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baltimoresun.com

Golf season off to scorching start

Good scores abound on opening day

By Brent Kennedy, bkennedy@patuxent.com

10:24 PM EDT, August 21, 2012

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County golfers aren't wasting any time putting their best foot forward.

On the season's opening day Tuesday, personal best individual scores and breakthrough team totals made headlines as Wilde Lake, Glenelg, Centennial and Marriotts Ridge all picked up sweeps in their boys and girls matches.

The biggest statements, though, came from the boys teams.

The trio of Wilde Lake, Glenelg and Centennial all put up at least 95 points. Wilde Lake downed Howard, 95-71, Glenelg cruised by Long Reach, 96-28, and Centennial eased past Hammond, 97-28.

To put the day in perspective, it's the first time since golf was reinstated as a varsity sport in 2005 that three teams have produced 95 points or more. And Marriotts Ridge, which knocked off Oakland Mills 85-25, wasn't that far behind.

"It's going to be an interesting season… it seems like everyone is pretty deep," Glenelg coach Chris Beil said.

Not to be outdone, the Marriotts Ridge girls flexed some muscle of their own in a 70-26 victory over Oakland Mills. Last year on the way to their second straight undefeated season, the Mustangs never once hit 70 points.

Wilde Lake's girls victory over Howard was also historic. The 33-9 win marked the first victory in program history and the first time the team had reached the 20-point barrier. Zaha Iqbal led the charge with 11 points.

"This is the first time we've ever even fielded a full team, so just that is a big step," said Wilde Lake coach Diane Caporaletti, who watched three of her four golfers reach double digits Tuesday. "It's a pretty exciting day for us."

Silberberg starts hot

Wilde Lake senior Tyler Silberberg, last year's boys state champion, had an exciting day of his own. With three birdies and no bogies, he tied his career-best round with 30 points (3-under par) at Hobbit's Glen.

"I didn't really know what to expect because warming up on the range I was hitting my driver all over the place," Silberberg said. "But after I got through the first hole I hit a few wedges close and got myself some easy birdie putts."

Silberberg said all three of his birdies came after hitting approaches to within six feet of the pin. But even more impressive than the birdies may have been the up-and-down from over the green on the ninth hole that secured a par and completed the bogey-free day.

"It was one of those that I felt like I had to make it … you don't want to bogey your last hole, especially when I only had a wedge in my hand (for my second shot)," Silberberg said. "That was definitely a big putt."

Centennial's Connor Flach turned in the second best round of the afternoon, shooting 28 points at Turf Valley. His day included three birdies, one of which was a chip-in on the par 3 eighth hole.

That was just the tip of the mountain, however, with milestone scores popping up all over. Marriotts Ridge's Joe Dorsch set a career-high with 25 points, while his brother Michael wasn't far behind with a round of 24. Mike Walker, who played in only one match last season for the Mustangs, chipped in with 21 points.

Wilde Lake's Nick Mathews shattered his previous career-high with 24 points in the win against Howard, besting last year's high-water mark of 19. Even in the losing effort, the Lions' got great play from Kevin Reid. He used a pair of birdies to set a career-high of his own with 24 points.

For Glenelg, newcomer Young Lee fit right in with a team full of upperclassmen and produced 24 points at Willow Springs. Greg Leake was tops for the Gladiators with 26.

Lee and Lewis go toe-to-toe

While there wasn't much drama team wise at Fairway Hills between Oakland Mills and Marriotts Ridge, the head-to-head match-up between the Scorpions' Samyra Lewis and the Mustangs' Rachel Lee more than made up for it.

The duo matched one another shot for shot all day, with Lee finally edging out a one-shot victory thanks to an even-par round of 27 points. Even in defeat, though, Lewis produced a career-best round of 26.

"It helped a lot playing with (Rachel) because she's a really experienced player and I love playing with her," said Lewis, whose previous career-high was 24 points. "Any time you can play with players that are better than you are, it makes you better."

Lee certainly came out of the gates firing Tuesday, rebounding from a bogey on the first hole to make three consecutive birdies on holes Nos. 2-4. All three birdies came courtesy of sinking putts from outside 10 feet.

"I worked on my putting a lot over the summer, actually my entire short game, because that's what everything comes down to," Lee said. "In the past I've struggled on the greens, so I was definitely pleased to make a few like that."

Lee did have a minor hiccup on the seventh hole, making a double-bogey after hitting her drive in the water. But she regrouped to par her last two and finish at even.

Lewis, meanwhile, capitalized on her strong iron play and consistent lag putting to compile six pars to go along with a birdie and two bogies. After averaging 19.8 points a match last year, it was a promising start.

"It feels really good knowing that all my hard work throughout the summer paid off," Lewis said. "To shoot such a high score the first round of the school year definitely gives me a lot of confidence."

On the way to 70 points as a team, Marriotts Ridge also got great rounds from Ariel Biegel (20 points) and Marissa Davey (19).

Boys box scores:

Marriotts Ridge 85, Oakland Mills 25

MR (1-0): J. Dorsch 25, M. Dorsch 24, Walker 21, Park 15.

OM (0-1): Bailey 14, Clyde 8, Steplowski 3.

Glenelg 96, Long Reach 28

G (1-0): G. Leake 26, Lee 24, Forester 23, A. Leake 23.

LR (0-1): Bartolotta 9, Spotte-Smith 8, Appler 6, Grabowski 4.

Centennial 97, Hammond 28

C (1-0): Flach 28, Humphrey 24, McShane 23, Mehta 22.

Ha (0-1): Kopnitsky 17, Mitchell 7, Winder 4.

Wilde Lake 95, Howard 71

WL (1-0): Silberberg 30, Mathews 24, Iqbal 22, Boccher 19.

Ho (0-1): Reid 24, Crawford 20, Park 17, Balter 10.

Girls box scores:

Marriotts Ridge 70, Oakland Mills 26

MR (1-0): Lee 27, Biegel 20, Davey 19, Kim 4.

OM (0-1): Lewis 26.

Glenelg 32, Long Reach 27

G (1-0): Frost 15, Davis 9, Gabby M 5, Malik 3.

LR (0-1): Sample 12, Caspar 11, Grabowski 4.

Centennial 7, Hammond 2

C (1-0): Wojanowski 5, Kuan 2.

Ha (0-1): Frekot 2.

Wilde Lake 33, Howard 9

WL (1-0): Iqbal 11, M. Teachman 10, T. Teachman 10, Andres 2.

Ho (0-1): Song 9.