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Prep Golf: Miguel outduels county seniors for top state score

October 24, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown's Drew Miguel follows the ball after striking his tee shot on No. 8 of the University of Maryland Course on Wednesday during the final round of the Maryland State Golf Tournament.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — One Washington County golfer ended the season on a high note while three players concluded their high school careers on Wednesday.

North Hagerstown junior Drew Miguel set the stage to be one of the top returning golfers for 2013 when he posted a 3-over-par 74 at the University of Maryland in the final round of the Maryland State Championship.

Miguel’s round was the best of four local players in the final and, when combined with his 78 on Monday in the Class 3A/4A first round, his 152 was also the best.

Smithsburg senior Kyle Huntzberry ended with a 75 for a 156, North senior Aaron Staley had an unusual 80 for 158 and Williamsport senior Ryan Crabtree had an 81 for 158.

Huntzberry and Crabtree played in the Class 1A/2A field, while Staley participated in 3A/4A.

“I was pretty consistent today, felt good,” the quiet Miguel said. “I learned the course on Monday and that helped today and I hit the ball better. It was a good experience.”

Miguel was making his second appearance at the state tournament. In 2010, he missed the cut with a first-round 83.

Miguel had one birdie in his round, coming on a nifty putt from about 25 feet on No. 18.

The final round ended the high school careers for the three seniors —  not necessarily to their liking in the final standings — but all still had good experiences.

Huntzberry, in his fourth state tournament, had a pair of three-putts but was much better on the greens Wednesday after taking 38 putts on Tuesday.

“It was a nice way to end with today’s round,” Huntzberry said. “I had a respectable finish and made the cut three years.”

How far had Huntzberry come in his career? In his freshman year of 2009, he missed the cut with a gigantic 102.

Huntzberry assumed a new role at Smithsburg this year on a team that was hit hard by graduation. He became more of a leader for the underclassmen, which had some affect on his scoring, much like it did for Davis Love III  while trying to handle Ryder Cup duties.

Staley, the two-time Washington County player of the year, was disappointed he didn’t challenge for an individual title, but he had some other things to think about during his round.

“I was never as nervous on the golf course as I was today,” Staley said. “Nervous all day.”

Staley had a visitor following most all of his moves, a Division I head coach with interest in signing Staley.

He started his round with a double bogey and couldn’t right the ship, but he was quick to reflect.

“During my four years, I knocked a stroke off my average each year,” Staley said. “I’m satisfied with my career and I’m ready to take the next step. Actually, it’s kinda sad the four years have come to an end.”

Crabtree, who had the best round on Tuesday, couldn’t get untracked off the tee with consistency.

“I’d hit one in the fairway one hole and then a bad tee shot the next hole and that’s how it was all day,” Crabtree said. “And I couldn’t putt at all.”

Making his first appearance at College Park, Crabtree was still happy with his experience.

“It was great and this experience will help get me ready for college tournaments,” Crabtree said. “I met and played with new kids both days.”

Bennett Buch, of Marriotts Ridge, won the boys individual title after his 1-under-par 70 gave him a 138, one shot ahead of Centennial’s Connor Flach and Pikesville’s Matt Oshrine. Bryana Nguyen, of Atholton, shot a 71 Wednesday and won the girls title with a 144.

Wootten won the Class 3A/4A state team title with a card of 603, well ahead of second-place Urbana’s 626. Marriott Ridge’s 611 won the 1A/2A team.

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