Historic day for Howard County golf at state championships

It was a historic day for Howard County at the Maryland state golf championships on Wednesday, with Atholton senior Bryana Nguyen and Glenelg junior Steven Segrist sweeping the top individual awards to go along with Marriotts Ridge capturing the overall team title.

It was the first time that the county has fielded the overall winner in all three categories.

Nguyen, who came into this week as the defending girls state champion, etched her name into the record books on her way to this year’s title. With her two-round total of 134 (8-under par), she outdistanced Wootton’s Delaney Shah by seven strokes and shattered the previous girls' two-day record (140) along the way.

After opening the tournament with a 5-under-par round of 66, Nguyen simply kept the ball rolling in the final round. She birdied her first three holes and then played steady golf the rest of the way.

She wrapped things up in style, making a birdie on her final hole to shoot a 68.

“I went into today pretty much the same way I did the first day, not necessarily trying to go big, but definitely not playing conservative,” Nguyen said. “I didn’t want to feel like I left anything out there.”

While Nguyen cruised into the winner’s circle, Segrist needed to outlast Wootton’s Justin Feldman in a playoff.  After Segrist and Feldman came into the day tied after opening-round 73s, the first 18 holes weren't enough to settle things. Both carded 2-over-par rounds of 73 for a two-day total of 146.

But on the first extra hole, Feldman hit his drive out-of-bounds left and that opened the door for Segrist to play his way up the par 5 conservatively. He ended up edging the Wootton junior by one shot and earning the first state title of his high school career.

“Last week, winning at Districts was definitely big for me, but this is such a better feeling and, I think, a lot more impressive,” Segrist said. “I’m not sure it’s completely hit me yet.”

In the team competition, Marriotts Ridge had jumped out a commanding 29-shot lead over the 1A/2A schools after its opening-round combined total of 315. Then Wednesday, in the final round, the Mustangs managed to run away from the field.

With a team total of 299, Marriotts Ridge ended up winning its classification by a state-record 71 shots.

Even more, the Mustangs’ total of 614 was 19 shots better than 3A/4A team-champion Wootton (633).
It was the second straight 1A/2A state title for Marriotts Ridge.

“We got so much better as the season went on, which is kind of crazy because we were really good to start,” Marriotts Ridge coach Mark Dubbs said. “Honestly, I just feel really blessed to be here at Marriotts Ridge and to be able to coach them. They are such a special group of kids.”

Marriotts Ridge’s scorers were Rachel Lee (third for the girls at 147), Bennett Buch (tied for 8th among boys at 153), Nick Mejia (tied for 8th at 153) and Jackson Courtney (161).

Atholton’s team, led by Bryana Nguyen’s stellar two days, ended up finishing third in the 3A/4A classification with a total of 639 — six behind Wootton. Churchill was second at 638.

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