Barber wins Amateur despite closing 82 303 total is highest since stroke play began in 1962

October 05, 1998|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

BETHESDA -- Although Allen Barber started the last round of the annual Middle Atlantic Amateur championship with a four-stroke lead, it is unlikely anyone would have believed he could shoot 82 and still win.

In the same way, it is unlikely anyone would have believed Trevor Randolph, second when the round began, could lose a two-stroke lead in the final two holes.

That turned out to be the scenario at Congressional Country Club yesterday. Chalk this one up to the big plant on River Road, which played much longer than its listed 7,249 yards on a rainy, breezy day when the temperature did not rise much above 50 degrees.

Barber, from Yorktown, Va., recovered from what appeared to be a disastrous out-going 45, a 9-over-par effort that included three double-bogeys, to shoot 37 on the back. His par-par finish became enough when Randolph, a Congressional member (he was runner-up in the recent club championship), produced a stunning triple-bogey, bogey windup.

The ending left Barber at 303 after rounds of 76-72-73-82, while Randolph had 79-71-75-80 for 305. The winning score was the highest since the championship switched from match play to stroke play in 1962.

Later, shaking his head, Barber said: "This course is unbelievable. It didn't matter what I shot -- the course won. It's just so hard to hit good shot after good shot, and it penalizes every bad swing."

Five-time champion Marty West III became a contender with the low round of the day, a 73, and finished third with 306, and Baltimorean Serge Hogg's second-low 75 got him to 313, and a tie for ninth.

"I felt like I hit a good 8-iron shot," Randolph said of the 160-yard watery effort that led to his demise on the 17th. He was aiming for the right-center of the green, trying to avoid the water that makes it the course's signature hole, but he pulled it a little and the ball caught a slope to the left and was gone.

At the turn Randolph, 25, had a three-shot lead, "and I felt like I was in the driver's seat. After that, I wish I'd made some better swings."

(Results, 7D)

Pub Date: 10/05/98

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