Musser (boys), Clasper (girls) lap fields, win state titles for Wooton Wooton's boys waltz to team title by 25 shots

October 22, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

COLLEGE PARK -- Brit Musser of Wooton took much of the suspense from the state golf championship by firing a tournament-record 4-under-par 67 in Monday's opening round at the University of Maryland.

"When I saw that 67 on the board I said to myself, 'Nobody's catching that,' " Pikesville junior Brad Friedlander said. His thoughts proved prophetic. "Today, we were all just playing for second place."

Musser followed up his spectacular first day with a 1-over 72 that gave him medalist honors by 10 shots over Whitman's Charles Hong. Musser led Wooton to the Class 3A-4A team title by 25 shots over Watkins Mill.

"I knew I didn't have to go out and shoot a great number today and that kind of took a little pressure off," said Musser, who also set a record with his two-day score of 139. "I figured that if I kept my score in the low 70s today, that would be good enough."

Arundel senior Josh Upton turned in the best two-round total of any metro-area player. His 78-84--152 tied him for fourth with Walkersville's Jimmy Cunningham.

North Carroll's Carlie Gordon emerged as girls runner-up, finishing 13 strokes behind Wooton's Erin Clasper (169).

Erika Reinthaler of Centennial (186) was fourth and North County junior Lori Koch was a disappointing fifth (187).

"Monday was a bad day. Everywhere, I was horrible," Koch said. She did manage to shave three strokes off her opening-round 95. "Last night, I practiced my putting with my coach and it helped my short game today, but everything else was still pretty bad."

Friedlander appeared to find the top of his game on the back nine, where he shot an even-par 35.

"The first nine today I was hitting it everywhere. I was struggling to stay alive," Friedlander said. He shot a 75--153 and was sixth. "On the back, I just started hitting greens and two-putting."

Towson's Jamie Green, the Baltimore County champion, rounded out the metro-area's top-10 finishers at 77-80--157.

NOTES: Westminster (655) was third, 17 shots better than Arundel (672), a team that defeated the Owls earlier this month for the District V crown. Wade Shaw of Westminster and Atholton's Bobby Steen tied for 12th in the boys' competition with two-day totals of 158.

There weren't any awards for most improved from the first to second rounds, but if there had been Francis Scott Key's Steve Webb and Bryan Brilhart would have been candidates. Webb cut 20 strokes by shooting an 85 and Brilhart trimmed 16 when he posted a 5-over 76.

Three competitors were at least consistent: Hammond's Rene Bonet (80-80--160), North Harford's Mike Bissett (85-85--170) and Arundel's Drew Kelly (88-88--176).

Pub Date: 10/22/97

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