Bryana Nguyen didn't think she could top the record 66 that she achieved in Monday's first round of the MPSSAA state golf tournament. But when she returned to the University of Maryland Golf Course on Wednesday, Nguyen came close to equaling her sizzling start with a final-round 68.
Nguyen finished her high school career with a two-round score of 134, enabling the Atholton senior to win her second consecutive Class 3A/4A state title. The University of North Carolina-bound senior outdistanced Wootton's Delaney Shah by seven strokes.
Glenelg junior Steven Segrist took the men's individual title and Marriotts Ridge earned its second consecutive Class 1A/2A team championship, giving Howard County three of the four major state titles. Wootton won the Class 4A/3A team championship.
"It's my senior year, and I wanted to finish it strong," Nguyen said. "These greens were really firm on Monday, but they were much softer today because of the rain. I tried to play my own game and keep it consistent."
Nguyen virtually clinched her title with a solid performance on the first nine holes. She boosted her lead to eight strokes over Shah, the only Washington-area player to finish in the top five. The Marriotts Ridge duo of Rachel Lee and Lauren Kim took third and fifth place, with Westminster junior Jordan McKelvin finishing fourth.
The boys' championship provided the final day's drama. Segrist and Wootton's Justin Feldman were tied for the lead after the first round, and remained that way through most of Wednesday's final round. It was a three-way tie between Feldman, Segrist, and Churchill's Luke Schaap heading to the 18th, but a bogey ended Schaap's chances at the title. Feldman and Segrist both made par to send the match into a sudden-death playoff.
Segrist took advantage of Feldman's troubles on the first extra hole to clinch his first state title. After placing his first shot in the rough on the par-five ninth hole, Segrist watched Feldman hit his tee shot out of bounds. Back at the tee after a one-stroke penalty, Feldman again hit into the rough, and Segrist wisely used a series of well-placed shots to clinch the victory.
"I've come a long way," said a relieved Segrist. "When I was down one going to the 16th, I thought I might need to make a birdie [to catch Feldman]. I played the playoff hole conservatively, and after he was out of play, I just kept the ball in front of me to win it."
By the time Segrist had finished, Marriotts Ridge had already cemented its reputation as one of the state's top programs. The Mustangs outdistanced McDonough of Charles County by 46 strokes to defend its team title..
"It's hard to defend a championship, but our kids have done some great things over the last couple of years," said Marriotts Ridge coach Mark Dubbs. "We have a very cohesive group. Our hardest task was figuring out who got to play at districts and states, because there were so many interchangeable parts. Six of our seven kids that were here shot 80 or lower today, and we're really pleased with that."
Lee's third-place finish keyed the Mustangs' effort. Following a first-round 77, her 70 on Wednesday was one of the best final-round scores.
"It was tough for us [to repeat], but we all worked harder individually," said Lee, who will play at the University of Delaware. "Two years ago, we were up 15 strokes and broke down as a team. Winning the state championship last year was special, and winning this year was another step forward."
Top Ten Finishers
Steven Segrist (Glenelg)73-73-146 (won sudden-death playoff)
Justin Feldman (Wooton)73-73-146
Luke Schaap (Churchill)75-72-147
Griffin Cosgrove (South River)75-73-148
Andrew Barth (Walt Whitman)78-70-148
Phil Colevas (R. Montgomery)76-73-149
Adam Gray (Churchill)78-74-152
Bennett Buch (Marriotts Ridge)79-74-153
Young Lee (Frederick)79-74-153
Nick Mejia (Marriotts Ridge)78-75-153
Bryana Nguyen (Atholton)66-68-134
Delaney Shah (Wooton)72-69-141
Rachel Lee (Marriotts Ridge)77-70-147
Jordan McKelvin (Westminster)80-73-153
Lauren Kim (Marriotts Ridge)77-78-155
Killian Casson (Catonsville)78-81-159
Jane Moon (Dulaney)80-79-159
Kaitlyn Bingham (Dulaney)83-79-162
Gillian Han (Bethesda-CC)83-79-162
Bright Graysen (Wooton)81-82-163Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun