Pikesville's Kraus wins second Md. Amateur

Woodholme golfer stops teen-ager Lewis, 2 and 1

July 17, 1999|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SILVER SPRING -- Andrea Kraus completed a rare sweep of the medal and the title at Argyle Country Club yesterday.

Kraus, from Pikesville and Woodholme Country Club, won three successive holes early in the back nine and held on for a 2 and 1 victory over Jessica Lewis in the championship match of the 78th Maryland State Women's Amateur championship.

She had set a tournament qualifying record of 4-under-par 69 in earning the medalist honor Tuesday. Yesterday, in subduing Lewis, a Bethesda resident who plays for Columbia Country Club, Kraus hit every fairway and every green but one on the back nine.

This was a case of the 1994 champion, Kraus, 38, having experience and strength over an 18-year-old rival who was playing in the event for the first time.

Kraus, who won the Women's Golf Association Titleholders Cup last week, used length off the tee and, for the most part, strong iron play to thwart Lewis.

The teen-ager, 1-up after 10 holes, wavered at the 11th, where she three-putted, missing the second from four feet. That was one of only two putts of knee-knocking length she missed, for she simply stepped up and rapped home a series of them to keep the match alive.

At the par-5 12th, she left a third shot in a green-side bunker, and at the par-3 13th, Kraus, from a downhill lie in rough above the green, holed a 40-foot pitch shot.

Seemingly unfazed, Lewis responded with successive par putts in the 15-to-20-foot range, one for a half and one for a win.

They halved 16, and when Lewis three-putted 17, just sliding a five-footer past the cup, she conceded to Kraus, who was close in two.

"I decided I needed a little more grit," Kraus said of her back-nine play. The front nine had been a yo-yo experience with only two holes halved, one with birdies.

Kraus won the first two, but Lewis came back to get even and went 1-up after taking the eighth and ninth holes with pars.

"My driving and iron play were fine. I had so many birdie opportunities, but I was tentative with the putter, leaving them all short," Kraus said. "At the same time, Jessica played great. She gave me my best match of the week."

Despite the outcome, Lewis, now headed back to some American Junior Golf Association tournaments where the age limit is 18, was excited about her play.

"I didn't give it away," she said. "I'm pleased I took it 17 holes. At the turn, I wanted to try and be consistent, but in that 11-12-13 stretch I started to get tired. I'm not used to this much golf, and I think Thursday's two rounds wore me down physically and mentally."

Championship: Andrea Kraus, Woodholme, d. Jessica Lewis, Columbia, 2 and 1.

Flight finals: First--Deb Pearson, Indian Spring, d. Bonnie Fry, Maryland Golf, 3 and 2. Second--Stephanie Kell, Country Club of Maryland, d. Jennifer Thompson, Chestnut Ridge, 1 up. Third--Amy Pappas, Sparrows Point, d. Chris Kefauver, Beaver Creek, 2 and 1. Fourth--Vicki Huggins, Montgomery, d. Nicole Keeney, Eagle's Nest, 2 and 1. Fifth--Shirley Williams, Mount Pleasant, d. Debbie Retzer, Norbeck, 4 and 3. Sixth--Jan Crichton-Croy, Argyle, d. Mary Catherine Helmick, 7 and 5.

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