COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Two-thirds of Smithsburg’s golfing contingent paying in Tuesday’s Maryland Class 2A/1A state championship will be back at the University of Maryland today for the final round.
Kyle Huntzberry and Christian Grosh made the cut on the qualifying round, but Shane Fritts wasn’t so lucky
Huntzberry, a junior in his third trip to states, battled a balky putter to post a 7-over-par 78. Despite his putting problems, Huntzberry managed the second-best round of the day among boys, trailing Joe Dorsch of Marriotts Ridge by one shot.
Huntzberry knew his round would be good enough to advance, but Grosh wasn’t too sure.
After turning in a mediocre 85, Grosh waited in a golf cart until the cutline was announced, allowing him to finally flash a brief smile after the MPSSAA declared 86 was Tuesday’s cutoff.
Fritts missed the cut with an 89.
Huntzberry and Grosh will join North Hagerstown’s Aaron Staley in today’s combined final round on the 6,369-yard, par-71 layout. Staley shot a 72 in Monday’s 4A/3A opener.
Huntzberry spent too much time on the College Park greens with an astounding 38 putts despite hitting 13 greens in regulation.
“I’m not surprised because the greens were inconsistent,” said Huntzberry. “I was nuking the ball past the cup.”
Huntzberry weathered his putting problems as two double bogeys, a bogey and a birdie in his first four holes led to a 4-over start. He carded 6-over on his front nine.
“I three-putted 2, 3, 5 and 7,” said Huntzberry. “I hit the ball great. My irons were good. It was all putting.”
His lone birdie came on the par-3, 165-yard No. 4.
Fortunately, he straightened out his putting to go 1-over on his back nine.
“I got a little defensive and I think that kept me from making any birdies, but I’m not too mad how it ended,” said Huntzberry.
Grosh, in his second state venture, went 43-42 and was nearly bitten by the putting bug.
“I can’t count high enough how many putts I had,” said Grosh. “Lot of bad drives, had to punch out. Not the kind of day I had in mind.”
With windy conditions and dry greens because of the sun and breeze, most of the field encountered putting and scoring problems.
Fritts went 46-43 and was also miffed from about his putting.
“I didn’t putt the ball bad, they just wouldn’t drop,” said Fritts. “I had five lip outs. Par saves wouldn’t drop.
“It’s a depressing game.”