Klein and Storck advance to MSGA final Geilenkirchen, Hastings fall in semifinal matches

June 21, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Justin Klein, bidding to become the second straight home-course champion, and Larry Storck, seeking to better a runner-up finish of five years ago, will play for the 77th championship of the Maryland State Golf Association at Baltimore Country Club today.

Klein, 24, put out Jeff Graf, 2 and 1, and Jamie Geilenkirchen, 2 and 1, while Storck, 40, sidelined Bill Read, 2 and 1, and Brad Hastings, 3 and 2.

It was Hastings, 21, a Coastal Carolina University senior and No. 1 on the golf team, who had provided the tournament's major upset in the morning round. Playing in his first match-play event, he put out veteran Pat Tallent, from Congressional CC, 1-up, protecting his margin with a 15-foot downhill birdie putt after Tallent had seemingly forced overtime with a 25-foot birdie putt.

Hastings continued the magic for the front nine of the afternoon tour. Storck made four birds, but the Eastern Shore resident matched him on three of the holes to be 1-down at the turn.

The trailer did not win a hole on the back nine. Storck went 2-up with a par at the 12th, got up and down from a bunker at 13 to save par, then curled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the long 14th to go 3-up.

In addition to putting well all week, Storck has played the 175-yard par-3 17th hole 1-under par (a birdie and three pars), striking a solid 6-iron shot each time.

Klein was 2-under par for the first 11 holes against Graff, then had two bogeys before closing out the Poolesville resident.

Against Geilenkirchen, who battled him shot for shot, Klein's key shot was a 230-yard 1-iron shot to the middle of the 15th green. It set up another two-putt par and a winning hole when his opponent had no chance to stop a pitch shot from the right rough and could not get down in two from 30 feet.

Klein cited his putting as the most important part of his game. It sent him through the qualifying round with a 1-over-par 71, and past four opponents. In the process, he played the 17th hole only in his semifinal.

In 1993, Klein (in the semifinals) and Storck (in the final) lost to Marty West. West went on to win a ninth championship last year at him home Columbia CC course.

Geilenkirchen, 19, and past the first round for the first time in three tries, reeled off 14 straight pars against Klein. "I've been driving it well, as solid as I could want it," he said. "I just couldn't get my iron shots close enough to have reasonable chances for birdies."

A graduate of Perry Hall High School and the No. 2-ranked Mid-Atlantic area Division I golfer his freshman year at Towson University, he will continue his studies as a scholarship player at the University of Houston.

Pub Date: 6/21/98

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