Wah keeps Westminster in hunt Freshman's 74 good for fourth place

F.S. Key second in 1A-2A

October 20, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK -- Westminster freshman John Wah thought he could have played better golf on the first day of his first trip to the state tournament. He probably shouldn't be so hard on himself.

Wah overcame five bogeys to play solid golf the rest of the way and shoot a 3-over par 74, the lowest score among area players on the first day of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association state tournament yesterday at the University of Maryland.

The 74 on the par-71, 6,271-yard course put Wah in fourth place overall in the individual competition, five shots behind leader Jimmy Cunningham of Walkersville (69). The second and final round of the tournament takes place today in College Park.

Wah finished the day with 11 pars and two birdies.

"I probably could've improved a little bit," said Wah. "But I'm happy with a 74."

Wah sparked Westminster into a fourth-place tie heading into the final round. Walt Whitman High School leads the Class 3A-4A division with a score of 312, three strokes ahead of Churchill at 315. J.M. Bennett represented Wicomico County well by moving into third place with a 326. Westminster and Wootton are tied for fourth with 329s.

Francis Scott Key did even better than Westminster. The Eagles took second place in the Class 1A-2A division. Walkersville leads at 324, but Key sits just two strokes off the pace.

Michael Darr led the Eagles by shooting a 76. Darr overcame a five-bogey round that saw him average around 320 yards per drive. Darr started quickly, getting to 3-under par after only five holes before slipping a bit, but he recovered to get back to the 76.

Jason Cashen added an 80, while teammate Brian Brilhart (82) and Dennis Smith (88) also helped the Eagles stay close.

Key holds a seven-shot lead over Pikesville and Towson, which are tied for third at 333.

Brad Friedlander of Pikesville, who finished sixth in last year's tournament, is tied for fifth after shooting a 75.

Friedlander drove well but didn't have any birdies, working to get 14 pars overall.

"I hit well, but I didn't putt well and I had too many three-putts," said Friedlander.

In the boys' individual competition, Cunningham shot a 34 on the front nine to take a four-stroke lead over 1996 champion Charles Hong (72) of Whitman.

John Scott Rattan from Watkins Mill is third at 73, ahead of Wah (74), Friedlander (75) and Kane Wengerd from Southern-Garrett (75).

On the girls' side, Calli Vance of Arundel and Sarah Swick from Whitman are tied for first place with 83s. Lori Koch of North County is third with an 84, just ahead of defending champion Erin Clasper of Wootton (85) and North Carroll's Carlie Gordon (86).

Pub Date: 10/20/98

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