By John Stewart
With 10 of its 12 players holdovers from last year's MSGA Team champion, Breton Country Club successfully defended its title on May 5, but not without a struggle. The final score was 10 1/2 - 7 1/2, but of the four pairings the defenders won, three of them went to the 18th green.
At Mountain Branch, where the visitors collected fivepoints, two of the matches went to the final green. In both instances, each side won one hole on the back nine and the rest were halved, with Breton Bay earning 2 1/2 points both times as the result of 1-up margins for the front nine.
In Leonardtown, the home team got 5 1/2 points, led by Mark Cusic-Ted DeTemple, who posted a 3-0 triumph, their fifth sweep in six matches. Assistant pro Phil Garbrous, back in action after not playing in the semifinal victory over Columbia CC, and Tom Jameson birdied the last two holes to cap a comeback from 2-down at the turn and take 2 points from Damon Klepczynski-Serge Hogg.
In the match Mountain Branch won at home, Stefan Buitron-Mike Wettig took 3 points from Greg Winkler-Bob Stark. The latter, a former MSGA Amateur finalist, was back in action after missing a couple of seasons with a shoulder injury. Buitron birdied the 528-yard third hole and the team was never out of the lead thereafter. Wettig did his part with birdie putts of 27 feet at No. 9, and 20 feet at No. 17, which ended the match.
At Breton Bay, Drew Forrester-Ernie Kosmas earned 2 1/2 points for Mountain Branch, a team in the final for the first time in its seventh year of eligibility. Forrester hit his approach shot on No. 17 within 18 inches of the hole and the ensuing birdie accounted for two swing points when they halved the final hole.
In reaching the final, Breton Bay, backed by 43 1/2 of a possible 45 points at home, defeated Wicomico Shores, Bowie, Lakewood, Beaver Creek, and Columbia. Of that group, only Beaver Creek (8 1/2) got more than 5 1/2 points.
Issue 2.19: May 10, 2007