Practice dips Dedrich to 68, lifts him to Harford crown

Wright sweeps team titles

Rumbley beats girls field


High Schools

October 10, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

C. Milton Wright golf coach Jim McNicholas talked about how much Rob Dedrich has improved since his freshman year.

Dedrich, a senior, now has a Harford County golf championship as proof.

Three years after getting cut from Wright's team, Dedrich carded a bogey-free 68 to win the county championship yesterday at Ruggles Golf Course at Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

With his 4-under par round, Dedrich beat North Harford senior Jarrod Page and Aberdeen sophomore Patrick Hinch, two players with county titles on their resumes, by three strokes.

"I wanted to work hard and get better," Dedrich said. "It made me mad that I didn't make the team, but I stuck with it, and now, I've finally made it."

Added McNicholas: "He has about four acres behind his house, and he works on his short game constantly. His mother says he comes in and his hands are all red from hitting so many wedge shots."

Wright swept the trophies given out as Mustangs freshman Samantha Rumbley won the individual girls title over North Harford's Katey Bertier on the first playoff hole. Both had 97s for 18 holes; Rumbley won by bogeying the playoff hole, a par-4.

Led by Dedrich, Wyatt Lee (fifth place, 76) and Jeff Chiles (81, 10th), the Mustangs also won the team title with a score of 479, beating runner-up Bel Air by 14 strokes.

The Bobcats got a fourth-place finish from Andrew Haddy (75). Third-place North Harford (503) was assisted by Brad Gerick's sixth-place 77.

"I didn't expect this at all," said McNicholas, whose Mustangs won their second straight team title and seventh in nine years.

Dedrich wasn't a favorite, either. That distinction went to Page, who won the county title in 2001, and Hinch, who reigned last year as a freshman.

However, playing a group in front of Page and Hinch and on a day conducive to scoring - light wind and sun - Dedrich never flinched, but his competitors did.

He was flawless with his irons, hitting nearly every green in regulation, with birdies on Nos. 1, 5, 11 and 15.

Teeing off at No. 8, Page was the leader after 10 holes at 3-under, but he bogeyed Nos. 2 and 3 and showed his frustrations by tossing his ball into a creek.

"Since [Dedrich] never made a mistake, it was hard to get back into it," Page said.

Hinch had his chances, too, including a birdie putt on No. 6 that would have gotten him to 3-under, one stroke off Dedrich's pace. But with Dedrich watching from an adjacent tee box, the Aberdeen sophomore couldn't convert.

Dedrich then made par on No. 7 and guided a 9-iron into the front of the green on No. 8 - his last hole - allowing him to two-putt to victory.

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