at 149.

Baloga started at a torrid pace, collecting birdies on three of his first four holes, finishing his front nine at 3-under 33, but still a shot behind Markovitz, who had two front-nine birdies.

“I missed five putts inside eight feet for birdie,” said Baloga. “If I made them all, it would have been ....”

Markovitz had bogeys on holes 10 and 11 and needed to refocus, which he did with birdies on 13 and 15. Baloga was offsetting a bogey on 17 with a clutch birdie on 18 to forge a tie while Markovitz was still on the course.

“I was still in a positive mind after the bogeys and still thought I could get to 5-under and win,” said Markovitz. “I just got a little complacent on those two holes.”

A laser approach from the fairway left Markovitz with an uphill 10-foot putt on 18 and a chance to win in regulation, but his putt stopped a half-inch short.

“I forgot about speed and didn’t get it there,” said Markovitz.

Markovitz takes off Thursday for Erin, Wis., where he will compete in the USGA Men’s Amateur. Baloga, of Towson, Md. and the men’s golf coach at Loyola University, will compete in the Maryland Men’s Mid-Amateur today and Tuesday.

Other winners in the WACO included Ira Pearlman with a 78-161 in the second flight; Paul Laushell with an 81-166 for a one-stroke win in the third flight; and Arthur Frey III with an 83-176 one-stroke win in the fourth flight.

NOTES: The future of high school golf was served well at WACO. No fewer than 13 scholastic golfers were in the field. At the top of the list was North Hagerstown’s Aaron Staley at 145. Eighth-grader Teagan Stephenson had a 158 on rounds of 74 and 84. North Hagerstown’s Andrew Miguel shot 163, just two strokes behind Pearlman in the second flight.

· Rickie Fowler sighting? No, the only thing missing from Williamsport’s Ryan Crabtree was a mop top of hair under his cap like Fowler. Crabtree was decked out in all orange, the signature Sunday color of Fowler.


WACO Championship
At Beaver Creek Country Club
Yardage: 6,650; Par: 72.
Final Round
(x-won on first playoff hole)
Championship Flight
x-Jim Markovitz — 70-70-140
Chris Baloga — 72-68-140
Bernie Deane — 72-70-142
Chris Taylor — 74-68-142
Randy Barnes — 73-71-144
Alex Hoffman — 72-72-144
Kevin Reiber — 73-72-145
Chuck Thatcher — 70-75-145
Ray Sheedy — 73-74-147
Aaron Staley — 72-75-147
Steve Miguel — 72-75-147
Rob Cimarolli — 76-72-148
Brendon Borst — 73-75-148
Ken Kasai — 71-78-149
Bill Calhoun — 76-73-149
Kenny Smith — 75-75-150
Finley Benjamin — 76-74-150
Tim Steiner — 73-77-150
Steve Ligi — 73-77-150
Jimmy Harbaugh — 72-78-150
Bruno Navarro — 77-74-151
Jason Ferguson — 79-72-151
Josh Spreng — 75-76-151
Andrew Duff — 75-76-151
Keith Shindle — 76-76-152
Ken Lampard — 74-78-152
Chris Kelley — 74-78-152
Greg Buliga — 72-80-152
Derek Baker — 76-77-153
Pete Johns — 78-75-153
Bill Reed — 78-75-153
Greg Henry — 82-72-154
Anthony Moots — 79-75-154
Dennis Stoner — 77-77-154
Tom Longergan — 75-80-155
Garrett Stephenson — 76-79-155
David Boggs — 76-79-155
AJ Edmontson — 80-75-155
Rod Steiner — 79-76-155
Jeff Snowden — 79-76-155
Bill Smyrl — 77-78-155
Gary Thomey — 78-79-157
Sean Byers — 78-79-157
Randy Cree — 78-79-157
Dave Gardner — 75-82-157
Ken Winfield — 77-80-157
Teagan Stephenson — 74-84-158
Tim Doreen  — 72-86-158
Shane Williams — 85-73-158
Chris Mullen — 81-77-158
Mike Trombetta — 81-77-158
Dave Hull — 79-79-158
Todd Parks — 78-81-159
Bill Kushay — 83-76-159
Michael Michaelangelo — 83-76-159
Evan Chaney — 78-81-159
Mike Griffee — 81-78-159
Chris Rhodes  — 80-80-160
Andy Alger — 80-81-161
William Brindley — 81-80-161
Austin Green — 78-83-161
Pat Steiner — 78-83-161
Max Bell — 82-80-162
Kyle Huntzberry — 82-80-162
Brian Crabtree — 82-81-163
Brandon Hendrickson — 83-81-164
Ross Ellberg — 83-81-164
Jim Austin — 80-85-165
Brian Fixx — 85-82-167
Greg Grimes — 82-86-168
Marc Cree — 90-79-169
Ty Bordner — 83-87-170
Craig Borst — 89-82-171
Second Flight
Ira Pearlman — 83-78-161
Andrew Miguel — 85-78-163
Kevin Kurtyka — 82-81-163
Christian Grosh — 80-83-163
Chris Hafner — 80-83-163
Scott Drury — 80-83-163
Randy Boyer — 85-79-164
Tink Moats — 83-81-164
Mark Hartshorn — 82-83-165
Dave Cimino — 80-85-165
Ryan Crabtree — 82-83-165
Harry Troxler — 85-82-167
Jake Darr — 81-86-167
Chris Barnes — 81-86-167
Mike Butts — 81-87-168
Tony Benedetto — 85-84-169
Dan Allen — 86-84-170
Greg Klus — 88-82-170
Bret Thompson — 83-88-171
Paul Babineau — 81-91-172
Matt Snowden — 90-83-173
Bryan Gammill — 85-88-173
Tyler Fairley — 90-84-174
Jim Spatz — 88-86-174
George Bailey — 82-92-174
Nik Steiner — 89-87-176
Teddy Green — 91-90-181
Mike Fixx — 90-93-183
Rolly Algre — 98-90-188
Third Flight
Paul Laushell — 85-81-166
Brad Weaver — 86-81-167
Matt Lutz — 88-81-169
Ravi Bhathal — 86-86-172
Jason Stevens — 89-84-173
Alex Moyseenko — 85-89-174
Mike Starliper — 89-86-175
John Bowman — 86-91-177
Bill Snider — 87-90-177
Rich Rostek — 88-90-178
Dustin Starliper — 89-90-179
Ralph Frisbee — 89-90-179
Wayne Shifflett — 88-93-181
Jack Dornisch — 88-93-181
Nigel McWilliam — 86-96-182
Fourth Flight
Arthur Frey III — 93-83-176
Tony Baker — 93-84-177
Mark Hershman — 87-91-178
Jeff Hickey — 90-90-180
Jarrod Berthold — 94-86-180
Mark Deiterich — 92-89-181
Phill Healy — 90-92-182
Marc Steiner — 95-89-184
Art Cline — 95-89-184
Mike Shifflett — 97-87-184
Terry Myers — 95-90-185
Keith Kern — 92-93-185
Tim Wheeler — 92-95-187
Matt Hershman — 91-96-187
Greg Foster — 96-91-187
Dick Block — 97-90-187
Troy Huntzberry — 94-94-188
Paul Gentzel — 93-96-189
Ryan Smith — 97-92-189
Ron Brown — 93-97-190
Billy Harper — 96-95-191
Mike Martin — 95-97-192
Don Banks — 96-98-194
George Davis — 100-97-197
Luke Shindle — 96-108-204

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