John Carroll's Bruggeman dethrones Rodgers by 3 shots

Junior keeps composure on last five holes to win it

MIAA golf

May 21, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

There seems to be something in the Bruggeman family chemistry that breeds golfers.

John Carroll junior Alex Bruggeman became the second member of his family in three years to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association golf title by shooting a 1-under par 72 to complete a five-over 221 and take the 54-hole tournament by three strokes over defending champion Greg Rodgers yesterday on a cool and breezy afternoon at Woodholme Country Club.

Bruggeman joined his brother Chuck, who won the MIAA golf title for John Carroll as a senior in 2000.

"He's not going to hear the end of it for a while," said the younger Bruggeman about winning the title in his junior year. "I played real solid today and didn't miss a lot of greens. That's what I was trying to do. Just hit greens."

Bruggeman entered the afternoon two shots behind the leader, John Carroll senior Tom Watson. But Watson struggled throughout, triple-bogeying the second hole and finishing with a disappointing 8-over 81 to drop into a third-place tie with McDonogh's Justin Jarvis.

Bruggeman, who was playing one group ahead of Watson and Rodgers, took the lead for the first time after the second hole and either shared or held the lead the rest of the way. Bruggeman charged in front by himself with back-to-back birdies on the par-4 eighth and ninth. He then fell back into a tie when Rodgers birdied the par-5, 12th and Bruggeman bogeyed the par-3 13th almost simultaneously.

But Bruggeman bounced back with a birdie on the par-4 14th and closed the round out with pars on 15, 16 and 17 before a birdie on the par-5 18th.

"Alex played so well today, I was so proud how he kept it together," said Bud Bruggeman, who doubles as John Carroll's golf coach and the family patriarch. "He stayed focused, didn't get ahead of himself, just approached each shot one shot at a time and he played very solidly."

Rodgers, a sophomore from St. Paul's, gave a solid effort, also shooting a 72 to finish with a cumulative score of 8-over 224. More impressively, with the exception of two disastrous holes in the first round, Rodgers played even par for the three days.

Those two holes, however, were enough to give the victory to Bruggeman. In the first round, which was played at Pine Ridge, Rodgers shot a quintuple-bogey 9 on the par-4 16th and a triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 17th. As a result, he finished with an 8-over 80 for the round and was well behind.

In the end, Rodgers would have had to shoot a 4-under 69 to tie Bruggeman.

"To shoot 69 on a course like this would have just been incredible," said Rodgers, who was within a stroke of Bruggeman until he bogeyed the par-3 17th and Bruggeman birdied 18. "I feel I played pretty well. Obviously, the nine and then the triple right after that, I thought I'd put myself right out of it. I just put myself in too big of a hole to fight back. It's disappointing not to win, but I'm proud of the way I fought back."

Before the completion of the individual competition, the MIAA team champions were decided over the weekend. St. Paul's won the A Conference, Boys' Latin took the B Conference and Annapolis Area Christian claimed the C Conference title.

Final round

1. Bruggeman (John Carroll), 72-221; 2. Rodgers (St. Paul's), 72-224; 3. Watson (John Carroll), 81-228; 3. Jarvis (McDonogh), 73-228; 5. Tr. Bare (St. Paul's), 73-230; 6. Bassler (Mount St. Joseph), 80-232; 7. Snow (Glenelg Country), 83-234; 7. D. Feeley (St. Paul's), 80-234; 9. Higgins (Loyola), 86-235; 9.Bramble (Calvert Hall), 83-235; 11. Thebaud (Mount St. Joseph), 82-236; 12. Chagetas (Calvert Hall), 83-237; 12. MacDonoald (Park), 81-237; 14. Grant (Gilman), 82-238; 14. Ty. Bare (St. Paul's), 78-238; 16. Patinella (Loyola), 85-239; 17. Tehan (John Carroll), 81-241; 18. R. Feeley (Boys' Latin), 83-243;18. Obaza (St. Paul's), 86-243; 20. Buchanan (Calvert Hall), 87-245; 20. Bert (Loyola), 90-245; 22. Thomas (John Carroll), 91-248; 23. Lucas (Mount St. Joseph), 90-250.

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