Sovero wins Amateur on back of 68

Baltimore victor shoots record-matching score

August 02, 1999|By SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Rick Sovero shot a course-record-matching 4-under-par 68, earning the championship of the 45th annual Baltimore City Amateur tournament by two strokes at Hayfield Country Club.

Sovero, from Rolling Road Golf Club, tacked on 35-33 over the 7,041-yard year-old course in Hunt Valley after starting the day in fifth place with an opening 72.

Of the top four at the start of the round, Jaime Geilenkirchen, from Hunt Valley GC, shot the best round (74), finishing in second place at 142. A year ago, he was third.

Two-time defending champion Larry Storck, from the host club, and Justin Klein, of Baltimore CC, were both tied after first-round 70s, but they slipped back yesterday.

Storck shot 76 for 146, and Klein, 77 for 147. Adrian Druzgala, a multiple runner-up in this event, had the day's second-best score, a 72, and wound up tied for seventh at 149.

"This is a treat I did not expect; it just happened," said Sovero, 30, vice president of a temporary employment company.

One-under par for the round through 13 holes, he heard the leaders behind him were struggling.

He promptly hit a 6-iron to within two inches at the 190-yard 14th, then pitched in for birdie at the next hole. He sealed the triumph with another birdie at the 17th.

The champion hit 15 greens each day and made just one bogey in each round. (Scores, 12D)

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