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Teenager Becomes Birdie-Bogie Man

By John Stewart, MSGA

For the second day in a row, Denny McCarthy, 15, became a veritable birdie machine, but unlike his bogey-free opening round, he showed a human side with six bogeys in the final round of the annual Middle Atlantic Golf Association's Junior Amateur Championship June 27 at Old South Country Club in Lothian.

The Argyle Country Club member from Burtonsville, who had started with a 67, backed it up with a 70 for a 36-hole total of 7-under-par 137 over the 6,609-yard course in southern Anne Arundel County. The round included eight birdies (four each side) and six bogeys (three each side) and earned McCarthy the championship by a whopping seven strokes.

 "I was just trying to keep it together and stick to my game plan," McCarthy said. "After those [early] birdies, I was really pumped up. Still, I was trying to slow things down. After a bogey at the 17th, I came back with a 25-foot birdie putt on 18. It was good to top it off that way."

The demolition set tournament records for birdies in a single round (eight), two rounds (13) and margin of victory (seven shots) in the 67th edition of an event that dates to 1936. Next year, the MAGA Junior Amateur will be held June 25-26, at Lakewood Country Club in Rockville.

* * *

John Moheyer took opposite routes in shooting 68-70--138, but the total was good enough to take the medal by three strokes in sectional qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Public Links championship at the University of Maryland Golf Club in College Park.

With three places available for the 63 starters, the other two spots went to Brent Martin (La Plata) and Mike Gillis (Churchton) with 141s on a warm, sunny day.

Moheyer, 27, the Maryland State Amateur runner-up in 2003, was familiar with the course as a former Terrapin. He called the differences in his two rounds "dramatic" after missing only two fairways and two greens in his 3-under-par morning round over the 6,733-yard layout.

"I scrambled throughout the afternoon," said the Baltimore resident. "I made some clutch putts."

Three of those produced birdies at Nos. 7, 8 and 10, which he offset with bogeys at Nos. 4 and 17.

Martin, 20, a Winthrop College senior who had been an alternate for U.S. Amateur and U.S. Public Links events in the past, went 3 over par early in his opening round, then birdied Nos. 7, 8 and 9 to turn even and went on to shoot 35-35--70. The afternoon was a little different, as he started at No. 10 and did not make his first par until 18 after running off five birdies and three bogeys.

"I didn't make anything on the front," he said.

For Gillis, 47, it marked a successful return to competitive golf after fashioning some excellent tournament results in earlier years, including qualifying for a U.S. Amateur and two British Amateurs. Now, with two daughters in college, he rekindled some of the old fire.

The championship will be played July 14-19 in Aurora, Colo.

***

Karishma Thiagaraj backed up a career-best opening-round 72 with a 79, and her 151 was enough to win the 33rd Junior Girls Championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at Hog Neck Golf Course in Easton.

Thiagaraj, 14, and her family are from India. They have been in the United States for less than four months, and this was her first tournament here. Her sister, Khushboo, 12, posted 80-85--165 and won the 13-under division. The girls live in Rockville and play from Northwest Park Golf Course.

***

Forrest Wilson, from Alexandria, Va., and Brian Hollins, from Rockville, took different routes but were co-medalists in U.S. Junior Amateur qualifying at the U.S. Naval Academy Golf Club. They claimed the two available places in the championship, which will be held July 21-26 at Shoal Creek, Ala.

Wilson, 16, who will be a senior at West Potomac High School, recovered from a 3-over-par 74 in the morning round to match par 71 in the afternoon. The round included four birdies and four bogeys.

Hollins, 17, a rising senior at Wootten High School, shared the low morning round at 72, then slipped in the afternoon, going 3 over par in the last three holes.

Issue 3.27: July 3, 2008