By John Stewart, Maryland State Golf Association
When it comes to playing the golf course, friends who know Al Medlin respect his bulldog toughness and ability to get the job done.
In the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation Match Play final at Mount Pleasant Golf Course last Sunday, both qualities were present as he thwarted WNST talk-show host Drew Forrester, 3 and 1. For the 17 holes played, Medlin was even par with four birdies and four bogeys. Forrester had no birdies and three bogeys.
"You can't win if you don't make birdies," Forrester said.
Medlin, 60, the oldest winner of this event, won his first major BMGC championship -- he owns two Senior titles -- with strong approach shots and solid putting.
A morning thunderstorm forced a 30-minute suspension of play and when they went back out, Medlin blasted from a bunker to two feet. Forrester gave him that one, and then missed his 5-foot birdie putt after a superb approach shot.
Down four strokes in the middle of the back nine, Forrester made a comeback bid when he sliced the margin to two strokes with winning pars, highlighted by an up-down from a tight lie in a greenside bunker at 14. Forrester won 15 with a par when Medlin put his second shot in the stream fronting the green and applied pressure by hitting his fourth shot to a foot. They halved 16, setting up a climactic finish, as Medlin needed a half to win and Forrester had to win the hole to extend the match.
Hitting first, Forrester pushed his drive at the par 3 to the right and then chipped up to eight feet. Medlin followed Forrester's drive with a superb 3-iron shot into the wind -- realistically, the shot of the day with the most pressure -- and he pulled it off, his ball going directly over the flagstick to 20 feet away. From there, he calmly rolled in the putt.
"He makes you grind it out," Medlin said of his opponent. "I made the putts, and he kept burning the hole."
"For the six rounds [qualifying and five matches], I was pretty much even par,” Forrester said. “Tee to green, that's the best I've played in a long time. He out-putted me."
This was evident on the front nine, where Forrester hit eight greens and took 19 putts. For the tour, he needed 33 putts to 28 for the winner.
MIXED TWO BALL
Joseph Kim and Hilary Lawson were the champions of last week's MSGA Women's Division Mixed Two-Ball Tournament. (Joankay Kent)
Teenagers Hilary Lawson from Montgomery Village Golf and Country Club and Joseph Kim, Redgate Golf Club, birdied the first three holes, added three more on the back nine and won the annual mixed two-ball tournament conducted by the Women's Division of the MSGA at Argyle Country Club last Friday.
Lawson got the team rolling with a 25-foot birdie putt at the first hole, and Kim nailed the next two from inside 10 feet. Lawson cited putting as the key to the victory; the twosome went on to finish with several putts in the 20-30-foot range.
Their round of 33-32--65 over the Silver Spring course was 6 under par for the course (36-35--71). The men played at 6,413 yards and the women at 5,686 yards in the selected drive-alternate shot event.
Lawson, who was in the event for the second time, is headed for the University of Maryland and is a former Middle Atlantic Golf Association Junior Girls champion.
Sandee Carmen from Mountain Branch Golf Club and Chris Baloga from Eagle's Nest won low net with 72-10--62. Lee Andrzejewski, a 19-year-old from Rockville who is headed to Temple University, teamed with Steve Comings from Fort Meade to collect second net with 78-12--66.
Issue 2.31: August 2, 2007