Tallent finally has shot at state amateur title

June 12, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

ROCKVILLE -- Pat Tallent finally has made the title round of the Maryland State Amateur golf championship.

While playing in this event for the past 10 years, Tallent, one of the top amateurs in the Baltimore-Washington area, has been a medalist, a co-medalist, a quarterfinalist and a semifinalist, but never until yesterday was he able to make it over the hump.

Playing in the 73rd annual event at Norbeck Country Club, a 6,855-yard, par-72 course, Tallent, the chief financial officer for a metal recycling firm, reached the final with wins over Joel Kaye and Adrian Druzgala.

This morning, he will play Chuck Freedman, a wholesale beverage salesman who plays out of Crofton CC, in the scheduled 36-hole final.

Freedman, Thursday's medalist after he won a playoff with Matt Margolies of Hillendale CC, advanced by beating a pair of recent college graduates, Tommy Mensing of the University of Maryland, and Phil Fairbanks of Radford who plays at Hobbit's Glen GC.

Tallent never gave Druzgala breathing room in earning the decision, 3 and 2.

Where Druzgala's strength is his short game, particularly

putting, he never got much of a chance to use it.

Time after time, Tallent rifled approach shots at the pin, and his opponent spent the round saying, "That's good, pick it up."

For the round, Tallent had two 10-foot birdie putts and 14 pars, against 15 pars and a bogey for Druzgala.

The key shots belonged to Tallent.

At the 575-yard fifth, he drove into trees, and hooked an iron out into the fairway.

"I had 222 yards to the green into a stiff wind and hit driver," he said of the shot that wound up 10 feet from the cup. He rolled the putt in for a birdie.

He also birdied the eighth and won the ninth to go 3-up, when Druzgala could not get up and down from the sand. They matched pars for the next seven holes of the back nine.

In the meeting of former college athletes, Druzgala, who played baseball at the University of Maryland, had one chance to cut into the lead when he had a 12-foot birdie putt after a 90-yard wedge shot out of tall grass at the 14th, but the putt stayed out.

At the 15th, Tallent, who played basketball at George Washington, struck a sand shot that carried 30 yards and landed just past the flagstick, took one bounce, and spun back to within a foot of the cup.

He ended the match with a pitch shot from in front of the green that rolled to within a foot of the hole. Druzgala came close to holing his bunker shot, but the ball stopped just shy of the cup.

Freedman was even with par (36-36 -- 72) against Fairbanks, winning 2 and 1. A former Norbeck member, Freedman birdied the second hole, built the margin to 3-up through eight holes and again after 12. Fairbanks won the 13th, but it was as close as he was to get.

It ended a great subpar string for Fairbanks, who had wins of 4 and 3; 7 and 6, and 4 and 2, before going out against Freedman. In the morning, Tallent won the 15th and hit the ball to a foot at the 190-yard 16th to set up a win of 2 and 1 over Kaye.

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