Rockwell finishes off his first title

After late struggles past two years, Gilman senior hangs on for four-stroke win

MIAA golf

May 09, 2006|By JEFF SEIDEL | JEFF SEIDEL,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The final round of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual Golf tournament hadn't been kind to Gilman's Chris Rockwell the past two years. He enjoyed it much more this time around.

Rockwell entered yesterday's final round at the Woodholme Country Club with a six-stroke lead and made it through unscathed to capture his first championship. The Gilman senior scored a four-stroke victory over teammate Greg Stamas.

Rockwell shot 73 in the first round, a 71 in round two last week before finishing with a 76 on a cool, drizzly afternoon at Woodholme. His score of 220 topped Stamas, who made a run with a final-round 73. Kyle Wheeler of St. Paul's took third (228) while Gilman's Brad Miller was fourth (230).

The past two years gave Rockwell some unhappy endings. He led early in the final round in 2004, but a hot afternoon combined with the flu caused him to fade late and finish fourth. Rockwell also was tied for the lead heading into the final round last year.

However, Mike O'Neil of St. Paul's shot a 71 to pull away for a six-shot victory over Rockwell. But this year was a different story as Rockwell led after the first two rounds, using a 71 in the second round to take the six-shot lead. He stumbled a little yesterday en route to the 3-over 76 and saw the lead get cut, but everything worked out this time.

"I've thought about it a lot," Rockwell said. "It's not like it was a demon, but it was something on my mind. I was just better this year."

Rockwell will be playing golf at Vanderbilt next year. He serves as the Gilman co-captain with Stamas, and Gilman coach Don Rogers was proud of how both played in the tournament.

Rogers said that Rockwell did a good job of not letting the past bother him and just focusing on the present.

"It was time, and he did whatever it took," Rogers said. "He took care of business today."

Gilman earned the individual tournament's team title for the second straight year from its scores in the first two rounds, which were played at Mount Pleasant and Pine Ridge. The Greyhounds' score of 606 won the championship, easily beating St. Paul's (626).

Gilman beat the Crusaders by 10 shots last year, and the schools could meet again during the team competition that concludes next week.

Top 10 finishers

1. Rockwell (Gilman), 220; 2. Stamas (Gilman), 224; 3. Wheeler (St. Paul's), 228; 4. Miller (Gilman), 230; 5. Waesche (Loyola), 232; 6. Bassler (Mount St. Joseph), 233; 7. (tie) Williams (Gilman), Miynarsiki (Sts. Peter & Paul), 234; 9. Zorn (St. Paul's), 235; 10. Jenkins (Mount St. Joseph), 237.

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