Bel Air's Newton, North Harford's Wirtz are District Golf Champs

UCBAC golf teams and many of their individual golfers descended on the Chesapeake Bay-Rising Sun Golf Course Tuesday with common goals while competing in the District 7 Tournament.

Teams and players alike were trying to shoot qualifying scores that will get each into next month's Maryland State Tournament in College Park.

When play was done, six boys, led by Bel Air junior Tyler Newton, and four girls, led by North Harford senior Morgan Wirtz, had qualified for the state event.

Newton, who shot a one-under par round of 71, and Wirtz, who shot 88, were crowned champions. Bel Air shot a team total of 325 to best the other four Class 3A-4A schools, while Rising Sun shot 353 to win the eight-school Class 1A-2A field.

"It feels pretty good," Newton said after his round. "I didn't make anything worse than a bogey. I had two straight bogeys on 15 and 16." Those hiccups came well after a good start. "I had back-to-back chip-ins on holes three and four," Newton said. The birdie chips came from just of the greens.

Newton credits his putting and short game for his play Tuesday, noting, "overall it was a good day." Newton says putting is normally a weakness. "My iron play is usually pretty good. That was pretty good today too," Newton said.

Newton's card showed 34-37 for 71.

For Wirtz, Tuesday's win was a repeat of last year. Wirtz is a two-time District 7 champ, three-time UCBAC champ and two-time county champ. She hopes to make it three county titles next month.

As for Tuesday's winning round, Wirtz wasn't totally pleased. "Not too great," Wirtz said when asked how she played. "I'm normally in the low 80's. Obviously after shooting a 34, anything over par just doesn't seem right."

Wirtz shot 44-44 for her 88. "It does make it more special," Wirtz said in reference to her second district title. "It also shows that I'm still working hard. I am not stopping over the summer, I'm still out there playing. This year I played over 20 golf tournaments and I don't plan on quitting. I want to play in college and I still want to get better."

Ashley Mayse of Bo Manor shot 89 to take runner-up honors. Elkton's Genesis Diaz, 92, and Aberdeen's Emily Byers, 94, also qualified for the state meet, scoring under the girls qualifying number of 95.

Aberdeen freshman Mitchell Hardin took runner-up honors in the boys tourney, carding a 77 with rounds of 37-40. Bel Air's Nick Loiodice was third with 79 (39-40) and Rising Sun's Zach Van Dyke was fourth with 82.

Also squeezing in below the cut line of 84 were Cody Smith of Bel Air and Sam Van Valkenburg of North Harford, who both shot 83. Bel Air's fourth qualifying player was Sam Tepelides who shot 92.

Those who just missed out were C. Milton Wright's Ian Moore, 85; Fallston's JD Appel, 86; Patterson Mill's Brendon Mahoney, 86; and Fallston's Dylan Wolf, 87.

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