Freedman wins State Amateur

June 13, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

ROCKVILLE -- Chuck Freedman birdied the first two holes and was never threatened in defeating Pat Tallent, 5 and 4, for the 73rd Maryland State Amateur Championship at Norbeck Country Club yesterday.

When Freedman, 36, took the early lead with birdie putts of four and 35 feet, and maintained it, he completed a streak of 99 holes without being behind.

Freedman, who plays out of Crofton C.C., and who appropriately enough works for a beverage firm called Winner Distributing, rolled in a 20-foot putt for birdie at the seventh hole in the morning round and turned in a 1-under-par 35, which left him 3-up. Tallent could not close the gap the rest of the way.

"I was just grinding it out. This is an endurance test," said Freedman.

It was the first appearance in the finals of this event for both players.

They managed to hold up well during an increasingly hot and humid day.

Against a par of 72 on the 6,855-yard course, Freedman shot 73 (35-38) and Tallent shot 77 (38-39) in the morning match.

In the afternoon round, Freedman was 1-over par, and Tallent was 2-over through 14 holes, where Freedman closed out the match.

Tallent, 40, playing out of Congressional C.C., was in position to slice into a three-hole deficit on several occasions, but each time his putter betrayed him.

Two missed opportunities came on the back nine in the morning round.

He three-putted the par-3 12th from 22 feet for a half, then missed from 18 inches for another three-putt at the 18th green.

That would have been good for a win -- his third in a row -- and would have sent him to lunch just 2-down.

As it was, Tallent, youngest of three basketball-playing brothers from Kentucky who graduated from George Washington University, came out and bogeyed the opening hole in the afternoon.

Tallent got his first birdie of the day on his 23rd hole (No. 5) and followed with another at the sixth, but a bogey at the seventh took care of that brief rally.

"I didn't putt well. I had a lot of chances, but gave away too many shots," said Tallent, an executive for a recycling firm.

"I didn't drive it as well as I had earlier, but these are three grueling days."

Freedman, who grew up in Burtonsville, and now lives in Greenbelt, was an assistant pro at Crofton for a couple of years in the late 1980s, and worked one year at the Naval Academy.

The three days of 36-hole matches took their toll on him, too. He had his blistered feet bandaged for the final day.

"The start certainly took off the pressure," he said. "I was just thinking positive swings and concentrating on pars. I wanted to make him do the work."

Freedman finished with five birdies in the morning, one in the "grinding" afternoon, while Tallent made three for the day.

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