Long putt gets Raivel first title in Municipal Towson golfer caps rally with 45-foot birdie on 17th

runner-up has 3 three-putts

August 31, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Jason Raivel capped a strong back-nine effort with a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th green and defeated Bob Lentz, 2 and 1, for the championship of the first Baltimore Municipal match play tournament yesterday at Pine Ridge Golf Course.

Raivel, 30, who lives in Towson, made the turn at 1-down, got even with a par at the 10th and went ahead to stay with an 18-foot birdie putt at the 492-yard uphill 12th.

The margin reached two for the only time in the match when Lentz three-putted the par-3 14th, but he got that one right back with a par at the next hole.

Lentz barely missed getting even at the 16th when his 20-foot putt stayed on the right edge of the cup. That set the stage for Raivel's dramatic finish.

In the morning semifinals, Raivel put out Blair Lauback, 2-up, and Lentz defeated Young Lee, 5 and 4.

Raivel clinched his decision with a 210-yard, 5-iron shot from the right rough, the ball clearing the front bunker and rolling up to within 18 inches of the cup for a conceded birdie at the 520-yard finishing hole. Lentz had an easier time against Lee, going 5-up in the first seven holes.

"I putted solid all day," said Raivel, "but the foundation for this was built in the first two rounds. My wife, Jenny, caddied for me and kept me focused in the present, telling me to forget the last shot, think about the next one. That's what I tried to do here."

Lentz, 33, a Baltimore accountant, admitted the difference in the final was the putting. "He had the speed; I didn't. Three three-putts showed that."

Still Lentz had three front-nine birdies, but offset them with three bogeys. A 105-yard wedge shot to 2 feet for birdie at the ninth marked his last lead of the match.

Raivel, a masonry salesman, is originally from Bowie. He grew up playing good junior golf at Crofton Country Club, and played at the University of Maryland. Away from tournament golf for several years, he returned to the publinkscircuit about three years ago, and this is his first major title.

Pub Date: 8/31/98

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